Please select your home edition
Ovington Boats - VX One
Product Feature
Optimist Racing by Steve Irish & Phil Slater
Optimist Racing by Steve Irish & Phil Slater
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

Tour Voile 2019: Fighting to the Finish in Nice

by Tour Voile 20 Jul 2019 20:10 BST 5-21 July 2019

There is very little that is predictable about the racing in the Tour Voile and this 42nd edition is no exception. From the top eight boats that qualify for the Nautical Stadium Finals to the daily winners and even the wind conditions, anything can and does happen on a regular basis. Today in Nice, with tension building to maximum levels, the Tour delivered precisely the kind of twists and turns that are known for keeping teams and spectators on the edge of their seats.

The ongoing duel between overall leaders Team Beijaflore, skippered by Valentin Bellet and Guillame Pirouelle, and their closest rivals Cheminées Poujoulat provided for thrilling viewing once again. Cheminées Poujoulat enjoyed another smouldering day, winning the Final comfortably ahead of Beijaflore, moving one point closer to them, and sewing up the leadership of the Youth Ranking at the same time.

Five points now separate the top two boats, meaning that Cheminées Poujoulat, skippered by Robin Follin, needs to finish ahead tomorrow and put two boats between themselves and Beijaflore to guarantee victory. Team Beijaflore, on the contrary, needs to ensure that doesn't happen to ensure their name is added to the list of Tour Voile winners. Behind them in the classification both Réseau Ixio - Toulon Provence Méditerranée in third place overall, and Golfe du Morbihan Breizh Cola, in fourth, suffered a major blow as both missed out by a whisker on making the cut for the Final. These two must now wave goodbye to any hopes of a catching up with the second-placed boat, but will battle each other for the final place on the podium. The Oman Sail team on EFG Private Bank Monaco notched up a tidy third-place finish today, which leaves them in fifth place overall.

Robin Follin of Cheminées Poujoulat revealed that things were not as simple as they may have looked today in the Bay of Angels. "Sailing so close to the shore like this is complicated, and here in Nice you also have the Castle Hill which disturbs the breeze a lot. It's a real conundrum." He was also philosophical about what could unfold in the Super Final: "We'll make our calculations tonight and we'll discuss what we need to do tomorrow. I'm sure Beijaflore will mark us but we don't have anything to lose so we'll put our foot down. We'll try to sail well, like we have been doing for the past few days and we'll see."

Team Beijaflore will be avoiding thoughts of how they narrowly missed out on victory during the Super Final in 2018 "We have taken part in the Super Final the past two years. You have to give it your all in this final race. We're hoping for good conditions. We aren't thinking about what happened last year, that's ancient history. We've been in the lead since the start of the Tour, that's what's important."

The second of the four competing Oman Sail teams, Renaissance Services led by skipper Stevie Morrison, placed fifth and enters the Super Final in sixth place overall. "We had a good start but the first leg wasn't as good as we would have wanted. We got caught up in the middle of the pack and that's difficult. We didn't want to be in fourth place and so we went on the attack, perhaps too much," conceded Morrison.

In fairly light and shifty winds, the big surprise of the day came when the two boats sitting in third and fourth position overall failed to qualify in the top eight to enter the Final. Golfe du Morbihan Breizh Cola picked up a U Flag Disqualification in the first qualifying race for their group and although they gathered themselves over the course of the next five qualifiers, missed out on the Final by two places. Réseau Ixio - Toulon Provence Méditerranée started on a roll, posting 1-2-1 in their first three races, however the following three results were decidedly less than brilliant and left them missing out on qualification by just one place.

While some familiar faces were missing in the Final of the day, as has been the case throughout this Tour, a few newer ones were happy to step up to the mark. Team Ocewood #Waterfamily qualified for their third Final out of nine held, and were joined by the amateur team on Gregory Lemarchal Les Sables d'Olonne, both of whom sit in the Top Ten and have earned their place in the Super Final. Helvetia Purple by Normandy Elite team, an all-female crew skippered by Pauline Courtois, also made the final for the second time.

Before tomorrow's Super Final gets under way racing will take place to decide the final placings for the Bronze and Silver groups in the 23-boat fleet. After which Nice's Promenade des Anglais will host the final showdown followed by the crowning of the ultimate winners of the Tour Voile 2019.

Overall Rankings: (top three)

Team Beijaflore - 667 pts
Cheminées Poujoulat - 662 pts
Team Réseau Ixio - Toulon Provence Méditerranée - 643 pts

Related Articles

2020 Tour Voile: An ever-changing event
Major changes in the pipeline for the 43rd edition While the ingredients that have made it a ringing success over the years will remain part of the magic formula, the 43rd edition will be introducing new features unveiled today at the Nautic Paris Boat Show. Posted on 7 Dec 2019
Team Beijaflore are Tour Voile Champions
A truly unforgettable Super Final A thrilling match within the match saw overall leaders Team Beijaflore and Cheminées Poujoulat embark on an incredible battle to the very last tack with a breathtaking comeback from Beijaflore in the final few metres that clinched the title for the team. Posted on 21 Jul 2019
Cheminées Poujoulat burns bright in Tour Voile
Storming around the course in textbook fashion Tomorrow brings a day of Nautical Stadium racing where teams will be grappling for those last few points that could make the difference in order to gain a place in the Top 10 and a golden ticket to the Super Final on Sunday. Posted on 19 Jul 2019
Fresh success for Golfe du Morbihan Breizh Cola
The final Coastal Raid of Tour Voile brought an incredible day After a difficult day yesterday in Port Barcarès, the local sailors of Team Réseau IXIO - Toulon Provence Méditerranée came back with a second place finish ahead of overall leaders of the General Classification Team Beijaflore in third. Posted on 18 Jul 2019
Double honours at Tour Voile Act 5
Oman's two professional teams take the first two spots The first of four Nautical Stadium days scheduled for the Mediterranean legs of the Tour Voile brought thrills and spills for the teams, and provided sensational viewing for the many spectators gathered along the beach of Port Barcarès for the occasion. Posted on 17 Jul 2019
2019 Tour Voile Act 5 - Coastal Raid
40-mile course took the crews on a very long beat along the coast Today's performance by Golfe du Morbihan Breizh Cola has allowed them to squeeze into fourth place, pushing Oman's Renaissance Services, skippered by Stevie Morrison, back to fifth overall. Posted on 16 Jul 2019
Tour Voile ready for Mediterranean Acts
The battle is very much alive among the top teams After legs on the North Sea, the English Channel and the Atlantic, three more Acts - equating to six days of racing - are left to play out before the end of the competition on Sunday 21st July. Posted on 15 Jul 2019
Tour Voile day 9
Bastille Day in a gusty offshore breeze off Les Sables d'Olonne Morrison, Quentin Ponroy - who won the Tour when Lorina Limonade dominated in 2016 -and Abdul Rahman Al Mashari - made a perfectly times and positioned start which allowed them to lead at the first mark. Posted on 14 Jul 2019
Tour Voile day 8
A second coastal win for Beijaflore As the seven stage 2019 Tour Voile passes its theoretical midway point today, the team which finished third on their debut in 2017 and were last year's runners up are now six points clear at the top of the Tour's General Classification. Posted on 13 Jul 2019
Tour Voile day 8
Rest, Recover and Recap 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. Posted on 12 Jul 2019