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Displaying items by tag: Figaro 3

Almost exactly a year after we set off on the Around Ireland World Record blast with the Figaro 3 RL Sailing from Dun Laoghaire last year reports Pamela Lee of Greystones, I joined forces again with Cat Hunt to undertake a key campaign project with her newly-acquired Figaro 3. Our objective this year was very different from the Round Ireland Circuit, but we kicked off the reunion with a nice blustery, blistery, bouncy ride out from the Solent over to France.

I had travelled out to the UK to assist Cat in bringing her newly commissioned Figaro 3 Racing By Gardens to France for the Figaro 3 Championship in the Spi Ouest Regatta at La Trinite sur Mer, ahead of her training for her 2022 La Solitaire du Figaro campaign. We skipped across the channel in 30+ knots and then hopped our way down the Brittany coast from Roscoff and Lorient to La Trinité sur Mer, taking cover from the series of powerful fronts passing over at the time. It was a timely opportunity to reminisce on the fantastic achievement of last year, which was supported by so many of the Irish sailing community to whom we’ll always be grateful, and to reflect on how much we have both learned and progressed as sailors in a year.

The summer lasts longer in the inner reaches of the Bay of Biscay The summer lasts longer in the inner reaches of the Bay of Biscay

This year our project again linked up with The Magenta Project in an effort to encourage and facilitate greater female participation in the sport, but it took on quite a different format, competing in the French Figaro Nationals as part of the Spi Ouest- France Regatta. 

The regatta had well over three hundred boats racing on the water each day, across twenty-five different fleets.

The Nationals - as part of the event - avoided the usual Figaro, offshore, shorthanded racing style, and instead it was four crew to a boat, with a series of windward-leeward inshore races. Certainly it was a different skill set from the usual, but the format provided plenty of opportunity to practice manoeuvres and close-quarter tactics, as well as giving the Class the opportunity to introduce new sailors in a welcoming and fun manner.

This was something that we took on whole-heartedly, and invited two non-Figaro sailors from the Magenta Project to join the Racing by Gardens team for the event. Our additional crew members were Portuguese/American sailor Leah Sweet, and Spanish Sailor Aina Bauza.

Tough Learning curve…..it was the first opportunity to compete boat-for-boat with a fleet of Figaro 3s, but the pace was ferocious with more than a dozen superstars racing.Tough Learning curve…..it was the first opportunity to compete boat-for-boat with a fleet of Figaro 3s, but the pace was ferocious with more than a dozen superstars racing.

They’re both well-accomplished sailors in their own right, with Leah in the thick of the TP52 circuit and Aina a previous Laser Olympic campaigner and now Mini 6.50 sailor. It was all given an extra edge through being the first time that Cat would be lining up with her new Figaro 3 in a Class fleet, having spent the summer racing and training in the Solent in IRC double-handed classes with boats of other types.

The all-up weight of Racing by Gardens’ crew was less than half that of some of the leading boatsThe all-up weight of Racing by Gardens’ crew was less than half that of some of the leading boats

A number of factors such as those dominated the outcome, including the remarkably high-level of top sailors packed into the rest of the Figaro fleet, sometimes with four super-stars in one boat including the likes of Armel L’Cleach (4 time Solitaire champion and Vendee Globe winner), Pierre Leboucher, Clarisse Cremer, Alan Roberts……well, the list just goes on and on.

It meant racing was challenging and unforgiving in every way. That said, our newly formed team worked hard together, pushed through all the tough patches, pulled off some great starts (blocking out Armel himself in one – a high point), started to improve boat speed day on day, and most of all, we had a whole lot of fun!

Racing a Figaro 3 is always a battle to transform the foil from a hindrance into an advantage……..Racing a Figaro 3 is always a battle to transform the foil from a hindrance into an advantage……..……and sometimes it seems to be working better than others……and sometimes it seems to be working better than others

Our manoeuvres were on point, particularly considering we had only half the combined bodyweight of the majority of the fleet, and we learnt a lot about getting a newly commissioned Figaro closer in line with a long-standing and highly-tuned fleet of boats. Unfortunately, we didn’t pull off any amazing results, but as usual, every opportunity to sail is an opportunity to learn – I’m looking forward to looking back again in a year’s time to see how we have improved from here.

Spi-Ouest is a fantastic regatta and I recommend any interested Irish sailors to make the trip over for next year. I’m very grateful for my teammates who joined me on the water, for the chance to fly the Magenta flag and for the support of Cat’s sponsor Gardens of Eden and Ross Farrow for the support.

Published in Figaro
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RL Sailing, the shorthanded, offshore sailing team made up of joint skippers Kenneth Rumball and Pamela Lee have signed up a new sponsor for their next race in the 2021 competition calendar – the Tour de Bretagne à la Voile and, later in the season, the Fastnet Race in August. 

RL Sailing Team competes in the Beneteau Figaro III racing circuit, known for its intense level of competition, high-calibre of sailors and gruelling races, which see the skippers alone at sea for several days and nights at a time.

They will be the only mixed Irish team lining up on the start line. 

“We have a history of backing Irish teams and sportspeople to accomplish the impossible. We give them the support to channel their own energy and try to realise their dreams. We sponsor many different Irish sports, both teams and individuals, from grass-roots right up to elite internationals – endurance is a common theme across them all and the values align closely with our business. We have a keen interest in Irish sailing and understand the level of work, preparation and sacrifice associated with the sport.” – Kim Madden of Hanley

As regular Afloat readers will know, Hanley Energy also supported Gregor McGuckin in his Golden Globe Race round the world bid in 2018.

The upcoming Tour de Bretagne à la Voile for Rumball and Lee starts on the 3rd of July and will see over 30 international teams race in a series of offshore courses along the French coast. It will be a test of sailors’ tactics, navigation, stamina and endurance. Spectators will be able to follow the competition through live tracking devices on each boat and the team will provide race reports in between each leg.

“It’s extremely motivating to have an Irish company like Hanley Energy onboard with our project. They really understand and support the hard work we have put in and are encouraging of our dreams and ambitions to represent Ireland on an international level,” says Skipper Kenneth Rumball.

Published in Offshore
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County Meath Solo sailor Tom Dolan is dicing for the lead this morning in the closing stages of the double-handed Drheam Cup as the fleet close in on the La Trinite sur Mer finish line. See tracker below.

A determined Dolan – who is sailing with France's Francois Jamnbou – is making good on his pre-race commitment to make amends for a mid-fleet performance in last month's Solo Maitre Coq season debut.

This morning Dolan and Jambou are heading south with under 70 miles to go in the 400-miler that started on Sunday.

The French-Irish pair, competing in the Figaro Duo class, are just .5 mile behind leader Guy Environment (Pierre Leboucher) in the seven-boat Figaro duo class.

As well as being second in class, Dolan's Smurfit Kappa - Concarneau Entreprendre Ireland campaign is also lying in the top ten of the 100-boat Drheam Cup overall.

Tom Dolan is in contention for Drheam Cup class honous later todayTom Dolan is in contention for Drheam Cup class honours later today

Before the start, Dolan gave an insight as to how he was going to sail the race: Look I did not do well on the Maitre CoQ the last race and that was disappointing so I am really looking forward to putting that behind me and sailing with Francois. We have been good mates for many years together and started a little business teaching and coaching people on the Mini, so we know each other well.” Dolan emphasizes, “Our skills are complementary, we work well together. He has shown he can win races and so it will be good to have some fresh ideas and to be able to support each other. A second opinion is what you lack racing solo and so it will be nice to have that this time.”

Dolan added, “Francois is very calm, and very French in the way he approaches his sailing. That is to say different to Anglo Saxon, he is quiet and intuitive and able to hold the rhythm of the race. I have tended to be too up and down recently and so I have worked on that. There is a good level of trust between us, knowing when each other are tired and taking over at the right time to keep the performance up.”

Drheam Cup 2020 leaderboard showing Ireland's Tom Dolan in second overallDrheam Cup 2020 leaderboard

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee, in their first outing in the Figaro 3 having been neck and neck with Dolan at one point are lying fifth in class, some forty miles astern of the leaders.

Both Rumball and Dolan are working up for September's season climax, the La Solitaire du Figaro.

See race tracker below. Select 'LA Drheam Cup 400' and then Group: 'Figaro Duo' to see the latest from the racecourse.

 

Published in Tom Dolan

Two decades after the first victory by a mixed duo, the iconic Transat AG2R La Mondiale is making a serious pitch for mixed two-handed crews to take part in next year's outing.

Entry will now be free for mixed crews, with AG2R La Mondiale saying it will cover the registration fee for all male-female duos who sign on for the 4,000-mile transatlantic challenge which was first raced 27 years ago.

The most recent edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale in 2018 saw Figaro sailor Tom Dolan and crew place 11th and first among the rookies after more than 19 days at sea.

With the next event scheduled just weeks ahead of Tokyo 2020, organisers are also touting the move as a great opportunity to set the foundation of a future Olympic campaign, providing invaulable experience in tactics, weather conditions and life offshore — as well as in racing one-design monohulls (namely the Beneteau Figaro 3), just like the Olympics where it's the sailor who makes all the difference.

The deadline for registrations is 31 January 2020. For further details and now to sign up, contact Marine Derrien of organisers OC Sport Pen Duick at [email protected]

Published in Offshore

Due to poor weather interfering with his planned sail to Ireland from Brittany, and concerns with Hurricane Lorenzo later this week, Figaro veteran Tom Dolan has unfortunately had to cancel his scheduled visit to and sailings in Dublin Bay in early October.

Dolan said: "I’ve been on standby for the last week waiting for a weather window to be able to get from Brittany to Dublin but there has not been one and now with the forecast of Hurricane Lorenzo arriving I’m afraid that I cannot take the risk to sail the boat to Ireland into conditions where it might not even be safe in port.

"It has been a hard decision to make and I only just decided this morning but the wind and especially sea state conditions that are on their way leave me no choice."

Dolan had been planning to entertain groups on board his boat Smurfit Kappa from Dun Laoghaire to raise funds for Sailing Into Wellness, which operates wellness programmes in Dublin, Cork and Kinsale to help rehabilitate people recovering from mental health and addiction issues.

He added that he has been in touch with Sailing into Wellness and they will together endeavour to reschedule the planned sailing trips to a calmer season as soon as possible.

Published in Tom Dolan

Update 30 September: Due to poor weather interfering with his planned sail to Ireland from Brittany, and concerns with Hurricane Lorenzo later this week, Tom Dolan has had to cancel his scheduled visit to and sailings in Dublin Bay in early October.

Dolan said: "I’ve been on standby for the last week waiting for a weather window to be able to get from Brittany to Dublin but there has not been one and now with the forecast of Hurricane Lorenzo arriving I’m afraid that I cannot take the risk to sail the boat to Ireland into conditions where it might not even be safe in port.

"It has been a hard decision to make and I only just decided this morning but the wind and especially sea state conditions that are on their way leave me no choice."

Dolan added that he has been in touch with Sailing into Wellness and they will together endeavour to reschedule the planned sailing trips to a calmer season as soon as possible.

From 1 October you could sail with Figaro veteran Tom Dolan in Dun Laoghaire to raise funds for Sailing Into Wellness, which operates wellness programmes in Dublin, Cork and Kinsale to help rehabilitate people recovering from mental health and addiction issues.

All funds raised through this initiative will be go towards an award-winning programme which uses the experiences of sailing to help create stable lives for people suffering from poor mental health, addiction and social exclusion.

Dolan’s boat Smurfit Kappa — which will sail from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 and Tuesday 8 to 11 October — can host up to six guests for a three-hour sail which can be booked for a donation of at least €600.

The state-of-the-art Beneteau Figaro 3 offshore one design yacht, on which Tom recently completed the 2,100-mile La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro race in 25th place overall, will be sailed to Dublin Bay from its current home base in Brittany.

Dolan says: “I have always wanted to be able to take time to share the experience with others and to be able to give a little insight into what it is like sailing offshore like I do.

“And there are so many people have helped me along the way, literally hundreds of people over the years, that I would like to be able to help others who are less fortunate.”

“I want to be able to give a little something back to others who I know will benefit. If I can even help get someone’s life on course it would mean so much to me,” he says.

Thirty-two-year-old Dolan grew up in a small farming community in Kells, Co Meath before he left Ireland 10 years ago to pursue his offshore sailing dreams.

He is a dedicated supporter of Sailing Into Wellness, a not-for-profit social enterprise whose corporate sailing events provide vital revenue to fund its community projects.

Founders Colin Healy and James Lyons say they are passionate about sharing their love of the sea to provide long-lasting social impact, working with those affected by substance abuse and poor mental health to help build their recovery.

One hundred percent of Sailing Into Wellness’ profits are used to fund community sailing projects — so by sailing with Tom next month, you would be directly funding vulnerable groups to experience a completely new environment on the open sea.

“One of the things about Tom is that he wants to see sailing as totally inclusive,” says Lyons. “He is totally down to earth and did not come up through the traditional sailing club systems, and feels strongly that it is fun, challenging activity which should be accessible to as many people as possible.

“And he clearly sees it as a catalyst which can change lives for the better. We are really looking forward to working with him.”

To book your charter with Tom onboard Figaro 3, contact [email protected] or 083 442 9629.

Published in Tom Dolan

Conor Fogerty's new Figaro 3 keelboat 'Raw' will be the only foiling keelboat racing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta next month in the former Sailor of the Year's lead up to August's Fastnet Race. After that, the new vessel stars at the Southampton Boat Show before crossing the Atlantic at the end of September where the foiler will be available for charter in the Caribbean this winter. 

The debut performance of the foiling Figaro 3 'Raw' from Howth Yacht Club in the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race has been the start of what Fogerty is calling a 'rather large learning curve'.

Fogerty entered the 280-mile offshore race last week with a three-man crew and he says they were 'happy enough at times during the D2D with her performance'.

The new BJ Marine supplied Beneteau craft powered down the Irish Sea in the east coast stage of the race but he says the crew were frustrated on the south coast from the Tuskar to the Fastnet Rock when they lost their A2 sail and masthead halyard leaving them to white sail the bulk of the race.

Prior to the D2D race, Fogerty revealed he and UK based-Susan Glenny are looking at the foiling venture as an "intent to commit" to becoming Ireland’s reps for the mixed two-person offshore keelboat event for the 2024 Olympics.

The 2017 Irish Sailor of the Year reckons at this early stage that "it will be hard to race to her handicap, but not impossible", although he also notes that IRC has added a further six points to her rating since the D2D. The formula calculation is now 1.124

Raw Figaro crew 1541Raw Skipper Conor Fogerty (right) with his D2D crew (from right) Laura Dillon, Susan Glenny and Peter Freyne Photo: Afloat

Fogerty says he will continue the learning curve at July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, the ISORA Isle of Man Race leading up to the Fastnet Race.

Raw will then be the showboat at Southampton Boat Show, before heading south for the Canaries and the RORC Transatlantic Race in late September. "She will compete in one of my favourite races, the Caribbean 600" [February 2020].

Fogerty has partnered with LV Yachting to provide race charter in the Caribbean in Raw, with up to six crew spaces for the inshore regatta series. More details on the charter here.

Published in Volvo Regatta

#Figaro - Following this summer’s first images of its new foiling one-design, Beneteau has announced the pricing for the Figaro 3.

And the French marque says it has kept its promise of an affordable boat, with a special price of €155,000 ex VAT for Figaro class members — a discount of €20,000 off the standard retail ticket.

The first 50 Figaro 3 yachts will be delivered in early 2019, with lots drawn to determine the hull numbers at next year’s Nautic Paris Boat Show.

Published in Boat Sales
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As offshore sailors gather momentum for a new Olympic offshore discipline, the world's largest yacht manufacturer has unveiled the first images of a radical new one-design Figaro 3 with foils.

In the new Figaro 3, Groupe Beneteau is producing the first series-built production monohull with foils leaving no doubt that foiling is making it into mainstream sailing

The foils will make the new boat up to 15 per cent faster than its predecessor and are designed to replace the traditional weighty ballast tanks used on past Figaro models.

Described as ‘asymmetric tip foils’ they work by creating side force to supplement the keel and reduce leeway while causing minimal drag. An important factor is also that they are able to retract within the boat’s maximum beam.

Published in Solo Sailing
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