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

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

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


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.