. 25-30 kts + winds in Gruissan, committee canceled racing
. First racing day canceled so far
. Fleet moving to Marseille tonight for Act 7
. New crew onboard Oman Airports tomorrow
Today was a perfect day for kitesurfing or windsurfing… But racing a Diam 24 in 30 knots of wind could lead to carnage. At 9am this morning, race committee recorded 32knots on the race course and decided to keep the fleet ashore for a few hours. And at 1pm winds were still too strong for sailing.
« A 20 knot Tramontane, would have been so nice », regrets Trésors de Tahiti helmsman Pierre Pennec. « Sailing in the Gulf of Lion with a northerly breeze can be a real pleasure. But here it’s definitely too strong. It would even be dangerous to go out sailing ».
« We were hoping for the wind to be slightly lighter so we could have done a few races », explained race director Christophe Gaumont. « We don’t do our job to cancel races, but we have to be wise. It’s a matter of safety and sporting fairness. Starting a race with crew who are just doing survival sailing to keep their boat upright doesn’t make sense ».
The fleet is now moving to Marseille for Act 7. Tomorrow the 24 boats will sail a 32 mile coastal race from Frioul islands to Jarre island and back.
Oman Airports Stevie Morrison being in Portsmouth for the America’s Cup World Series this week-end, and his french co-skipper Thierry Douillard being injured, it will be Pierre Leboucher at the helm tomorrow and Gurvan Bontemps calling the tactics. « I sailed in Fécamp last year with Aurélien Ducroz onboard La France du Nord au Sud, replacing Olivier Backes, and I am very happy to come back and sail in Marseille with Oman Airports. I would have liked to have a Diam 24 campaign for the Tour but my year was already very busy as I sail on the D35, GC32, and Flying Phantom circuits. I really like the TDFV and its new format, and it’s exciting for us to sail with other top level sailors ». said Gurvan Bontemps.