Jean-Baptiste Durier talks about the essentials of the 2019 edition

May 14 th 2019 - 10:40

What makes the Tour Voile a race like no other?

The Tour Voile is a major event that brings the diverse world of sailing together every summer for a 17-day marathon of adrenaline and confrontation without quarter. It puts seasoned amateurs, rising stars and established champions to the test on equal terms. These sailors come from offshore or inshore racing, but whatever their origins, all these men and women are eager to take on a challenge, leave their comfort zone and turn their lives upside down to compete with their peers in a format like no other.
In the Tour Voile, every race matters, there is no room for error and the pace is hectic. This makes it a race like no other, and it this level of commitment that makes it so appealing to crews and fans.

What are the major changes for the 2019 edition?

We wanted to emphasise the involvement of the regions. Its regional attachments are what made the Tour Voile a success when it began in 1978. We also wanted to bring back the idea of good-natured rivalries between territories: Dunkirk and Vannes, Charente-Maritime and Vendée…
Starting this summer, teams will have to bear the names of their towns or regions on their masts. It is now easier for everyone to feel a connection with a team and decide to support it!
We are also introducing a Mixed Classification for teams who field at least one female crew member every day. We want to do more to promote mixed crews in the Tour Voile. As with the U26 Classification last year, we hope that this classification and the extra coverage that comes with it will encourage a significant number of teams to field female crew members as early as this summer.

How will people on dry land experience the event?

We want to continue bringing the Tour Voile closer to the public. The battle raging on in the water is commented live for fans. Crews are often approachable and eager to explain things and converse with fans about their love for sailing. La Base du tour Voile is specifically conceived to promote greater contact between competitors and fans, including the Paddock where teams start and finish the races. The podium ceremonies at the end of each race day, where fans can acclaim the teams that lit up the races, are another example. These ceremonies are really fun and almost always take place on the beach, close to the public.
We have created a Spectator Zone to bring fans right into the heart of the event. The Pass K’do, as we call it, also gives people the chance to take home a bunch of prizes, including a smartphone every day. Our partners also run activities on dry land for both children (Le Journal de Mickey activities, face painting, knot tying workshops…) and grown-ups (Harken winch column, ocean conservation awareness…).
Each Act of the Tour Voile is a great celebration both on land and at sea!

The Tour Voile spans several disciplines with its mix of coastal raid and nautical stadium courses. It is designed to make it difficult for competitors to master its various aspects. The Tour Voile crowns the most well-rounded sailors.

Jean-Baptiste Durier
Director of the Tour Voile

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