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Another Agonising Finish in Sight for Tom Dolan

7th August 2017
Tom Dolan in Aviles, coming to terms with missing the podium by one second Tom Dolan in Aviles, coming to terms with missing the podium by one second

With just 19 miles to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne tonight, Ireland’s solo sailor Tom Dolan is currently leading the Mini 650 Class in Stage 2 of the Transgascogne 2017 from Aviles in northwest Spain writes W M Nixon. But his position is being rapidly eroded by a new nor’west breeze which has spread in to favour Erwan le Draoulec and Clarissa Cremer, who are well to the north of the rhumb line.

By the time harbour is reached, it is likely that Dolan’s biggest challenge will be to keep himself in third place, and thus finish third overall with a podium place when the times for the two legs are totalled. Cremer is carrying an advantage of two hours, and Le Draoulac of one hour, as a result of the extremely flukey finish of the outward leg, when Dolan missed third place by just one second.

All three leading boats are laying the line, but Cremer and Le Draoulec are sailing freer and faster, and everything points to them being in the lead at the finish. Thus unless there’s a total reversal of fortune, Dolan’s main objective is rapidly becoming that of staying ahead of Pierre Chedeville (currently 1.5 miles directly astern of him), and Germain Kerlevo, who holds a windward berth but is recorded as three miles further from the finish.

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