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#fullirish – Rookie figaro sailor David Kenefick told readers in his Afloat blog about a 'little collision' just after the start on Leg 1 in the Gironde Estuary, team manager Marcus Hutchinson was witness to it.

At the time the assumption was he hit the soft mud on the river bed but on lifting The 'Full Irish' a couple of hours ago to inspect the damage, it turns out the keel bulb was perfect, but mid way up the keel there is one hell of a dint. See our photo above.

The good news is that the team say the damage is cosmetic and there is no corresponding hull damage. All it requires is a filler and gelcoat. She's almost fixed and back to full health. Phew!

Question now, What did he hit...??

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#fullirish – We are 45 hours into the first leg and the fleet are about eight hours ahead of the initial routeing calculations writes David Kenefick team manager Marcus Hutchinson. The fleet of 41 Figaros has been enjoying great sailing pretty much since the left the Gironde Estuary on Sunday night when the set their spinnakers. The wind has slowly swung around to the East as the High Pressure zone has moved North and they find themselves on the South side of the cemtre. As can be seen from the tracker on the official website the fleet started to think about gybing yesterday afternoon/evening and line themselves up for the approach to the North West tip of Spain. The wind freshened dramatically through the night as the isobars between a small depression just around the corner off the West coast of Spain and the bottom of the High squeezed it all together. The fleet have been enjoying some high speed downwind sailing in 30/35 knots of wind and from the reports from the race course it would appear that there have been quite a few broaches and spinnakers bursts. They also had a fairly big fishing fleet to deal with too!

The leaders have kept good pace but most significantly have had a long term view about tackling this depression mentioned earlier as they start to turn the corner. Mich Desjoyeaux has opted for a more Northerly and offshore route around the outside and will likely extend further his lead. Anyone who stays offshore will gain over the next few hours.

Further back down the fleet we find that the Rookies are having a tough time and not surprisingly many of them have gravitated towards their fellow rookie competitors to be able to judge their performance. Performance is not just about going fast now. The sailors are all into their third day and will certainly be tired and know that they have another 24 hours at least left to sail. Performance is going to be about being sufficiently sharp to make the right decisions with regard to timing for their gybe South and quite how far extra to sail to get around the top of Spain.

Young David Kenefick may have been stacking in a lot of sleep yesterday in anticipation of the two days still ahead of him as he frequently moved from one side of the fleet to the other side having initially been in the middle then heading out on his own to the South before later yesterday evening re-crossing behind the fleet again. The reality is that he would appear to be sailing at top speed. Although the rankings show him in 35 place at 10:00 this morning - the ranking during the race is a simple calculation of distance as the crow flies around the various headlands to the finish. The fleet is sailing near a big corner and the quickest route is going to be over a longer distance which is why many of the boats currently ranked closer to the finish and 'ahead' of David are going to drop in behind him later on. Currently David is probably in 30th position, surrounded by Claire Pruvot and Jackson Bouttell, the latter we have heard has blown out his big spinnaker and will suffer in the lighter winds expected later.

Eta in Porto is still for tomorrow Wednesday night, the first boats are currently about 10 hours ahead of schedule.

Keep up to date by checking the official website in English and the on the events excellent race tracker.

Published in Figaro

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! David Kenefick has dreamt of being a word-class sailor all his life. From an early age David and his family cruised around Ireland, France, Spain and the Mediterranean. With his father, brother and sister being much accomplished sailors, David had always hoped that one day he could replicate their feats. As a champion Optimist sailor David leapt onboard anything that floated and had a sail, when school and life permitted. However, David strived for more. He looked to find a class that he would not only enjoy but also one that would challenge him.
Shorthanded sailing always appealed to David; but family friend and two-time Figaro sailor Marcus Hutchinson had the answer! Marcus explained to him that Figaro was better organised, more mediatized and a lot more straight forward and rewarding. David developed his skills on board one of the Artemis Offshore Academy (AOA) Figaros in the UK and shortly after enrolled in the Centre d'Entrainment Mediteranee (CEM), where his passion for the sport blossomed under the tutelege of Nico Berenger. David and three other AOA rookies joined Xavier Maquaire and Mathieu Girolet to complete the CEM group that compete in competitions throughout Europe.
In April 2013 Dubarry of Ireland agreed to sponsor David and his exploits. Sailing is a sport that ties closely with the Dubarry brand's aspirational values. The opportunity to support an Irish sailor competing on a world scale was something that Dubarry felt they could not let pass them by. "Hailing from County Cork and challenging for honours worldwide, we felt that David was a great personality to support and promote our brand. David has shown that sailing is his first-love and that success in the sport is of huge importance to him. His ambitions to compete against the best in the world in his field are shared by the Dubarry brand and we are delighted to be in a position to support David's efforts", commented Dubarry of Ireland Marketing Director, Michael Walsh.
Dubarry enjoys a rich sailing heritage, born out of their location on the west coast of Ireland and many years of listening to the needs of sailors since their foundation seventy-six years ago in 1937. Their collection boasts a range of sailing footwear, containing both boots and deck-shoes, that is second to none. Admirals, Lahinch, Atlantic and Menorca are some of Dubarry's most popular deck-shoes, but it is in boot-making that they have really flourished. Dubarry were awarded the much-coveted license to use GORE-TEX® technologies, making all of their boots waterproof and fully breathable. This is supplemented by Dubarry's own award-winning NonSlip-NonMarking™ sole and DrySoft-DryFast™ leathers which assures the customer receives a top-quality product. In 2009, with collaboration with the Green Dragon Volvo Ocean Race crew, Dubarry created the new Crosshaven boot. With its unique integral gaiter, GORE-TEX® liner and special Dubarry 'D-Chassis' system, it became the boot of choice for the world's best including the crews of Team Telefonica and Abu Dhabi Racing in the 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race.

Published in Figaro

David Kenefick sailing FULL IRISH finished the 30-boat Solo Concarneau in 15th place and second Rookie late yesterday evening. He now has just three weks to the start of the Solitaire du Figaro in Bordeaux and will now travel home to Cork for some R&R. We caught up with him shortly after he finished to hear how the race went.

"I've now finished my third race and I now know a lot more about what this kind of racing is."
"I was often in the front bunch but lost a little on the run, which put me on the back foot needing to do more to stay in the right places and not being able to pace myself with the leading boats. But I made the right call after Chausée de Sein and stayed further west in more pressure than the leading boats in shore and got back into the race there. This was satisfying. There was a certain amount of risk management coming into play there, something I learnt about in the previous race the Solo Arrimer the hard way and something some of my colleagues learnt more about this time!!!"
"We had three fronts go over us during this race. We had a lot of rain. An important thing here was to be able to know which rain shower was a new front coming over requiring a headsail change and which rain shower was benign. At night it was obviously harder, but I think I got the timing right for most of that gaining a couple of places in the process."
"I was happy with my speed, I was happy to be able to makes gains as well as losses, I was happy with the way I managed the boat."
"I slept four naps in the morning and four in the and the afternoon, eight minutes each. I probably got 90 minutes total during the whole race. I know I nodded off when I was helming a few times. That is horrible. It's dreadful."
"When I was at the lowest point emotionally at 04:00 I had to do something dramatic. More food, sugary things to get you through the darkest part until the dawn comes and suddenly life gets good again!"
"It is about training your mind. Your eyes will close but your mind is still going. Several times when I was awake again I had to go and check that what I'd been thinking about when I was in 'eyes closed' didn't actually happen. For example I think I dreamt that I tacked the boat or that I worked out that I'd filled the wrong ballast tank. Its hard to believe your mind can do that, there is no solution to it other than to understand that this will happen if you don't pace yourself properly. You have to go there to understand it. Its weird waking up when you are at the helm. Its quite amazing what your body and mind can do."
"I know my friend Ed Hill hit the 'red zone' big time in this race and was hallucinating and passing out. It cost him a lot of time and places and spoilt his race. He was doing really well but finished second last in the end. I think we all have to start to understand the priorities of these things and it not just about sailing the perfect first beat but much more about being lucid and fairly sharp after three days and three nights at sea, and for the Figaro, in a position to recover in time for the next leg too."
"I really hope I can do four of these races back to back. My objective here was to get back to the dock and be almost broken. I knew that I have two weeks to recover from this race and I needed to see what I can do when in that state and what it feels like."
"The first leg of the Figaro is probably the toughest. A lot will depend on this leg going well. Its 540-miles long, complicated at the start and its going to be really important to manage myself on the fatigue front on that one as the consequences for the following three legs, if I get it wrong, are big."

1 20h01'50'' MEILHAT Paul SKIPPER MACIF 2011
2 20h14'15'' LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI
8 20h39'58'' DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
9 20h49'30'' BOMBY Henry Christine
10 20h50'22'' JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
12 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
20 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS 37
21 Le Baud Gilles Thalasso
(Nine boats retired)


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#kenefick – The night has passed and the fleet has now rounded Ile d'Yeu at the Southern most end of the course and are on the long leg North. The winds are now fresher blowing at 20 knots from the South West. The fleet will be under big spinnaker roaring along. We can see the speeds on AIS are hovering around the 9-10 knots.

The accuracy of the ranking taken this morning as the fleet rounded the island is not as reliable as the one at Birvideaux last night but still nevertheless a good indicator. The general order has been respected although there are a few climbers and droppers. After the second night at sea fatigue is certainly taking its toll. Some of the skippers have dropped down the ranking a bit and the sign of strength is to be able to make places and pick people off towards the end of the race. Overnight the number of boats and the time between David Kenefick and first Rookie Claire Pruvot has dropped and David is now just one place and seven minutes behind her. The published provisional rankings show him in 14th place which is probably accurate to within one place as the AIS on one of the boats we know to be ahead of him hasn't shown up. But it is close and there are four other boats within five minutes of him just behind.

With about 90 miles left to sail the wind is forecast to slowly head them all day and they may well finish this leg on the wind. ETA at the finish line is still late evening today.

6 6H12 JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
7 6H12 BOMBY Henry Christine
8 6H13 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
9 6H15 DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
19 7H02 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS 37

Published in Figaro

#figaro – When we updated you yesterday about the Solo Concarneau Figaro race that David Kenefick is competing in we bemoaned the lack of a tracker for this race but outlined that we would have a half way stage update. Here it is:

3 20h31 LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI
6 20h36 DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
7 20h38 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
9 20h40 BOMBY Henry Christine
10 20h41 JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
14 21h03 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS
15 21h04 HOCHARD Benoît IB - MARKETING
16 21h14 CHABAGNY Thierry GEDIMAT
19 21h33 CHERRY Nick ARTEMIS
21 21h51 GOODCHILD Sam Vasco de Gama

You might be wondering where some of the big names got to like Jeremy Beyou, Morgan Lagraviere and Fred Duthil. Well they were the leaders on Tuesday morning and as the day progressed their leading role saw them sail down a one-way alley whilst the boats behind anticipated better or just knew better and stayed further offshore and sailed around the outside in better breeze. To cut a lot story short when the two groups came back together there was a five mile deficit... Some of those now disgruntled top boats then chose to retire rather than fight their way back into the competition. Not a great look and maybe rather poor sportsmanship!

David Kenefick chose the right option and has been sailing with other boats all day and as we can see from the half way report is in 17th place. He is third Rookie being bettered currently by Claire Pruvot (13th) and Ed Hill (14th) by 17 and 12 minutes respectively. The race leader is last year's Solitaire du Figaro race winner Yann Elies who rounded 47 minutes ahead of David.

The course now takes the fleet South upwind in 15-30 knots of wind in heavy rain to round Ile d'Yeu 65 miles away before the long 105 mile reach home to Concarneau. The leading boats are expected to finish late on Wednesday evening.

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When you run a race of the calibre of the Solo Concarneau without a tracking system it is extremely frustrating to try and work out what is really going on writes Marcus Hutchinson, team manager to David Kenefick.

There will be only two accurate rankings for the fleet taken with the race committee, one will be at the Brivideaux lighthouse that the fleet will probably reach late this afternoon or early evening and the second is obviously the finish line where we expect to have the leaders approaching late afternoon on Wednesday. There are some other provisional rankings established using the coastguard radar stations supplemented with the competitors all calling in after they have gone round but as one can imagine these aren't particularly reliable. Then there is the AIS system.

The racing names of the boats and the registered names to the AIS systems are not the same so a look up sheet is required to identify who is who.

Then it doesn't ever update all the boats' positions at the same time, and it really only works for fleet following when the fleet is near a powerful radar station, of which there are several along the coast in France. But there are also many areas that just aren't covered, probably 60-70% in total.

So to cut a long story short when we left David Kenefick and his Full Irish yesterday he was sailing in 8 knots of wind, in 9th place and heading towards the Raz de Sein with his spinnaker set. The ranking published this morning had him in 23rd at the most Northerly mark, effectively the leeward mark. But it isn't to be trusted too much. The reason for this is that boats that were behind him on the ranking that do appear on the AIS are placed in the leading pack, pretty much where they were when we left them last night. David's AIS is not showing up, if you see a boat called Ilidian that is him.

The fleet is on the wind right now in about 10 knots of wind beating towards the Pointe de Pen March. The next significant mark on the course is the Brivideaux lighthouse just near the Quiberon Penninsula where we will get a decent committee boat generated ranking sometime late this afternoon.

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Cork's solo sailor David Kenefick, along with the rest of the Figaro fleet, is tackling his last race before the Solitaire du Figaro next month. The event is called the Solo Concarneau. It starts at 14:00 Irish time today. The 340 miles long race sees the fleet race up and down the French coast almost as far as Ushant to the North and Ile d'Yeu to the South.

The disappointing thing about this race is that there is no tracker system so we are going to be a lot less informed about what is going on than our last reports from the Solo Arrimer race in April.

Nevertheless it will be interesting on many counts. below please find team maanger Marcus Hutchinson's  latest blog.

This is another race but with many differences. The sailors are better prepared than for the Solo Arrimer - they are by definition now twice as experienced as before - the weather is completely different and most importantly the chips are down. At stake is an entry in this year's Solitaire du Figaro. Winning the Solo Concarneau wouldn't necessarily guarantee a place but finishing 'down the pan' will certainly see an early exit.

An honest race is what is required from both the Artemis candidates. Honest in the sailors' ability to anticipate and react to the many obstacles and constant little challenges that are the solo sailor's lot.

They say that preparation is everything but until you see why some things are important and others less so it is difficult to know what to prioritise. There is no point being the fastest if you go the wrong way or get lost in the fog. There is no point sailing the perfect course if you don't have the energy to push the boat as hard as you can. There is no point having a smooth bottom and a fair keel if your electronics go down. In short there is no point being here if you aren't able to deal with adversity and rebound quickly.

The guys are far from perfect but they are better than before. The weather will be kinder to them this time too. It seems they have spent far too much time fighting 40-knot winds and not enough dealing with the subtleties of lighter winds and most significantly the transitional phases more commonly found in these conditions.

The competition is here again. This time there are 30 starters with all the usual suspects. The course also sees them sail through the challenging Raz de Sein, for the first time alone and, although we are in neaps, there will be quite a lot of tidal sailing to be dealt with.

The course sees the 30 boat fleet head upwind around the Glenan Islands before turning across the wind to PenMarch and then downwind North across the Bay of Audierne through the Raz de Sein and up and around Pierre Noire just South of Ushant. This hairpin bend will then see the fleet reaching South and then South East outside everything to the Brivideaux lighthouse, which is near the Quiberon Peninsula, before hardening up a little bit to head South down to and circumnavigating Ile d'Yeu. The return North to Concarneau and the finish is the longest single leg. It will start as a close reach and the fleet will be slowly headed as they come North and will finish the race upwind, maybe even short tacking along the coast for the last 50 miles!

The first part of the course will require some tactical nous and then some strategically strong decisions. The next part of the course from the Pierre Noires down to Yeu will require one overwhelming element. SPEED. The return leg will require force of character to stay fast, fight the fatigue and the ability to chose the right moments to sail high or sail low as the wind ultimately heads the fleet and turns a reach into a long beat.

There should be winds peaking in the mid-20s on Wednesday morning but other than that we should see a fairly medium-breezed race. What remains to be seen is if there will be any important transitional phases that fall between light and dark and light.

Regrettably this race doesn't have a tracker system running and so we will be reliant on AIS and Marine to see progress around the track along with the infrequent updates from the radar enabled Semaphore/Coastguard Stations that are still scattered the length of the French coast line. Finish time for the first boats is expected to be late afternoon on Wednesday, the stragglers can be expected a few hours later.

We have a busy few days immediately after the finish of the Solo Concarneau as some of the boats in this Anglo-Irish squad will be trying new sails and specifically sails with their Figaro Race livery, all especially for the camera of our resident photographer Brian Carlin. The two Artemis boys Ed Hill and Jackson Bouttell will be informed as to whether one or both of them will sail the big race, and then there is the preparation to move the whole show to Bordeaux by sea and road 10 days later.

Exciting times indeed. Keep this frequency clear!!!

Published in Figaro
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#figaro – Exhausted but elated to have secured his place for June's Solitaire du Figaro race, 22–year–old Cork sailor David Kenefick talked to on completing his longest race to date, the 320–mile Solo Arrimer this morning. 

The Crosshaven rookie who finished 21st in the 25-boat fleet admits in this podcast there is plenty of room for improvement before his debut in the French multi-leg offshore race in two month's time.

The world-renowned Figaro comprises of four legs of approximately 400-500 miles single handed starting from Bordeaux in early June 2013 against 35 other skippers all using identical equipment. Kenefick, one of eight rookies in the race will be Ireland's sole entry.

British solo offshore sailing took a step in the right direction this weekend, as three Anglo-Saxon Figaro skippers conquered the Rookie podium. Storming the 305-mile Solo Arrimer finish line at around 23:30 BST on Friday 12th April, 22 year old Artemis Offshore Academy sailor Jack Bouttell claimed the Rookie podium top spot, finishing 16th overall out of field of 26 sailors packed with talent. The next Artemis Rookie over the line was Ed Hill, who stepped up on the podium behind comrade Jack to take second, a great achievement and confidence boost for both British Academy sailors in only the second solo race of their careers.

Completing the Anglo Rookie trio was Irish Figaro sailor David Kenefick, who finished 21st overall behind Ed in 20th.

The British and Irish invasion left no room for the French on the up-and-coming Rookie podium, and with six fresh faced and eager to prove Anglo talents now racing on the circuit, could the French-dominated tide of the Figaro Class slowly be on the turn?
"I think my race went well. I had good boat speed at times and in general I'm happy with my performance and result," reported Jack after finishing the race, his happiness breaking through the exhaustion. "My highs for the race were finishing, of course, and just launching the boat downwind over the big Bay of Biscay waves in 30-40 knots of wind." Watch Jack's post race interview here.
"Jack sailed a consistent and intelligent race the whole way round the course" said event coach Marcus Hutchinson. "He told me afterwards that the way he keeps going and motivated in the darkest moments is to eat more. I think Jack consumes three or four times as much food on these races than anyone else. But if it works for him, then we'll find the food!" Read Marcus' Solo Arrimer race wrap up here.
Conditions for the 36-hour race were heinous and the course starting and finishing in Les Sables d'Olonne was shortened slightly to 305 miles. Wind speeds built from 6 knots for the start to a howling 40+ knots through the night combined with a 3 to 4 meter swell, ensuring that the sailors' first Atlantic race of 2013 was a real solo offshore challenge.
"The weary, but crazed eyes of all the skippers as we tucked into soup and crepes after the finish just said it all," reported Academy graduate Henry Bomby. "We all knew we had experienced something pretty cool during this race, something that not everyone will get to ever experience." Read the Academy sailors' war stories here.
Five British sailors lined up for the Solo Arrimer alongside a festival of Figaro rock stars. Academy graduates Henry and Nick Cherry, along with Ed, battled it out to finish within minutes of one another, with Henry just pipping them both to the finish line in 18th, improving on his 2012 result by 10 places. Now in his third year in the Figaro Class, Sam Goodchild was the first British boat over the line, just missing out on a top ten spot in 11th, to finish 50 minutes behind winner Morgan Lagraviére, and just ahead of the 'Professeur' himself, Michel Desjoyeaux, who makes his return to the Figaro after four years away.
"The race was a lot of fun, but at the same time incredibly challenging," Sam admitted. "We had some of the worst weather conditions I have ever seen in a race. But I put up a good fight and I'm happy with my result. It's encouraging to know I'm not too far off the pace."
Solo Arrimer winner Morgan, a French Olympic 49er sailor, finished the race in 1 day, 9 hours, 40 minutes and 43 seconds, just 13 minutes ahead of second skipper Thierry Chabagny. Yann Eliés, 2012 Solitaire du Figaro winner, came through the harsh Atlantic conditions to take third.
"During the Solo Arrimer all of the skippers proved they can safely get their boats around the course, race, navigate and bring it home in terrible conditions, there is no need to be too clever when being intelligent is enough. The strong winds and white water battering the sailors and their boats for the duration of the Solo Arrimer were not only a test of the solo skippers' metal, but of their stamina, performance and self management," concluded Marcus. "This weekend's podium results will come as a huge morale and psychological boost for both Ed and Jack in training and ahead of their next race, but that was just 30 odd hours, we've still got a lot of work to do in preparation for the 1,938 miles of intense racing that is the Solitaire du Figaro."
After celebrating his first Figaro Rookie class win by popping his first bottle of Pol Roger on the pontoon, Jack, along with Ed and Nick set sail straight away for Concarneau, France where they will now spend the next three weeks training and preparing with event coach Marcus for the Solo Concarneau starting May 6th, as well as their boats getting a refit so they are ready, if selected, to be on the Solitaire start line in June.

Solo Arrimer overall results

Position/Skipper (Boat name) Time at sea
1. Morgan Lagravière (Vendée) - 1 day 9hours 40min 43sec
2 .Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) - 1 day 9hours 53min 45sec
3. Yann Elies (Group Queguiner Leukemia Hope) - 1 day 9hours 55min 14sec
4. Nicolas Lunven (Generali) - 1 day 10 hours 38sec
5. Jeremiah Beyou (Master Chef) - 1 day 10hours 02min
6. Xavier Macaire (Skipper Hérault) - 1 day 10hours 4min 40sec
7. Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) - 1 day 10hours 19min 5sec
8. Frédéric Duthil (Sepalumic) - 1 day 10hours 26min 56sec
9. Alexis Loison (Group Fiva) - 1 day 10hours 27min 25sec
10. Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls) - 1 day 10hours 27min 27sec
11. Sam Goodchild (Shelter Box) - 1 day 10hours 30min 45sec
12. Meilhat Paul (Macif) - 1 day 10hours 35min 50sec
13. Michel Desjoyeaux (TBS) - 1 day 10hours 41min 07sec
14. Julien Villion (Seixo Habitat) - 1 day 10hours 42min 6sec
15. Frédéric Rivet (DFDS Seaways) - 1 day 10hours 48min 48sec
16. Jackson Bouttell (Artemis 77) - 1 day 10hours 50min 31sec
17. Matthew Girolet (Lafont Presse) - 1 day 10hours 51min 35sec
18. Henry Bomby (Zhik - Made for Water ) - 1 day 10hours 57min 23sec
19. Nicholas Cherry (Artemis 23) - 1 day 11hours 14min 29sec
20. Ed Hill (Artemis 37) - 1 day 11hours 33min 35sec
21. David Kenefick (Full Irish) - 1 day 11hours 48min 26sec
22. Claire Pruvost (Port de Caen Ouistream) - 1 day 12hours 36min 35sec
23. Joan Ahrweiller ( Basse Normandie) - 1 day 12hours 38min 24sec and
24. Yannig Livory (Thermacote France) - 1 day 12hours 43min 19sec and
25. Gilles Le Baud (Carnac Thalasso & Spa) - 1 day 13hours 49 min 53 sec
26. Benoit Hochart (Aquarius) - 1 day 13hours 55min 55 sec

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There is a reason the Figaro Class has a Rookie prize in every event they run. And it is highly sought after writes Marcus Hutchinson.

The French call it the Bizuth prize. In the Solo Arrimer there were six 'Bizuths', three French two British and one Irish.

Starting out in this singlehanded game is tough, not only because it IS really, really tough!!!! but because you don't really know what you are getting into in detail until you actually go and do it, a few times, in a range of different conditions. You only learn and get better from practice.

Figaro sailing is not just about learning how to manouvere the boat by yourself and find fast sail settings and manage the transitions and be tactically astute.

A long offshore race is tough for anyone. But until you go and try and do all of those things by yourself, for a long, long time you wont understand the importance of the different parts of preparation. Hence, real reward for the Rookies.

Along with his Artemis Offshore Academy Rooky buddies Ed Hill and Jack Bouttell, David Kenefick has been slowly ramping up his exposure to longer and longer races, to races with more and more entries and a higher standard and to racing in complex parts of the world with tide, rocks, Atlantic depressions, cold and wet.

This event, the Solo Arrimer, is the next step in that path and there will be another similar race in three weeks time in Concarneau. Three weeks after that the Rookies, along with everyone else who enters the Solitaire du Figaro will be doing four slightly longer races back to back with just a couple of days recovery time between each leg. This is a truly epic sporting undertaking for a young man or woman to undertake and it needs to be taken seriously.

No one is under illusions about what is involved in supporting the Artemis team and David. Those three young men are beginning to now understand more and more about how much they didn't know.

When they started they didn't know what they didn't know, now they are beginning to learn what it is they don't know and soon they will know everything that they don't know.

Only then can they go about removing the long list of don't knows and become experienced. You are a Rookie for one season only. It is rare indeed for a Rookie to finish in the top five. Over that last 44 years of the race a Rookie has placed in the top five on only a handful of occasions.

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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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