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2019 Tour Voile - Day 4

by Tour Voile 9 Jul 02:33 BST 5-21 July 2019
2019 Tour Voile © Jean-Marie Liot / A.S.O.

Team Réseau IXIO - Toulon Provence snatched an audacious victory during the final seconds of the first Coastal Raid of the 2019 Tour Voile off Fécamp, leaving long time leaders, the Vendée team on Grégory Lemarchal - Les Sables d'Olonne disappointed in second.

Sandro Lacan, Jules Bidegaray and Figaro racer Achille Nebout came in to the final turning mark, just 60 metres before the finish line, with more speed. The leaders faltered in their final tack and - momentarily flatfooted - left Team IXIO to smoothly move offshore into the breeze, powering through the finish and pipping their rivals by one boat length. Third overall last year on their debut as a team Team Réseau IXIO last move up to third overall.

Tim Mourniac from today's victorious IXIO team highlighted, "We were very fast today. This morning, we had a feeling this first Raid was for us. We worked hard not to lose a metre. We went into 'pitbull' mode, we gave everything physically. Gregory Lemarchal - Les Sables made a superb race but we were close enough to take the opportunity when it came and overtake them at the end."

The amateur team on Gregory Lemarchal were pleased with the fight they put up, their Emeric Dary said, "We did 95% of the course in the lead. Then IXIO toasted us a few metres from the finish. That's very frustrating but we are proud of our race. Nobody expected us to be up at this level when we are a team of amateurs. So we are happy when we have days like this up again high quality competitors. "

Valentin Bellet's General Classification leading Beijaflore took third across the finish line to the Act 2 Fécamp 40mile coastal race. The Raid, up and down the spectacular coast with its 150-metre-high chalk cliffs, was raced in sparkling 13-18knot easterly winds and beautiful sunshine which brought crowds out in their thousands to enjoy the Côte d'Albatre resort's seafront and the activities of the Tour race village.

Crucially for Beijaflore they had rivals Cheminées Poujoulat tucked up in check behind them in fourth. So the leaders on the General Classification extend their cushion to three points but have no margin for error on tomorrow's return the Stade Nautique.

But while the hurt at losing victory in the final 40 metres to the finish will be transient for the Les Sables d'Olonne team, eased by a welcome ascent of the leaderboard to sixth, for Briton Stevie Morrison and the Oman Sail team on Renaissance Services, which had to retire early in the race with a broken rudder, their disappointment will niggle them for some time.

Having just gone 1,2 from the weekend's second two Stadium finals in Dunkirk the Renaissance Services crew had moved to third overall at the end of Act but their equipment failure today drops them to 11th.

"It's 'ealaa' as they say in Arabic...'over'. Grimaced Morrison, "But it happened. I am disappointed but you can't change anything. It's happened. We will fight back. The rudder jumped and it came out the botto gudgeon and from that point there is a lot of pressure on the rudder because it is twisted and it just snapped. We had done nine miles in the breeze and so it was a bit of a surprise, but it was windy and we were well heeled over. Once it's gone that's terminal for the race."

"I am gutted but like I say we can't change anything. But there you go that is after our first transfer (from Dunkirk) and so there are lessons there. We can't miss things and need to make a more thorough rigging check, so we will revisit some things with the team. But we will fight back."

Pierre Pennec's EFG Private Bank of Monaco, upheld the Omani honours with a good sixth.

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