Displaying items by tag: Figaro
She is operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines (WWL) and was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The new vessel's principle dimensions are (length: 227.8m, beam: 32.26 and a draft of 11.3m) and she has a deadweight (metric tonnes) of 30,900.
The Swedish company together with subsidiaries and partner's, operates a fleet of about 135 vessels. Of these, Wallenius owns or charters around 35. They can carry up to 8,000 cars, or a combination of cars, trucks, cranes, large rolls of paper and rubber or large turbines. They have also transported parts for wind turbines, luxury yachts, complete train-sets and aircraft wings.
Figaro's docking in Dublin today was at berth 33, which is the centre berth of three lining Ocean Pier which has a quayside totalling 410m long. The pier is within Alexandra Basin and is to the east side of this dock which is approached from the port channel opposite the Poolbeg Marina.
After Dublin she continues her global schedule to Bremerhaven (16 Nov), Zeebrugge (23 Nov), Southampton (24 Nov), Baltimore, USA (3 Dec), Savannah, GA USA (6 Dec), Manzanillo, Panama (11 Dec), Auckland (29 Dec), Brisbane in the New Year (2 Jan) and two days later is expected to dock in Port Kemble also in Australia.
Earlier this year the world's largest ro-ro carrier Tonsberg (PHOTO) also part of the WWL fleet, docked in Dublin having entered service in March. She has a cargo volume of 138,000 cubic metres, some 10% greater than the largest ro-ro vessels in service including her fleetmate the Figaro.
The 74,622grt vessel is the first of four Mark V class on order from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan. They are capable of handling handle high and heavy cargo such as excavators, bulldozers, wheel loaders and harvesters. Her sister Parsifal followed in September and the final pair of the quartet are due for delivery in 2012.
The BPI skipper covered the 437 miles in 72 hours, 37 minutes and 1 second. It was one of the closest finishes ever for the race, with four boats flying past the line in a little more than 30 seconds. Second place went to Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011) just 12 seconds later, third to Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham) 28 seconds after the winner and fourth to Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) at within 35 seconds.
At 35 and on his 12th participation in La Solitaire du Figaro, Jérémie Beyou secures his second victory following that obtained in 2005. He joins the very exclusive club of winners to have won the event twice; Armel Le Cléac'h (2003-2010), Nicolas Troussel (2006-2008), Jean-Marie Vidal (1972-1987), Gilles Gahinet (1977-1980), Guy Cornou (1975-1976) and Gilles le Baud (1973-1978). Only Philippe Poupon (1982-1985-1995), Jean Le Cam (1994-1996-1999) and Michel Desjoyeaux (1992-1998-2007) managed to do better with three wins each...
Beyou's domination over the four legs was rarely challenged: on the first stage between Perros-Guirec and Caen, he ruled the game together with Thomas Rouxel and Nicolas Lunven in the light airs up to twenty miles from the finish, only to be caught out in an bubble with no wind which saw him loose the leadership. He then went on to set the pace and lead on the breezy second leg that was 470 miles long, mainly upwind from up Caen to Dùn Laoghaire, and put his trademark on the third to Les Sables d'Olonne, also setting the pace and leading in the medium and light airs. Never giving up, Beyou built his lead and then final triumph on the fourth leg, carefully fencing off all of his adversaries' attacks. And, even more impressive, Jérémie Beyou won all the four GMF Trophy prizes, that is to say the turning point of each leg!
The rising star
By finishing in third on the final leg and second overall, Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen-Ouistreham) becomes the rising star and future talent to watch out for in the Bénéteau Figaro class. The young sailor from Caen, who won the first leg on home waters, showed an impressive consistency finishing seventh, second and third in the following legs and only 35 minutes separates him in the overall ranking from the winner.
And the bronze goes to...
Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat), who finished 4th in Dieppe, had to wait until his closest rivals in the overall time accumulated rankings finished, to find out that he had the third place this season. Both Nicolas Lunven (Generali) and Thomas Rouxel (Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Performance) finished their Solitaire du Figaro 2011 participation with average performance, 24th and 22nd respectively to relinquish the third spot to a deserving Tabarly. Erwan Tabarly concludes with a mere 5 minutes lead on Lunven and Rouxel.
The new kids on the block
This 42nd edition of la Solitaire du Figaro was also marked by the presence in the top part of the scoreboard of a number of newcomers to the race: rookies such as Xavier Macarie (Starter Active Bridge) finished 4th in Caen, Morgan Lagravière (Vendée) 12th in Dun Laoghaire, 9th in Les Sables d'Olonne, 7th in Dieppe. An impressive performance that rewarded the 24-years-old skipper from the Vendée region, not only with the overall victory in the rookie class, but also with a remarkable 8th place in the general ranking. Second place goes to Xavier Macaire (Sterter Active Bridge), 8 minutes and 33 seconds behind while Jersey based Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) managed to finish in third overall by only four seconds after more than 260 hours at sea!
Jérémie Beyou (BPI), overall winner of the Solitaire 2011 with three leg wins
"I feel a bit guilty, Paul (Meilhat) sailed really well on this last leg and he deserved to win. How do you win a Solitaire? It's not only a matter of performances, it's also about willpower, you have to train, get organised, question yourself, never give up and you need luck too. It may sound obvious but it's a combination of all these factors. And this year I had everything that I needed. I've been thinking about coming back to win since 2009, and I've done everything I could."
On how he managed to keep his nerves, and his margin: "After the third leg, I told myself that I could make it again: I knew that Fabien (Delahaye) was a bit faster than me downwind, but I didn't panic. I tried to remain self-confident. Because I know my strong and weak points and thats how I manage not to be anxious of my adversaries."
About joining the double winners' club: "Right, with Nicolas Troussel and Armel Le Cléach', now we're three from the bay of Morlaix. We've always done everything together, but it's amazing anyway."
When asked if he will come back on the Solitaire Beyou commented: "I don't know the answer. Maybe yes, but not just to be there. And physically it's very tough, true I won three legs but I'm exhausted."
What the winner likes most about the race: "The constant fight, the level of the competition. But there's more, when you finish there's such a special atmosphere, you feel at home, people are smiling at you and it's nice to meet the others ashore. The organisers have made a fantastic job and it's not only the sailors that make this race so special..."
Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen-Ouistreham) – 3rd in Dieppe and second overall
"First, seventh, second, third: I'm over the moon with my performance over the four legs and to jump on the second step of the podium is great. These are good results, but the Solitaire victory is calculated on total time and Jérémie (Beyou) never let me go. At times it was me at times him to be in front, but we've never been more than half a mile apart. We made the same choices, he was keeping a constant watch on me, and now and then we could even talk to each other. It was an amazing leg and I'm happy to have lived it with him! Two years ago I was fighting with Paul (Meilhat) for the rookie win and we were finishing in Dieppe, you can say that this is like a nice remake of the same movie. You have to be consistent and being there with the best ones on all the legs. There is a bunch of new kids to keep an eye on: Morgan Lagravière, Phil Sharp among the rookies, but also Anthony Marchand, Thomas Rouxel, Paul Meilhat... they come from everywhere! "
Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) – 3rd overall and 4th in leg three
"A fourth place in this last leg, I could have done better! I would have loved to finish with a win because I knew I could make it, but I'm on the third step of the podium and that's brilliant. It's been a long time that I have been up in the top ten, but I could not get on the podium, so that's great. I still have to go up two places but it's true that Jérémie (Beyou) was untouchable and Fabien (Delahaye) sailed very well. I set my watch to see if I was going to be third overall, Thomas Rouxel was too far behind but Nicolas Lunven was only 27 minutes back. Not that much. On this last leg it was impossible to relax, it all came down to detail, the good boat handling... This year's format is very interesting, because you had plenty of little options to take all the time. We've been sailing round the rocks, with and against the current, wind shifting, coastal effects: enough to keep you busy. I hope one day I will win this race and I hope not to be 60 when I will!"
Will it be café and croissant for the finish? Since over 50 hours, the 46 solo skippers have been playing the tough game of choosing the best route and decoding each and every little wind shift to keep speed up. That's a game race leader Jérémie Beyou on BPI is a master at. He has been at the front for the last two days, but will he manage to fence off his competitors' attacks up to the finish line? His pursuers, Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat), Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham) and Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) have been chasing him and hope to get nearer, as daylight fades away and the sea breeze will give way to a light north-westerly. According to the latest position report his advantage has been reduced to 0.5 miles.
Up until the Barges lighthouse, on a tiny rock just off Les Sables d'Olonne, there will be no other course mark and the skippers will be free to choose their route, which will nonetheless be full of traps and islands to be wary of Glénan, Groix, Belle Ile, Ile d'Yeu. The match is not over yet and the coming hours will be crucial.
Phil Sharp still in the top ten and first rookie
Jersey based Phil Sharp keeps on showing good speed and tactics, at 15:30 he was reported to have jumped up one more position and was in 6th , less than two miles from Beyou and still leading the rookie ranking, with second newcomer Morgan Lagravière in 11th one mile further back. Other UK solo sailors Sam Goodchild and Conrad Humpreys are still battling neck-to-neck in 25th and 26th respectively. Nigel King's overnight option did not pay off and he slipped down to 32nd whilst Portugal Francisco Lobato lies in 44th.
What is that?
As the Solitaire skippers were getting to Penmarch' a big blue "monster" approached them. It was no other than maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, that just smashed the Fastnet Race record, on her delivery journey from Plymouth. The crew waved and saluted some of the sailors, among whom they saw fellow crew members Thierry Chabagny and Erwan Tabarly, before sprinting away at full speed.
Jérémie Beyou (BPI): "It is harder to be in front downwind."
"it's a textbook situation: past Penmarc'h the weather is always good. It's nice to have some sun. There's a breeze so we're moving. The wind is not going to die out at least until tonight, later it will probably turn right and become north-west. We'll have to gybe. True, when you are leading you show the way to the others. It is harder to be in front downwind. Would be great to have a bit more leeway. But they are there, close behind, and I'll have to deal with that."
Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat): "It's not over yet"
"A big blue bird just flew past my little Gedimat. It was amazing to watch Banque Populaire so close and she was so fast, the crew waved at me (Thierry has been sailing on the maxi tri for the last two years and is going to be on board next winter for the Jules Vernes Trophy record attempt, ed. note). It was such a joy. They did the same to Erwan and Jérémie. We've hoisted the spinnaker but the air is very light. We're still moving so nothing to complain about, a nice afternoon is on the menu. I managed to sleep, had a good nap before passing the Four. I slept also after the Raz de Sein. Four 20 minute siestas, not bad at all, and I feel ok. We're waiting for the wind to go right, a small ridge is coming towards us, tonight or tomorrow it's going to become north-west and the way to manage this is what we're all thinking about."
Sam Goodchild (Artemis): "So far it's been good."
"So far it's been very good, I broke nothing which is the first time through the race. I had a bad bit off Land's End so I was near the back and then had a better bit off Ushant, and then I think I'm back in the middle but I'm not sure. Now is beautiful sailing with sun and a bit of wind. Hopefully the wind stays but we will have to wait and see. Maybe tonight it's a bit more difficult. At the moment I'm happy and just trying to enjoy the sailing, I'm next to Jeanne Gregoire and Gildas Morvan so it's not too bad. I'm not 100% sure what's going to happen first with the wind, we expect it to turn light but that may happen when it gets dark and the sun is gone, I'm not too sure. We're waiting. We still have 117 miles to the finish, so it will probably be tomorrow afternoon."
Romain Attanasio (Savéol): "Some sun at last!"
"Some sun at last! I've to decide whether to wear shorts or not, we're no longer used to. I've used a cap for the first time! Heading to Sables under spinnaker but the wind is light. Some are a bit further inshore, we're more offshore and I'm just behind Thierry Chabagny and the leading trio. Those behind you think you've managed to get some lead and then bang, they come again... it's a bit stressful. I think that something is going to happen soon, so I'll need to be ready to take the shift. I'm not sure how that's going to happen."
Conrad Humpreys (DMS): "Very difficult at the moment."
"It's very difficult at the moment, very light breeze. We are five boats very close to each other, with Banque Populaire, Artemis, Vandee, myself and Think Blue. We try and make the most of the small amounts of wind to get to the finish but I think we're all very tired so it's quite difficult. I think we'll see the wind veer and come around a little bit more to the West and then the North-West and maybe we'll jibe back in towards the shore. But at the moment we've got 120 miles so it's going to be a very slow finish, may be take twenty-four hours at least to the finish."
This morning's edition includes photos and pics from Sunday's Figaro departure from Dun Laoghaire and the Rick Tomlinson's pics of the start of the Fastnet race from Cowes. Derry-Londonderry is on her way to Rio in the Clipper race. Regrettably there was no Gold, Silver or Bronze from Weymouth but we're in a strong position. See our video with Annalise here. Plus: The Topper Worlds at the National YC, John Lavery's win at the Flying fifteen South coast champs in Dunmore East, the J24 Nationals from Lough Erne, A local pair whitewashed the RS Feva Nationals in Cork Harbour, some great shots from Bob Bateman. The Oppy Nationals start in Howth and Afloat's Sailor of the Month for July Martin Byrne retained the Dragon Nationals in Kinsale. There's also the full weekend results from Dublin Bay SC.
Just 8 hours after National Yacht Club Commodore Paul Barrington bade farewell to the 47 brave Solitaire sailors starting their gruelling 420 mile sail back to France, he was raising the curtain on the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championship – one of the world's big sailing event for the professional sailors of the future.
The Figaro stopover was a great success – capturing the imagination of the visitors, the town and the thousands of locals who visited the ships, shops, and fireworks attached to the event.
The tight changeover from Figaro to Toppers was a challenge to the National Yacht Club organizing committee – but there were some great benefits as event Chairman Margaret Kneafsey explained:
" Friday night there was a wonderful fireworks display and festivities put on by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council – but by 7am on Saturday morning the marquee was cleared and taken down so the Topper competitors could take up their places. It has been very inspiring for the young sailors (all under 18) to see the professionalism of the Figaro race and the exciting lives professional sailors can lead."
Margaret and her large team of volunteers have been delighted to have 180 entries including the five young sailors who have travelled from Korea and sampled Dublin Bay waters for the first time yesterday ( Sunday) .
"It has given them some flavour for the currents and tides in Dublin bay, before the start of the qualifying races for the championship finals which will start today ( Monday)" said Margaret.
Today's ( Monday) qualifying races will be a an amazing blaze of colour across Dublin Bay with all 180 boats lining up for 3 races. Following the same tomorrow the fleet will split in silver and gold fleets and continue the white heat of final competition for 3 days and 8 races until World Champion emerges on Friday afternoon.
Who thought that the most thrilling part of the third leg would be the finish? It's maybe too soon to tell, but clearly the 8 mile long inshore course and the following run along the green Irish cliffs delivered enough surprises for a whole leg, with continuous changes at the top.
The fleet depart Dun Laoghaire in a rain shower. Photo : Courcoux/Marmara. More Photos on the gallery here
This morning on the pontoons of Dun Laoghaire, an unusual fatigue marked the sailors' faces, as everyone talked about the latest weather forecast. The hint was "be wary" of the apparent simplicity of the 477 miles to Les Sables. And wary they had to be since the very first minutes of the inshore race the situation appeared to be not the simplest one.
In extremely tricky conditions, breeze shifting, coming from all directions and going from 5 to 15 knots in a matter of seconds, it was hard for the sailors to "read" on the water where the next puff was going to come from and going from the top to the bottom of the fleet was just a question of not be stuck in a bubble of light air.
Photo: Michael Chester
At the Radio France mark a trio formed by Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham), Vincent Biarnes (Prati'Bûches) and Jeanne Grégoire (Banque Populaire) had a huge lead on the rest of the fleet, but then shortly later everything changed dramatically. As confirmed by Jeanne Gregoire's word: "For once I started well but now I'm trailing at the back of the fleet. It's a mess but you have to have fun anyway...When I was going downwind under spinnaker to the Radio France mark, I crossed Isa (Isabelle Joschke) and I told her: don't worry there is always the CLS ranking. I had two or three miles lead on her but she just flew past me... Now I've got 25 knots and two minutes ago I had 2!"
Photo: Michael Chester
According to the latest position report, at 16:00 it was Portuguese Francisco Lobato (ROFF) to have a slight advantage on experienced Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) and on overall leaderboard leader Jérémie Beyou (BPI). First British skipper was reported to be young Sam Goodchild (Artemis) in fourteenth position and third in the special newcomers' "rookie" standing, chased by Jersey based Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence), also racing his first Solitaire du Figaro. Conrad Humphreys (DMS) was in 21st position while Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) in 42nd.
Photo: Michael Chester
Up to the next mark at Wolf Rock (at the tip of Cornwall), that is to say over the next 180 miles, it is likely that the fleet will keep on sailing on a long starboard tack and positioning oneself well on the course will be key.
But, for now it's impossible to say who will take the best option. The answer will only be known tomorrow, around noon, when the sailors will be approaching the Scilly Islands.
Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham): "An Irish kind of start..."
"Another Irish kind of start... Actually it's like starting all it over again. We had light wind, current, rainstorms. It's not so funny, I'm no longer in the lead. I hope this is going to settle and the wind stops to do the yo-yo, as long as we're we're sailing leeward of the Irish coast you have to get what you get."
Vincent Biarnes (Prati'Bûches): "Now it is gone"
"The breeze has been increasing since we passed the Radio France mark. Fabien and I we had such a lead, but now, it is gone. The wind turned so quickly, could not manage to take the spinnaker down and the boat was going her own way! It's very shifty and the air coming down the cliffs is strong and gusty. Fabien overtook me just before the mark, he got a better puff and jumped ahead, no more than ten seconds enough to cross the line in front of me."
Photo: Michael Chester
Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) on the eve of the start commented:
"I'm quite pleased for how things are going actually. It's great to be up there with the front group, I've had a bit of a heck just before the finish of the last leg, lost lots of places there but I'm very confident on how things have gone. I'll try and keep it going, hopefully finish in the top ten another couple of times, it would be very nice. Keep things clean, that's what we have to do in this race. Keep the pace and be consistent, make the right decision make sure you don't burn yourself up for the finish. We're probably going to have south westerly so it's going to be reaching or close reaching, not much chance to use our spinnaker, not until we get to Brittany, and it's going to be tactical all the way. Some very interesting choices to make and particularly when we look at the time we will be approaching the raz de Sein which are crucial points to go around. That tack could change everything in the race, if you make a mistake there it can be very costly. Hopefully the tide will be with us, otherwise we won't be moving very quickly. I think you have to do a strategy to minimize the risk. I'm going to go for speed but keep risk very light. It's just not all or nothing. Having yourself in the top ten near the finish and making sensible decision to keep in there... Better than going for a wild strategy early on and then find yourself in the back of the fleet and be forced to make up two hours."
Photo: Michael Chester
Sam Goodchild (Artemis)
"Looks like there will be less wind so it will be more racing than survival. That should be good, hopefully we keep moving all the time, but it's not guaranteed at the moment. I've got my spinnakers back. I don't really know why they keep breaking. We've reinforced everything we know that might break it and we've just got to try not to break them through Leg 3. I've learned a lot about management in the previous leg, learning about yourself, the boat, how to go fast, get the right way, it's a steep learning curve. Generally it's enjoyable, it's up and downs, you try to enjoy it, sailing is what I want to do so...."
Monday's edition includes photos and pics from Sunday's Figaro departure from Dun Laoghaire and the start of the Fastnet race from Cowes. Will it be Gold, Silver or Bronze from Weymouth? How will Peter, David and Annalise end up at the Pre-Olympics? Plus: The Topper Worlds at the National YC, Flying fifteen South coast champs in Dunmore East, the J24 Nationals from Lough Erne, Teens battle for the RS Feva Nationals in Cork Harbour, the Cove People's Regatta, The Oppy Nationals at Howth and the Dragon Nationals from Kinsale. There's also the full results from Dublin Bay SC and Howth.
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Not many Solitaire skippers were on the pontoons today. As some are seeing the physiotherapists, who are working around the clock on the tired muscles, others are planning to spend a couple of hours to visit Dublin's historical city centre, some solo sailors relax just enjoying a beer and a quiet moment on the terrace of the National Yacht Club. Some of the most energetic ones, like race veterans Jean Paul Mouren and Gildas Morvan, opt for one or two rounds on one of the world-famous Irish golf courses. There is a rugby match to watch on TV, with a particular meaning to all, as it's France v. Ireland. And, Alexis Loison, who turns 27 today plans to have a very special birthday celebration.
The Figaro fleet docked at the National Yacht Club. Photo: Michael Chester
And while the sailors try to get in top form again during the short stopover in Ireland, shore teams and sail makers are very busy before the start of leg three, suffice to say that during the crossing from Caen to Dún Laoghaire, no less than 24 spinnakers and 7 jibs were damaged...
Still, everyone seems to be greatly enjoying the friendly atmosphere in Dún Laoghaire, where the skippers were welcomed by the famous Irish warmness.
Sam Goodchild (Artemis): on his coming to Ireland, commented: "I got a very warm welcome, it was great to be greeted on the water, the people are friendly, its nice and relaxed. I'm looking forward to taking it easy and enjoying the jazz festival in Dùn Laoghaire"
Conrad Humpreys' (DMS): comments are as positive as his fellow countryman's: "This part of Ireland I've been to a few times, the yacht club here hosted us for several weeks during the Round Ireland Race. The craic is brilliant, it's great fun, very lovely people. There's a lot of interest in this race in Ireland, it always has a strong presence here."
Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011): "I slept 18 hours flat out. We had such a lovely welcome, like we always get when we go to Ireland. Great warm meal with a cold beer upon arrival. I went to bed on Wednesday at lunchtime planning on getting up for dinner later. I asked Fabien, Jimmy and Eric if they could wake me up to go. I thought they forgot me but in fact they tried, they knocked on my door, called me from the reception, managed to get a key card for my hotel room and came in. They shook me but just could not wake me up. I woke up at 10 am this morning after sleeping 17 or 18 hours. It was purely the hunger that got me up in the end!"
Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics): "It's good to be in Ireland, it's always nice to come here, I'm looking forward to a Guinness tonight, haven't had one yet! In the 2007 Solitaire we went to Cork and in 2009 we went to Dingle, now Dublin, it's always a great experience."
Today, Alexis Loison (Port Chantereyne Cherboug-Octeville) celebrates his 27th birthday in Ireland: "I may eat fish and chips with a candle on it, have a beer tonight to celebrate! For once, I'm onshore and not alone at sea for my birthday. Taking stock of this second leg, my spinnaker is at the sail doctor being mended, physically my back hurts this morning and now I am on the waiting list to the one of the physiotherapists who are all busy today. I have to just really try and make the most of opportunities that come my way. This last leg I really had to work hard to climb up a few places so I am not too unhappy with my results.
While Loïc Le Garrec (Saveurs d'Evenements) turned 38 yesterday: "I could not really make the most of my birthday yesterday at the finish of the race. In fact, for the past three years, I have spent my birthday in the Irish Sea. I woke up alone at 1 am and by then it was too late to go for a drink with everyone. I was truly shattered after the race. It was a particularly hard one."
Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert): "Time to cheer up with a round of golf in Ireland and prepare to watch the France v. Ireland rugby match" "In 15 year editions of racing in the Figaro, I've never ripped a spinnaker. So I was not expecting it. Being let down by the material is not easy to accept. On this race I blew both my spinnakers. The bigger one first and then I hoisted the smaller one only to see it rip. I ended up sailing with my genoa off the spinnaker pole for 20 miles. It really was quite miserable and the results are hard to swallow. I am ready now to put that behind me and enjoy a tour of Dublin followed by a round of golf. Then there is the France v. Ireland rugby match to watch on Saturday."
Yannig Livory gets the chicken pox! On the second leg, around reaching Cherbourg area, the skipper of One Network Energies started to fee ill. Spots started to appear all over his body, which caused severe itching. He felt completely run down and permanently cold. "I was just shattered and everything itches. It was just awful with the wet weather gear on. The doctors diagnostic in Ireland is: I have chicken pox...I suppose that at 45, it is never too late!
Penalties for leg 2
The jury gathered on Thursday 11th of August to decide the outcome of 10 cases put forward at the end of the second leg of La Solitaire du Figaro. Yanning Livory (One Network Energies) and Maurice Tannyères Louis (St Ericsson) get a one hour penalty applied for not completing the course correctly: they sailed round the wrong side of Mullins Island on the shore side just two miles from the finish. Yoann Richomme (DLBC), Isabelle Joschke (Galettes Saint Michel) and Damien Guillou (La Solidarite Mutualiste) get a 25 minute penalty for broken propellor shaft seals. Finally, Sam Goodchild (Artemis), Sébastien Picault (Kickers) and Xavier Macaire (Starter ActiveBridge) each get a 5 minutes penalty for a broken safety gauge seal. These penalties do not change the order of the overall standing for the top 10 positions.
The pewter grey skies cleared briefly to let some bright sun through to spotlight the first Figaro on the horizon and reveal the breakaway leader of the 46 solo sailors competing on the second of four legs that make up La Solitaire du Figaro race. The second leg, 440 miles from Caen to Dún Laoghaire close to Dublin on the East coast of Ireland, set off last Sunday and took just over 65 hours for the winner to complete. Jérémie Beyou (BPI), blew his spinnaker in the shifty breeze just a couple of miles from the finish, but had been surfing downwind at a blistering average of 14 knots, whilst keeping a close eye on his pursuers as he helmed his boat to victory at 10:15 in the morning. The successful and experienced French solo sailor, averaged 6.7 knots over the 65 hours and 25 minutes and 16 seconds. He was both jubilant and exhausted upon arrival.
Nicolas Lunven sailing on Generali from France was just under 20 minutes later in second place with Adrien Hardy on Agir Recouvrement finishing third a further 18 minutes astern. Members of the National Yacht Club, international visiting media, and support shore crew welcomed the skippers on the arrival pontoon with champagne to celebrate. Rookie, or first time participant to complete the gruelling race was Morgan Lagravière in an impressive 6th.
The four British entries, was headed by Phil Sharp on Spirit of Independence in 23rd, just over an hour behind the leader then Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) in 32nd, Sam Goodchild, the youngest skipper at just 21, Sam Goodchild was 33rd in Artemis, and Conrad Humphreys (DMS) in 40th just over two hours behind the winner. Francisco Lobato on Roff, who comes from Portugal, finished in 28th place.
The race was really tough and the conditions, with upwind sailing though squalls, strong tidal currents and rocky channels at the start, were truly demanding. But the adrenaline rush come back for the downwind overnight reach up the Irish Sea to the finish.
All 46 competitors remain in Dún Laoghaire Harbour until the start of leg three on Sunday 14th of August: 475 miles from Dublin to Les Sables d'Olonne in France.
Jérémie Beyou (BPI) – winner in Dún Laoghaire after 440 miles racing from Caen: "Oh my, it feels good to get to the finish line... and in first. I've worked a lot for this race and sometimes it just pays off. It's not easy to be in front and stay there. All in all I feel very happy. Winning is something magical, impossible to explain what you feel, it's just great. It was a though one, squalls at the start and at the finish...it looked like it was going to last forever. The wind on the last part was coming in from all over the place, shifting continuously. My big spinnaker just exploded in the final miles of the race, but then I guess it was taking its revenge as I treated it so badly! And the boat too, I reckon Fanch (his shore team ed. note) is going to be busy with the repairs. Last night there were three of us, Nico Lunven, Erwan Tabarly and myself sailing side by side... I really took the gamble by going along the coast on the most direct route, not an easy decision to sail so close to the Irish coastline. We all knew it was going to be a hard race. I was the first one to hoist the spinnaker yesterday, the others were waiting and I said to myself: Go Beyou, you can do it! I did not sleep much on the first night and on the first day either. It was impossible, but I had some rest on the second one, sailing along under the southern British coastline towards Lands End. O would not quite call what I had sleep; it was more like a few siestas on deck to keep an eye on Erwan Tabarly.
Morgan Lagravière (Vendée) sixth and first rookie to finish in Dún Laoghaire 41 minutes and 59 seconds behind the winner: "It's been the toughest leg I've ever sailed. Three hard days and nights in strong wind and choppy sea and not progressing much... I can't say it was fun, I wanted to sail well but it was also frightening, downwind with 35 knots! It was not easy to keep the boat going straight. I'm obviously happy with my result but I need to rest, eat and take a break, think about something different. Honestly,. I'm glad to get into the game, these are very special and interesting races, but they're so tough! It was hard since the very start in Caen and then I was helming all the time. At the finish, when you are already tired, it's not easy to sail under spinnaker in 30 knots, boats surfing at 18: amazing! One realizes that it is so easy to fall overboard, when the boat is rocking and jumping. I've started this project with Vendée and I would do anything to race well, even if it's cold, the food is awful, no sleep and you end up totally exhausted. It's nice to be back ashore and put things into perspective: I'm more experienced now and I got a good result."
Francisco Lobato (ROFF) from Portugal finishes 28th and 1 hour 46 minutes and 26 seconds behind the winner: "This second leg was not much better than the first one. I started well, but then almost all my options were not right and I kept loosing ground on the leaders. Between Land's End and the St George Channel I decided to go East, it didn't pay off... Only on the final downwind part, while approaching the finish, I managed to climb back some ten/twelve places by staying more inshore. I can't say I'm happy with the result."
Phil Sharp (Spirit of Independence) – first Briton to finish in Dún Laoghaire: « It was a hard race, it was very testing in certain places but they were actually very exciting and enjoyable conditions. I hit a particularly good set of waves and I was just Surfing along at 18knots for about half a minute. Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable, we're all insane! »
Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) and Sam Goodchild (Artemis) were fighting neck-and-neck for much of the leg: "We had a chat last night, we were close enough to talk to each other! I've had a better leg than last leg but I didn't sail the first eighteen hours very well. I don't know what's going on, I lost a lot of time in the first twenty-four hours and then spend the rest of the race trying to figure out how to recover."
Conrad Humphreys (DMS) decided to stay to the right fleet to avoid an area of high pressure initially forecast, but now questions that decision: "I realised I'd made a mistake by not crossing over to the Irish coast early enough but I'm happy, we've got here in one piece and I'm still in very close contention with the rest of the pack, so that's the most important thing. I love Ireland and I'm sure there's a very good pint of Guinness waiting for me!"
Sam Godchild (Artemis) whose decision to tack early upon rounding the Channel Islands: "That was a bad idea, I got my timings wrong. There were three big tactical decisions, the first two I made were wrong which was disappointing and I think I could have done better in this leg. The third was ok and I made up for a lot of time lost after Land's End."
The first arrivals of the 46 competitors of La Solitaire du Figaro yacht race and accompanying French Naval Patrol Ship (PSP Cormoran) and the race management boats are expected in Dún Laoghaire on Wednesday anytime between 08:00 to 11:00.
Times could change, depending on the weather conditions.