Arrival of the penultimate leg in sur mer
Gildas Mahé and Vincent Biarnès (Banque Populaire) stand out on the longest leg between Brest and Piriac-sur-mer
Brest-born Gildas Mahé, the winner of the 2005 Tour, teamed up with Perrosian Vincent Biarnès, winner of the first leg two years ago, won the penultimate leg of the Tour de Bretagne à la voile 2009. The crew of Banque Populaire stand out in front of the rookie duet from Port de Caen Ouistreham, Fabien Delahaye and Paul Meilhat the the winning duet from the first two stages, François Gabart and Jean-François Cuzon on Espoir Région Bretagne.
The penultimate leg from the Tour de Bretagne was the longest for the 2009 issue. Loïc Ponceau, race overseer, even extended its course so as to ensure an arrival in Loire-Atlantique by dawn for the Figaros to enter the marina directly. Slightly ahead from the estimated time of arrival, the first boats have reached the line with the first lights of day. Banque Populaire, led by Gildas Mahé and Vincent Biarnès, received the honors of the line, two minutes ahead from Port de Caen Ouistreham and Espoir Région Bretagne, winner of the first two legs, led by François Gabart and Jean-François Cuzon.
« This is my first victory for this season » valued Gildas Mahé after the arrival. This season's replacement for young mother Jeanne Grégoire on the helm could enjoy such a fine result. « I've often been on podiums. A little bit more succes, it doesn't do no harm ! For us, these still are points to be taken in on the other competitors.But it doesn't make us forge tour 22nds leg the day before yesterday. » « It was a first physical leg, and we are quite tired » reckons Vincent Biarnès. « It's a real pleasure after our disappointing performance n a windward-leeward race in Brest. We were willing to make up for it! » That's a successful mission for the two men, who have known each other since their sailing debuts on Optimists.
Second in Piriac-sur-mer, Fabien Delahaye and Paul Meilhat are the discoveries for this Tour de Bretagne since they increase their leading position in the scoring of crews sailing this race for the very first time. « It was really worth the hassle! This leg was for tough guys. The attack was permanent. » Fabien Delahaye reckons : « We didn't take the time for sleeping or even eating. We took over each other on the helm and deck. We‘ve found our rythm for never exhausting ourselves. » Both young men have found the best compromise for shining on a leg that was made very demanding by the North-easterly wind that stroke Southern Britanny over the last 24 hours. At the end of the day, they finish ahead from performers, among which both leaders from the overall ranking, who struggle with each other on a tough battle.
Seventh in Loire-Atlantique, the crew from Bbox Bouygues Telecom were a bit bitter that they ended three seats behind Luisina. Eric Drouglazet and Laurent Pellecuer haven't given Fred Duthil and François Lebourdais any slack. « We couldn't do what we actually wanted. Our broadband potential was blocked by concurring wavelenghts », François Lebourdais would comment, with some good humour, during the breakfast offered by the members of the Piriac-sur-mer sailing club. The blue guys are now 15 points down from pink and black, prior to the last race that will lead the crews to La Trinité-Sur-Mer on Saturday morning.
« Since we had no more competitors around us, we kept quietly between Bbox and the following course » strengthens Laurent Pellecuer. « Good fortune made it so as to give us the opportunity of controlling him, and even earn a couple more positions. Two boats interposed themselves between us and our pretender. It's a great operation. A completely failed race is no more to be spoken of, and I fell like i twill never come up. » The deal seems indeed to be closed by the man from Montpellier and Eric Drouglazet.
The start for the ultimate leg will be given by 10AM on Saturday morning for a last 37 miles quick run toward Quiberon Bay. Shall the strong North-easterly wind keep up, the first boats will be expected by 2PM in La Trinité-sur-mer.
This last leg, 7th of the 7th issue of the Tour de Bretagne, will also be the one that will decide between podium pretenders. Right behind Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Thomas Rouxel and Sébastien Josse (Défi Mousquetaires) hold the best position, (9 points down from the second seat), right in front of Nicolas Lunven and Jean Le Cam (CGPI), and then Ronan Treussart and Thibault Vauchel (Renault Arcadie). « it's pretty tight indeed » reckons Sébastien Josse. « The podium will be gambled on tomorrow's last leg. » « There are still things to be done » supplements Nicolas Lunven. And for doing that, thewill have less than 40 miles.
Pour en savoir plus