Charter a Boat for the Tour de France à La Voile

Every year since 1978 one of the longest and toughest sailing events in the world has taken place as most of France basks on the beach. The Tour de France à la voile is unique, a multi-stage race, inspired by the famous cycle race round the coats of France. Conditions vary enormously, from the tides and currents of the North Sea and the Channel, the rocks and islands of the Breton coast, and finally the infuriatingly fickle winds, from the lightest of zephyrs to a full blown Mistral, of the Mediterranean. Mixing long passage races with a series of inshore races at each port of call, the three week log event is a unique test. The winning teams are not only technically accomplished sailors, they have maintained their fitness despite a gruelling schedule, and have overcome a significant logistical challenge to move the support team round the coast to welcome the sailing team as they enter harbour.

For Irish sailors, this is the equivalent of sailing Dun Laoghaire Week, Cork Week, the Sovereign Cup and the ICRAs without a pause, with the intense racing interspersed by long, often overnight, passage races. The Tour de France à la Voile is a serious challenge. To make it even harder the race has always been sailed in a one design fleet, with all boats being strictly identical

In 2014, the race is once more opening up to Corinthian crews. Whilst the professionals will race in the M34s, the students and the yachtsmen will sail in the more user-friendly Grand Surprise. This initiative is backed up by a unique opportunity to charter a race ready boat (including sails) for the whole event. The charter company will provide support for the boats, with a technician and a stock of spare parts travelling with the fleet.

The event rules impose a minimum number of crew to sail on each boat during the event. With 6 on board and a minimum of 10 to sail in the event, managing the changeovers can be a delicate exercise.

The cost of chartering a boat is €23,450 for a month. This is an opportunity for an Irish team to participate in this exciting event.

2014 Tour de France Grand Surprise turnkey package


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