Omani teams EFG Private Bank Monaco and Renaissance Services take double honours. Beijaflore holds fast at top of the General Classification.

July 17 th 2019 - 19:45

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. Oman scored a double today with their two professional teams taking the first two spots on the podium. EFG Private Bank Monaco, skippered by Pierre Pennec, claimed their first victory of the Tour while Renaissance Services skippered by Stevie Morrison took the first runner up spot. The locals from Pink Lady – Pays de l’Or Sud de France managed to claim third place despite a run in with Cheminées Poujoulat at a mark rounding which led to Cheminées being disqualified from the Final.

The Final started with yesterday’s winners Golfe du Morbihan Breizh Cola blasting off the starting line, however they were caught soon enough at the second windward mark by Stevie Morisson’s Renaissance Services - who for a while looked very close to taking their total of Nautical Stadium Final wins to four. They in turn were forced to cede their lead, however, as fellow Sailing Oman team EFG Private Bank Monaco barrelled past them at the final windward mark.

“Since the start we’ve progressed well, improving maneuvers and calls on board. We sailed well today and we got a good result. Hussain is making great progress and I’m really proud of him as it’s his first French Tour. Of course I’m really happy that Renaissance came second as well. We have four teams from Oman, professional, amateur and an all-female team. These results are good for all the members of the team, on the water, and on the ground.” declared Pennec after today’s win.

“We had a nice lead and the wind turned to the right when it had been good to the left. We stayed with the guy who was in second and the guy who was in third overtook us, that’s the game.” Commented double Olympian Morrison on the race.

When asked about his team’s consistently good performances in the Nautical Stadium Finals he explained it might be a question of attitude: “The guys are very good at keeping calm in the finals, we don’t change what we do – there’s no magic trick. Rather than us being good it’s maybe a question of the other guys making mistakes because there’s more pressure on with it being the final. We don’t really go with the mindset of trying to win the race, we want to be in the first three or four and if we can do that consistently we’re happy. We’ve got three firsts and two second places out of five finals but perhaps the bigger problem is that we’ve only been in five out of seven finals.”

The overall leader team Beijaflore finished sixth today but given that none of the top three boats put in particularly brilliant performances, not much has changed at that end of the leaderboard. Beijaflore is still followed by Cheminées Poujoulat in second and Reseau Ixio – Toulon Provence Mediteranee in third, with 21 points separating the dominant trio.

Following them are Golfe du Morbihan Breizh Cola and Renaissance Services in fourth and fifth place respectively, with just 2 points between them.

The Tour Voile takes to the road once again this evening and the teams will be back on the water for the final Coastal Raid off Hyères, home to the French Olympic Sailing Week, tomorrow.

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