Team Lorina Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan grabs seven wins in seven races today in Dieppe for the day of stadium racing. With perfect starts, perfect speed, perfect team work, and not a single mistake Quentin Delapierre, Bruno Mourniac and Kevin Peponnet finished each race with a huge gap over the rest of the fleet. And after only two stages in the Tour, one question arises : who could beat them?
Of course they love windy conditions, and they had windy conditions for four days. But is it enough to explain their supremacy on the race course? « It was an incredible day! I think we just wanted to mark our territory and no give anything up », said Kevin Peponnet. « Confidence builds up with confidence and race after race we felt stronger and stronger. Quentin (Delapierre) took a perfect start in the grand final, then we only had to unroll. Our strength also comes from the fact that we are the same crew as last year, when other teams have changed some crew members. And we worked hard all winter and trained all springtime so we don’t even need to talk to each other onboard to call for a manoeuver. But now we remember Groupama last year who dominates in the Atlantic and failed in the Mediterranean, so it’s not over ».
And Grandeur Nature Véranda could be the main threat. Hugely experienced multihull specialist Jean-Christophe Mourniac is starting to find the pace and despite a black flag in race 3, they qualified for the grand final and finished 2nd : « we got a fight in race 3 because we crossed the start line early and got disqualified but we found the motivation to come back in the game, and then we won the next three races. I guess experience helps to stay focused and still go and grab the qualification. We are so happy. Now we know we are in the right train and we’re off. We just have to speed up ».
After yesterday’s intense coastal racing in strong winds, the 24 trimarans offered the public another day of action in front of Dieppe’s seafront. In westerly winds reaching 18-20 knots at times, the teams sailed a series of six qualifying races and a Grand Final at 3.45pm.
International team Oman Airports by Oman Sail also had a black flag at the start of Race 3 and they managed to qualify too. But in the grand final, a problem at the downwind mark prevented them to finish the race. « We had some good starts and some good tactic moments in the series of qualifying races. We fought hard and we qualified for the grand final, which was our objective », said Omani crew member Ali Al Balushi, currently sailing his 5th Tour de France à la Voile. « But then the rudder came off and our race was over. We are a bit disappointed but the Tour is still long. We’ve been training hard for this and being in the top 6 is not bad. Tomorrow is a day off so a bit of chilling out will be nice because tonight will be a long night of packing up the boat and then driving to the next venue tomorrow morning. I look forward to some warmer conditions ».