With Bonifacio and Brest in the rearview mirror, offshore racing’s most captivating new competition, the Pro Sailing Tour, reaches the halfway point of the intense two-month circuit that spans venues in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and English Channel.
The seven foiling Ocean Fifty trimarans will descend on Saint-Quay-Portrieux, Saint-Brieuc, Brittany in the coming days ahead of Episode 3 of the Pro Sailing Tour which kicks-off on Friday with the first of two days of inshore racing. On Sunday at 1900, the fleet will set off on the offshore challenge that will take them from Bay of Saint-Brieuc to Cowes in the UK for the first time.
Having just completed Episode 2 in Brest over the weekend, the teams are locked in an intense battle for the podium spots. Currently holding the lead in the preliminary rankings by just 1 point British skipper Sam Goodchild onboard Leyton is the 2021 defending champion, but a trio of his French rivals are hot on his heels with Quentin Vlamynck on Arkema and Sébastien Rogues onboard Primonial leading the charge, followed by Erwan Le Roux (FRA) on Koesio, just a point off the podium.
The self-declared ‘rookie’ of the fleet Eric Peron, on Komilfo has made huge progress since the Corsica episode and is on equal points with Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires En Peloton-ARSEP in fifth and sixth place, while Gilles Lamiré (FRA) on Groupe GCA-1001 Sourires is less likely to cause an upset at this stage… But ‘anything can happen’ is the buzz phrase on the Pro Sailing Tour and with only five points separating fourth from first, the competition is still wide open.
“I’m looking forward to racing on the Bay of Saint-Brieuc again,” said Sam Goodchild.
“I remember during the Solitaire du Figaro going very close to the coast to play with the currents. There’s going to be some sport because in this sailing area, there are many parameters to take into account, which is what makes it so exciting as a competitor!”
Most of the Pro Sailing Tour crews will be very familiar with this area of the Channel and with plenty of navigational challenges, currents and tides to consider, the competition promises to be epic.
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Friday 1 July: 10:00 start of the inshore regattas
Saturday 2 July: 10:00 start of the inshore regattas
Sunday 3 July: 19:00 start of the Offshore Challenge to Cowes
Solidaires En Peloton-ARSEP | Thibaut Vauchel-Camus [FRA]
Groupe GCA-1001 Sourires | Gilles Lamiré [FRA]
Primonial | Sébastien Rogues [FRA]
Leyton | Sam Goodchild [GBR]
Arkema | Quentin Vlamynck [FRA]
Koesio | Erwan Le Roux [FRA]
Komilfo | Éric Péron [FRA]
About the Pro Sailing Tour
In 2022, seven foiling multihulls will line up for the Pro Sailing Tour season 2 that takes the multinational fleet from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and finishes in the English Channel. The teams are led by some of the best offshore sailors in the sport: Sam Goodchild, Giles Lamiré, Sébastien Rogues, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus, Erwan Le Roux, Quentin Vlamynck and Eric Peron. The competition consists of a mix of inshore and offshore races constituting an Episode – there are four Episodes – and one long final offshore race, the ‘Final Rush’ from Cowes to Roscoff.
The Ocean Fifty (formerly the Multi 50 class) foiling trimarans are as long as they are wide (15.24m x 15m respectively), as agile as they are spectacular and can reach speeds of up to 42 knots (77km/h).
The Pro Sailing Tour for the Ocean Fifty trimarans was launched in 2021 and is the culmination of a determined development process by the teams and stakeholders that began in 2015 when the Class was professionalised and continued in 2017 with the addition of foils. Today, the Tour is going from strength to strength with the objective of making the Pro Sailing Tour a lasting part of the French and international ocean racing landscape.
The inaugural Pro Sailing Tour in 2021, raced by seven teams, lived up to all expectations. The high intensity inshore races and offshore battles were watched by 25,000 spectators, and the historic first season was won by Leyton, skippered by Sam Goodchild (GBR), with four victories, including the final from Toulon to Brest in August.