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28 July 2003, 05:18 pm
Southampton Institute-Alpha Laval Snatch First Win
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2003 Tour Voile

Today was a typical Mediterranean summer day with most fickle winds. In these puffy conditions, Southampton Institute-Alpha Laval, skippered by Yoann Richomme managed to snatch their first victory in this Tour de France à la Voile 2003.
The international student team surprisingly came home in first in today's only inshore race sailed off Antibes-Juan Les Pins/Alpes Maritimes. Italy's Joe Fly Sailing Team came home in second ahead of local boat Ville d'Antibes NEC. The latter is now closer overall to Région Ile de France, which finished in 13th. Capsport finished in 5th and therefore strengthened her overall lead. The Aussies of Southern Sun Team Australie nearly snatched their first victory as they were leading at the top mark, but they crossed the finish line in 8th. The race committee eventually called off the second race after two general recalls as the wind had died.

Once again, the crews were too eager to start and forced the race committee to a general recall. As the gun fired for the second time, three boats (Côtes d'Armor, Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention and amateur boat Tepacap) had an individual recall. In the first beat, it paid for those who had chosen to go to the right hand-side. Aussie boat Southern Sun Team Australie, helmed by Melbourne's Kirwan Robb rounded the top mark in first, followed by international student team of Southampton Institute-Alpha Laval, skippered by Yoann Rochomme. The latter managed to get into the lead in the first run. The Aussies, who were second at the first leeward mark, lost another spot in the second beat as the Italians onboard Joe Fly Sailing Team managed to passé them and squeeze in second position.

After that, the international student team sailed away and kept increasing their lead until the finish. "We had a bad start but got some good puffs and managed to round the top mark in second. Then in the first run, we went a different way from the others. It allowed us to get in the front and to control the fleet", explained Yoann Richomme, the skipper of Southampton Institute Alpha-Laval. "We're really happy as we keep on improving. It's promising for next year. With an average age of 20, we're one of the youngest team of this Tour de France à la Voile. We have no professional onboard and have to learn by ourselves".

Where the Italians of Joey Fly Sailing Team managed to hold onto second position, Melbourne's team dropped back to 8th towards the finish. "Downwind, we got stuck in the whole and the fleet came down and ran over us. And that was it. History. It's pretty hard racing that way", explained Kirwan Robb, skipper of Southern Sun Team Australie.

Italian skipper Federico Michetti is very happy with his crew job in today's puffy conditions. "It was a great regatta, very difficult as the wind was very shifty. Morgan (Larson) and Flavio (Favini) did a great job", insisted the Italian skipper. American tactician Morgan Larson added: "Luca Santella did a fantastic job at the start. We got away clean, which was nice and we just kept conservative and tried to do al the right things. It worked out pretty well for us. It was definitely puffy. I think the teams that try to have everything are the teams who lost a lot in certain areas. As a team, we try to do the small things right and position ourselves the best we could".

The overall leader Capsport, skippered by Marseille's Dimitri DERUELLE, finished in 5th and therefore strengthened their overall lead as Jimmy Pahun onboard Région Ile de France came home in 13. The latter are now 35,25 points behind the leader. However, Brittany's skipper and his Parisian team could still win this regatta. But they could also finish in third as they're threatened by Julien Farnarier's Ville d'Antibes NEC. The local boat came home in third today and therefore has closed the game up with Région Ile de France.

F~ull results and current standings are available on the event website at the address below.
Isabelle Musy (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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