- Team Coved wraps up TDFV with a victory in Nice Gold final
- 2016 champion Lorina Limonade takes second place
- Grandeur Nature Vérandas sneaked in front of Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne to take second overall
- Oman Airports by Oman Sail in top 5
- Team France Jeune snatched overall victory in Young and Amateur rankings
2016 Tour de France à la Voile ended today in Nice with a last day of stadium racing. The 24 teams were divided in three groups based on last night overall rankings to sail three Finals : Gold, Silver, and Bronze. In light wind conditions, the 18 boats of group Silver and Bronze sailed two races, countring double points for final ranking. Then at 3.30pm, the six top Diam24 sailed on single Gold Final.
Despite being the 2016 TDFV champion since last Act in Hères, Team Lorina Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan wanted to score another victory under their belt, like they did yesterday on the coastal course set in the Bay of Angels. But today, the light and shifty winds reshuffled the cards. Installux, Lorina Limonade and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne, who started the race really well, were leading the six boat fleet on the first beat. But on the last run down the finish, Team Coved chose the other side of the course and crossed the line first.
« How great is that ! Finishing the Tour with a victory ! We are so happy ! Being fourth overall was already a good result for us, well above our objectives this year. On the last run, we decided to keep going on the right hand side while everyone gybed. We wanted to limit the amount of manœuvres, which could cost a lot in light winds. I wanted to come back on the Tour to keep learning with Olivier (Backes) and Laurent (Voiron), and I have learnt so much. It’s been to priviledged to sail with these two super coaches », said freeride ski world champion and skipper of Team Coved Aurélien Ducroz.
Today’s result doesn’t change anything for Team Lorina Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan who already won the event mathematically in Hyères. Matthieu Salomon and Quentin Delapierre finish the Tour today with an impressive 64 point margin over their closest rival Grandeur Nature Vérandas who overtook Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne to take second place overall. « This Tour is a success for us because being on the podium was our objective », said skipper Jean-Christophe Mourniac. « But this Gold final will remain unforgettable. It went exactly the way we wanted and we could not have done better if we had to write the scenario. Lorina Limonade smashed this event. These young guys are very talented. They did everything they needed to win this race. They were super trained, their boat was very well prepared. And they were almost untouchable since the beginning. Massive congratulation to them. They have a bright future in front of them ».
This Gold Final brought huge disappointment for Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne, as crew Fred Guilmin explained : « No one likes losing, specially when it’s just a stroke of bad luck. We took a good start and we went on the same side of Grandeur Nature to control them, but then on the beat, we had less wind and we had to tack to avoid ending in the swimming area, while they came with more wind and kept going along the limitation line, on the right hand side, where we wanted to go. It was so frustrating for us. Of course we are very disappointed because in Dunkirk we were aiming for overall victory. Then looking at Lorina Limonade’s results, we knew it would be hard and second place became our new objective. And today we are third… »
International crew of Oman Airports by Oman Sail reached their objective of finishing in top 5. Co-skipper Thierry Douillard, who won the Tour last year with Spindrift, say this objective was realistic considering their campaign and his injury that impeded their crew set-up : « For sure this Tour ended up being a bit complicated for us since I hurt my back in Dieppe and could not sail for the rest of the event. But in the end, we finish 5th, which is good. Oman Aiports objective was not to win. Our campaign includes training two young Omani sailors. And Ali and Abdul have been fantastic. They are really good crew on the water, and great team mates on land. They’ve learnt a lot about the Tour concept, which is unique and difficult, as you have to string together a lot of races during three weeks ! »
Team France Jeune snatched victory on Young and Amateur rankings, and finished 8th overall, after a perfect Act in Nice : « We are very happy with our performance in the last two days because arriving in Nice yesterday for last Act we were 16 points behind so it was not done deal, we had to fight really hard for it. Yesterday we sailed a really nice coastal race and finished second, and today we fare finishing second again. And when Lorina Mojito got black flagged in second race, they lost a lot of points. That helped. But the most important is that we have learnt a lot during the Tour. It’s been a great experience. »