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Tour de France à la Voile - Team SFS set the pace

French 470 Olympian Sofian Bouvet and the Team SFS crew laid down a clear marker to the 28 other Tour de France à la Voile teams.

Despite this being their first ever attempt as a team at the annual three week, nine venue Tour, they completed the perfect Dunkirk Double Sunday.

After winning Friday’s 16 nautical mile coastal race in light breezes Bouvet and his team of Olympic class sailors complemented by two experienced Tour hands, added maximum points for triumphing in today’s first eight boat Super Final.

Winning Sunday’s Final in perfect, 10-11kts wind conditions as warm sunshine – more akin to their native Antibes YC than the very north east corner of France - bathed the Plage de Malo arena, Bouvet and crew of Achille Nebout and Gauthier Germain, qualified second in the Yellow fleet, one point behind Fondation FDJ Des Pieds et Des Mains (Damien Seguin and Damien Iehl).

In the Final they started strongly but read the strong current and the breeze better on the first longer beat, to overhaul early leaders Fondation FDJ Des Pieds et Des Mains and Trésors de Tahiti, (Teva Plichart).

On a thrilling final run they were crossed by Fondation FDJ but when they came back on the right of way starboard gybe they were ahead and able to hold on to complete their dream start.

On the overall Tour Voile Yanmar standings Team SFS head to Stage 2, Monday in Fécamp by Le Havre, leading with a perfect score of 100 pts, 50 from each of the two disciplines sailed so far, four points ahead of Fondation FDJ Des Pieds et Des Mains and Trésors de Tahiti in third.

Ville de Geneve (Victor Casas/Guillaume Girod) lead the Finagaz Youth team standings and Homkia-Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomeration (Emeric Dary) top the standings for the Amateurs rankings.

For Stevie Morrison, Thierry Douillard and the Oman Sail crew, the chance to complement their Coastal Race fifth place with another top result eluded them as a result of an unexpected penalty on the last leg of their first race.

Followed by a BFD in the second race – an unfortunate result of a miscommunication of the final countdown. But Oman Sail go forward to Fécamp in sixth place overall.

The record 29 team entry for the Tour Voile means bigger and more competitive qualifying heats, placing even more pressure on the start line, especially the need to win the favoured spot on the line, going fast with the optimum route to the first buoy.

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