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Press release 6th sept. : double success in Perros Guirec for François Gabart and Jean-François Cuzon

Lundi 7 Septembre 2009 11:57

François Gabart and Jean-François Cuzon won the second leg of the Tour de Bretagne 2009 this Sunday afternoon. That’s two victories in a row in the Côtes d’Armor for the pair onboard the Région Bretagne racing yacht. They end right ahead from Nicolas Lunven and Jean le Cam (CGPI), followed by Gildas Mahé and Vincent Biarnès (Banque Populaire) for the arrival in Perros-Guirec.

«Let me introduce you Jean-François Cuzon ! He’s never been defeated on a Figaro : two races for two victories !» claims François Gabart, the young skipper from Espoir Région Bretagne, after crossing the finish line of the Saint Quay Portrieux – Perros Guirec ahead from the rest of the fleet. The Norhtern coast smiles on the former 470 world champion, who had never raced a Figaro-Bénéteau before entering the Tour de Bretagne, alongside the muse of the Port-La-Forêt Training Center.
The gamble was all set by the time the fleet ran through Bréhat’s maze. Since they had left Saint-Quay-Portrieux, Gérald Véniard and Eric Péron (Skipper Macif) were in the lead. « Right after a jibe, we check for the presence of seaweeds in the rudders, and forgt to keep a watch on the inside route. That’s when Espoir Région Bretagne passed us », saysGérald Véniard, who eventually ended fifth for the leg.
« This pass between Bréhat and the coastline was really tricky », adds the winner of the leg. « It was quite tense. We launched our spinnaker, brought it back, then out again. By then , we were right behind Skipper Macif, who had been leading since the start. We took the first jibe in Bréhat’s Héaux… » , and then took control of the race until the lap of honor around Tomé Island.
Seaweeds, present everywhere and at all times, played a hard trick to the crew of Skipper Macif. « It is a very important feature to be taken into account around here » stresses Nicolas Lunven. Teamed up with Jean Le Cam, the young man from Vannes, winner of the Figaro single-handed race this summer, made it to the second step of the podium after a last reaching leg in which the yachts kept tacking again and again. « We just kept winning places. It was tough for the level is quite high, but we had a great day and the results are here! »
«We made it second at Tomé to finish third of the leg » adds Gildas Mahé, substitute for Jeanne Grégoire this season as skipper for the Banque Populaire Figaro-Bénéteau. « It has been delivering since the very start, with the currents bascule and local effects. Ça distribuait depuis le départ avec la renverse du courant et les effets de site. There was no time for getting bored ! And then we had to be careful and keep focused. »
In the overall ranking, Espoir Région Bretagne, winner of the first two legs, takes the lead with two points. François Gabart and Jean-François Cuzon are five points ahead from Fred Duthil and François Lebourdais (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), fourth in Perros Guirec. The first rookies for the leg are Fabien Delahaye and Paul Meilhat (Port de Caen Ouistreham).
Start for the third leg, leading to Brest, will be given at 7.30PM this Monday, september 7th. First boats are expected to arrive in the early morning in the finisterian harbor. 

Bréhat : for once through the inner pass !

For the first time this year, the Figaro-Bénéteau went through the inside pass between Bréhat Island and Arcouest Point, North-West from Paimpol. François Gabart : « We just had to go there for the show. Moreover, the conditions were perfect for getting through there ! » Four years ago, the lack of wind had forced the yachts to go through the pass with their engines turned on. Two years ago, for the last issue, the yachts went for the offshore course. This time, the boats arrived spinnakers on for rounding the islets, emerging rocks and lighthouses, and then pass bewtween the pink granite coastline, and the northernmost inhabited island of the region. « For rounding Bréhat, I had the stage local onboard, (ndr : Vincent Biarnès) so it was quite fine. But it was really tense for there are rocks everywhere. But that’s what it’s about! » adds Gildas Mahé, from Brest.