This year, 30 crews are coming to challenge themselves in a rather particular Tour Voile format, alternating between coastal racing and nautical stadium, which will determine the most complete sailor. This year’s field features an exceptional group of skippers ready to push their limits. All want to win this adrenaline-filled 17-day marathon of unrelenting confrontations. But this marathon will be more like a Sprint over the 15-days of scheduled competition. One will have to demonstrate both physical and mental toughness to stay in contention.
The Tour Voile will this year feature world-class skippers like Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) Vendée Globe skipper and holder of the Jules Verne Trophy with Francis Joyon, New Zealand’s Jason Saunders (Beijaflore), a two-time Olympic Games participant, Thierry Douillard (Oman Sail) who has previously competed in the America’s Cup and world 49 champion, Stevie Morrison (Oman Sail). These sailors who have enjoyed success on the international sailing scene will take on some seasoned amateurs (6 Teams are entered in the Amateur class and the elite of the new generation (11 Teams in the Junior Classification by Finigaz). In each Act, an outstanding sporting performance will receive the Finigaz Combativeness Price, for which Michel Desjoyeaux, is serving as the ambassador for the third consecutive year.
Nine nationalities will be represented with: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Oman, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, England and New Zealand Two crews will fly the European flag: the Batistyl-Habitat and Pink Lady-Pays de l’Or-Hérault teams, whose crews are French, German and Italian.
There will also be two all-female Teams: Helvetia Purple by Normandy Elite Team led by
Pauline Courtois and La Boulangère co-skippered by Sophie de Turckheim and Mathilde Géron, both of whom come from the Olympic style racing. And the youngest skipper in the Tour Voile, Basile Bourgnon, who is coming to make a name for himself in his first major race.
All the sailors, coming from the different sailing backgrounds, have the daring to leave their comfort zone, are taking a risk and challenging their peers in the mixed Tour Voile format in which, by nature, the various aspects are very difficult to control.
THE SUPER FINAL, THE MAIN EVENT
Year after year, the battles are fierce and the suspense is non-stop, just until the very last minutes. Since 2015 and the revolution of the competition format, the podium has never been decided until the Super Finale, the last race of the Tour Voile, where double points are awarded. This year, the closing confrontation of the 2018 Tour Voile will be held on Sunday July 22 in Nice, and there will be guaranteed tension and emotions!
SHARING WITH THE PUBLIC
The Tour Voile Base, with an all-new and ambitious mobile set-up, will take the spectator into the centre of the action. The spectator Zone will offer a breath-taking view of the races, commentated live with music all day long. The partners will offer free of charge activities with, as always, tens of thousands of gifts for the visitors, and most notably the Prono’Tour that will give away water-proof CROSSCALL smartphones every day. Before and after the races the public will be able to greet the Teams in the Paddock during the launch and release of the boats, which will be commented live. Sailing enthusiasts will have the chance to take a close look at the boats, meet with the preparers, ask questions to the crews or congratulate the winners of the day. The Tour Voile fans will dive into the centre of the action and the emotions it procures. See you in a month in Dunkirk for the start of the 2018 Tour Voile!
Jean-Baptiste Durier, Tour Voile Director:
“Like every year, the Tour Voile will be a must attend event for the sailing family with competitors representing all types of sailing from off-shore races, to Olympic format, match races, America’s Cup, etc. This large and diverse field is the DNA of this special race. Young chargers with big ambitions and seasoned amateurs come each year to compete against some of the world’s best skippers. All have the audaciousness to leave their comfort zone, and dare to take on the Tour Voile’s mixed and unique format, which, by nature is very difficult to control.”
Valentin Bellet, Beijaflore skipper and pre-season leader:
“We have chosen to return this year with our fantastic crew from last year with helmsman Guillaume Pirouelle navigator and one of the best routers, Julien Villion and our tactician Valentin Sipan. We hope to attack the 2018 Tour Voile in the best possible manner. We made a good start to the season this year but we are never safe from having a sub-par race. It is going to be a hell of a fight this summer!”