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2019 Tour Voile - Day 8

by Tour Voile 12 Jul 2019 19:03 BST 5-21 July 2019
2019 Tour Voile in Les Sables d'Olonne © Morgan Bove / ASO

It is a well-deserved rest day on the Tour Voile 2019. Racing resumes in Les Sables d'Olonne and there are still four of the seven Acts still to be contested: Les Sables d'Olonne on the Atlantic Vendée coast followed by the Med events at Port Barcarès, Hyères and Nice.

What remains a unique success, year in year out, is that the Tour Voile is a spectacle on the water but it is complemented by a lively party atmosphere on land, the focus being as much as possible to engage with the public, many of whom will be on holiday in the height of summer. Dunkirk welcomed more than 20 000 registered visitors and Fécamp and Jullouville were just as busy. There are four Acts left, Les Sables-d'Olonne (13-14 July), Port Barcarès (16-17 July), Hyères (18-19 July) and Nice (20 -21 July).

Jean-Baptiste Durier, Director of the Tour recaps on the essence of what makes the Tour work.

How do you ensure the public can follow the Tour Voile races?

Jean-Baptiste Durier: "It all starts with the staging of the Paddock. The boats are not in port but on the beach, in a configuration that echoes motor sport. Then it is not a simply putting the Diam 24od on the beach and then going racing. It is the whole, complete package. We explain the race and how it works, we present the crews. The launch and recovery of the Diam 24ods are a key part of the show, the impressions of the sailors are revealed before and after racing. It's such a great show. The races have full commentary with exciting signature music at key moments, especially with this Nautical Stadiums where the race are just a metres from the beach and the spectators."

It is all aimed at the widest possible audience.

"Yes, we have a real desire to demystify it and make it accessible and fun. Sailing is not necessarily the simplest sport to understand at first if you are not familiar with the environment. We make a real effort to explain what is happening on the water, what it all means and so it is not just for sailing fans."

But what about the exhibitions and stands?

"The DNA of the Tour Voile is that is a popular summer roadshow which is completely free. That's We have great animations offered by our partners. Pink Lady sets up a nice space with big deckchairs, a cool relaxing space with games and apple tastings. IXIO Network have a truck driving simulator. There is also a Caraïbos bar to enjoy nonalcoholic fruit cocktails. Children are part of it and Mickey's Diary offers them lots of little games. To let off steam, a Harken Grinder contest lets visitors measure their performance against the sailors. And this year marks the return of the K'do Pass to try to win prizes including a smartphone, by betting on a favorite team."

Among the institutional partners of this Tour Voile, there is the Water Family.

"Yes, and this is particularly important to us. With each Act of the Tour Voile, this association has an educational space to make young people aware of the need to preserve water, and to explain to them best actions to adopt. For me it is important to be able to add new learnings and ideas from the Tour Voile."

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