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Pro Sailing Tour fleet in Toulon ahead of the Final Rush offshore race

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© Jacques Vapillon/Pro Sailing Tour
© Jacques Vapillon/Pro Sailing Tour

The French town of Toulon is hosting six Ocean Fifty yachts who will compete for the final round of the Pro Sailing Tour, a 1600-mile sprint between the French Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts that will decide the championship. The ocean trimarans will compete today 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.

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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. The organisers of the Pro Sailing Tour have designed an intense programme of activities for the first visit of the ocean trimarans to the Mediterranean. The weekend will combine a both inshore and coastal racing, the boats on public display in the harbour, and the start of the long distance offshore race, the Final Rush, that will link Toulon with Brest. 

Friday: Beachfront spectacle

Today three races are scheduled to take place, allowing the local public to witness the performance of these spectacular multihulls. As in the previous three episodes, the 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 (3) 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.

Quotes of the day:
Laurent Bonnet, deputy sports deputy for the city of Toulon:
"We are very honoured to have been chosen by the Ocean Fifty to host an episode of the Pro Sailing Tour. This event is linked to the maritime history of our region and it is important that the sport lives on despite the situation. Tomorrow, the trimarans will put on a magnificent show for the people of Toulouse who will be on the Mourillon beach between 11.30am and 2pm.”

Thibaut Vauchel-Camus, skipper of Solidaires En Peloton - ARSEP and Vice-President of the Ocean Fifty class:
It's fantastic to be received in Toulon under these conditions, with the city giving us the best-possible welcome. We can already see the positive impact on the public, who are surprised and delighted to see these boats here for the first time. We are going to enjoy exceptional conditions on the day of the race, in terms of both weather and the support of the French Navy. The coefficient (3) given to this final race is a bit like our own Medal Race, where everything is up for grabs.”

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