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Tour de France - Marseille’s Mistral blasts coast

Wednesday's Coastal Race for Act 8 of the 40th Tour de France a la Voile was cancelled due to the Marseille Mistral, barrelling along the coast at up to 50 knots.

This is the first time since the event got underway in Dunkirk on 7 July that the 29 teams have been kept ashore.

After a transfer day and some rest, crews were anxious to get back on the water for a chance to gain precious points before Saturday’s Super Final of the Tour de la France a Voile.

Although racing had already been pushed back to the afternoon, with a forecast of 23 – 26 knots with gusts of over 30, it was no surprise when the Race Committee announced at the morning briefing that it would be cancelling the scheduled Coastal Raid in the face of such heavy conditions.

Happily, the forecast for Thursday looks almost perfect for the Nautical Stadium races rostered.

The Mistral should drop off to around 15 – 20 knots in the morning, swinging left a little and settling at 10-15 knots in the afternoon.

The top of the leaderboard is tightly packed, just 20 points separate the first four boats:

Fondation FDJ – Des Mains et Des Pieds (1st), Team SFS (2nd), Tresors de Tahiti (3rd), Team Oman Sail (4th), while Team Lorina Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan and Beijaflore Sailing are just a further four points behind.

These teams will now be feeling extra pressure as only two race days remain before Saturday’s Super Final in Nice where the top eight teams of the overall classification will gain instant access to the decisive final race.

Qualifiers in the Act 8 Nautical Stadium phase are scheduled to kick off at 11.15 hrs, Thursday 27 July in Marseille.

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