The French town of Toulon is hosting six Ocean Fifty yachts that will compete for the final round of the Pro Sailing Tour, a 1600-mile sprint between the French Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts which will decide the championship.
Today the ocean trimarans will compete in a series of exhibition races off the local beach before heading to Brest this Sunday, 1 August, to decide the title in the Final Rush, the last race of the season.
The Ocean Fifty fleet will take their position at the Vieille Darse in Toulon, in the heart of the economic capital Var, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.
Organisers of the Pro Sailing Tour have designed an intense program of activities for the first visit of the ocean trimarans to the Mediterranean. The weekend will combine both inshore and coastal racing and the boats will be on public display in the harbour. It is where the start of the long-distance offshore race, the Final Rush, that will link Toulon with Brest.
Friday: Beachfront spectacle
Today local time three races are scheduled to take place, allowing the public to witness the performance of these spectacular multihulls.
As in the previous three episodes, crews will take a selection of guests on board to enjoy the Ocean Fifty excitement first-hand, as they race off the popular Mourillon beach, where the public will be able to watch them perform in two short races from 11.30am to 2pm. The third race of the day will be a 22-mile coastal race on the Grande Rade.
Saturday: Open day
On Saturday, the fleet will remain in port for the public to view the boats whilst the teams finalise preparations for Sunday’s start. Around 150 children from Toulon will have the unique opportunity to visit the Ocean Fifty and chat with the crews.
Sunday: Start of the Final Rush offshore race
The Final Rush race will take place on Sunday, 1 August at 15:00. This will mark the start of a 1600 nautical mile course linking the French Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts and will decide the 2021 Pro Sailing Tour champion.
Sam Goodchild’s Leyton takes a strong lead after winning the races in Brest, La Rochelle and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
However, with a coefficient (three) given to this race, there are two contenders stalking the leader in the provisional rankings: Quentin Vlamynck’s Arkema 4 (-4 points) and Erwan Le Roux’s Ciela Village (-7). Gilles Lamiré’s Groupe GCA 1001 Sourires will not be taking part in the final round of the Pro Sailing Tour after suffering damage to its rig.
Provisional overall standings Pro Sailing Tour after three stages:
- Leyton (Sam Goodchild) 7+7+8 = 22 pts
- Arkema 4 (Quentin Vlamynck) 6+5+7 = 18 pts
- Ciela Village (Erwan Le Roux) 5+4+6 = 15 pts
- Primonial (Sébastien Rogues) 2+6+4 = 12 pts
- Solidaires En Peloton ARSEP (Thibaut VauchelCamus) 3+3+5 = 11 pts
- Groupe GCA 1001 sourires (Gilles Lamiré) 4+2+2 = 8 pts
- The Arch (Armel Tripon/ Benoît Marie), 0+0+3 = 3 pts