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Sports

Spindrift wins Roscoff coastal race in yachting Tour de France

media The Brittany town of Roscoff seen from the Ile de Batz Pr~commonswiki

After three hours and 30 minutes of racing, Diam 24 scored its first victory in Saturday’s 35-nautical-mile-long coastal race in Roscoff, in the first day of act four of the yatching Tour de France. The competition will end on the 26 July in the Côte d'Azur city of Nice.

Diam 24’s François Morvan, Thierry Douillard and Frédéric Moreau led the fleet for most of the course, racing neck and neck with Groupama in the last few miles. Grandeur Nature took the third place.

The north coast of Brittany, where act four of the competition was set, is famous for its tricky navigation - mostly because of its countless rocks. The sailors on board Diam 24 managed to stay away from the shore, hence avoiding rocky encounters that would have damaged their boat.

"We’ve been waiting for this victory!" said helmsman François Morvan. "We are only one third of the event, so we still have the time to try and reach the podium and threaten Groupama! We were relieved to see the finish line as Groupama was right behind us. We had less speed upwind, but we managed to hold on to our position thanks to our stategy and team work. I was my first day at the helm of Spindrift so I didn’t have the time to take my marks. Thierry Douillard, our tactician, never stopped keeping an eye on the rocks."

Spindrift, Groupama and Grandeur Nature took the lead and broke away from the rest of the fleet.

Frédéric Duthil, skipper of Grandeur Nature, said he was very happy with their performance.

"We were in the top three boats but after going out of the channel of Batz island, we had a little problem with one of our rudders and we lost touch with Groupama and Spindrift," he commented. "But we fixed it and finished the race no problem. It’s a great result. A third place on a coastal race is worth a lot. We have good speed and good team work with Pierre-Yves and Tim."

Overall, Groupama keeps its leadership. CombiWest is still second but has lost its point advantage over Grandeur Nature.

The second part of act four kicked off around noon on Sunday.

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