Pro Sailing Tour’s testing second leg sets scene for dramatic ‘Final Rush’

A shortened course, racers just a minute apart, and a second victory for Erwan Le Roux and Keosio — the challenging second stage of the Pro Sailing Tour has set the scene for Sunday’s dramatic finale.

The five Ocean Fifty foiling trimarans had been launched from their stopover in Bonifacio in Corsica, on a planned 235-mile course to Alghero in the northwest of Sardinia.

However, with a steadily weakening breeze race directors shortened the course, with the trimarans covering only 176 miles of the leg.

After 18 hours and 43 minutes of racing the purple-hulled Koesio took the win, making it two in a row for one of the pre-race French favourites Erwan Le Roux and his crew of Audrey Ogereau and Devan Le Bihan.

Only half an hour behind Le Roux two of the Pro Sailing Tour newcomers — Pierre Quiroga on Viabilis Océans and Luke Berry’s Le Rire Médecin-Lamotte — were locked in a duel, with the Franco-British racer Berry taking second place by just a minute.

They were followed home by Thibaut Vauchel-Camus racing Solidaires En Peloton – ARSEP and Christopher Pratt’s Wind of Trust.

“Our smile says it all!” said Le Roux. “We are super happy, we sailed well and we’re not too tired. We were expecting a difficult end to the stage so we were prepared. We followed our initial strategy which was to take advantage of every wind opportunity. The shift we took offshore after leaving Bonifacio enabled us to catch up with the others who had gone inshore. After that everything went flawlessly.”

“As for the crew, Audrey is steering superbly well and our manoeuvring is going really well,” added Le Roux, twice a winner of the Route du Rhum.

His double win puts him clear ahead at the top of the leaderboard with 18 points, four ahead of Viabilis Océans (14), followed by Solidaires En Peloton – ARSEP (11), Le Rire Médecin-Lamotte (9) and Wind of Trust (8).

The ‘Final Rush’ to the finish in Brest will start from Alghero at 11am on Sunday, May 21, with the fleet setting off on a 1,800 mile race through the western Mediterranean and the Gibraltar Straits, and then north around Cape Saint Vincent and across the Bay of Biscay.

THE TEAMS

Koesio (Erwan Le Roux)
Architect: VPLP, constructeur : Persico (Italie)
Boat launched: Octobrer 2020

Solidaires en Peloton – ARSEP (Thibault Vauchel-Camus)
Architect: VPLP, constructeur : Enata (Dubaï)
Boat launched: January 2018

Viabilis Océans (Pierre Quiroga)
Architect: VPLP, constructeur : CDK
Boat launched: September 2017
Previously: Leyton (Sam Goodchild), Ciela Village (Thierry Bouchard)

Wind of Trust (Christopher Pratt)
Architect: VPLP, constructeur : CDK
Boat launched: 2009
Previously: Groupe GCA-1001 Sourires (Gilles Lamiré), FenêtréA Mix Buffet (Erwan Le Roux), FenêtréA Cardinal (Erwan Le Roux), Crêpes Whaou 3 (Franck-Yves Escoffier)

Le Rire Médecin – Lamotte Immobilier (Luke Berry)
Architect: Guillaume Verdier, constructeur : JPS Chantier Larros
Boat launched: 2009
Previously: Primonial (Sébastien Rogues), Réauté Chocolat (Armel Tripon), Actual (Yves Le Blevec).

PROGRAMME
12 May La Seyne Sur Mer, France – Bonifacio, Corsica
14 May: ETA Bonifacio, Corsica
17 May: Bonifacio (Corsica) – Alghero, Sardinia (including a around Corsica)
18 May: ETA Alghero
21 May: Start of the Final Rush – Alghero to Brest
27 May: ETA Brest

©️Vincent Olivaud / Ocean Fifty / Pro Sailing Tour 2023
©️Vincent Olivaud / Ocean Fifty / Pro Sailing Tour 2023

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.

For further information: www.prosailingtour.com

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