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La Solitaire du Figaro Yacht Race. French Solo Sailing Event News
Figaro 2023 -
Following the inspection of the on-board computers of all the Figaro BENETEAU 3s after the final finish of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec in Piriac-sur-Mer, the jury of the French Sailing Federation (FFVoile), chaired by Georges Priol, took the decision…
Tom Dolan dropped to 17th overall and, despite a great final stage today – finishing eighth into Piriac-sur-Mer – ended his sixth La Solitaire du Figaro in 18th
The annual French solo, multi-stage one-design offshore race, La Solitaire du Figaro is an incredible sporting challenge, and this year’s edition, the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, which finished into Piriac-sur-Mer on Thursday morning was no exception. Although there…
Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire)  celebrates winning the 2023 Solitaire du Figaro Paprec title
Crossing the finish line of the third and final stage, a 470 miles leg from Roscoff, in sixth place at 03:44:27hrs (local time) this morning off Piriac-sur-Mer, Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire) is the overall winner of the 54th La Solitaire…
Will Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire) deny 22-year-old Basile Bourgnon (Ednred) the 2023 Solitaire du Figaro Paprec title?
Tom Dolan of Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan has made a commendable climb up the leaderboard in the latest update from the 2023 La Solitaire du Figaro, positioning himself in sixth place. He was 4.5 miles behind the leader, Benoît Tuduri of CAPSO…
Race leader overall Basile Bourgnon rising to the challenge on Stage 3 of the 2023 La Solitaire du Figaro
Benoît Tuduri of CAPSO en Cavale has made a formidable comeback on the third and final stage of the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec. Tuduri was denied the Stage 1 win due to a rookie rules transgression but has…
Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire) leads out of the Bay of Morlaix under spinnaker in the third and final leg of the 54th La Solitaire Figaro race
Ireland's Tom Dolan was eighth at the first turning mark in the third and final leg of the  La Solitaire Figaro this Sunday afternoon and well in the match in the race. Last Thursday and Friday, Roscoff may have yielded one…
Tom Dolan at the prize-giving ceremony for the second leg of the Solitaire du Figaro Paprec 2023 in Morlaix Bay - Roscoff on 08/09/2023 - VIVI Trophy rewards the foreign skipper (of all nationalities) with the best ranking on this second leg
Irish sailor Tom Dolan is preparing for the final stage of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, bracing himself for another bout of light winds that could present a significant challenge. Dolan, who sails for Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan, had a disappointing second…
Champagne time for La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 2 winner Basile Bourgnon
Under pressure from one of the title favourites, Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire), 21-year-old Basile Bourgnon (EDENRED) held his nerve in very light wind conditions on Thursday evening (7 September) to win the very challenging second stage of the 54th La…
Gaston Morvan early this morning in the second leg of the La Solitaire du Figaro
Irish sailor Tom Dolan, who won the first leg of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, has dropped to 16th place on the second leg. Gaston Morvan from Region Bretagne-CMB Performance, who made a bold move to the east to work…
Rounding Chicken Rock off the Isle of Man early on Tuesday morning in the Second Stage of the La Solitaire du Figaro Race
Irish sailor Tom Dolan is holding steady in eighth place as the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec enters its second stage. Dolan remains just under seven miles behind the leader, race veteran Alexis Loison of Groupe REEL, who took…
Leader Hugo Dahllene sailing Upwind at South Arklow on Stage two of the La Solitaire du Figaro
Irish sailor Tom Dolan battles strong tides and light winds to climb up the leaderboard on the second stage of the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro, the famous French offshore sailing race. Dolan, the winner of stage 1, is currently…
Light winds are set to prevail through most of the first 36 hours of Stage 2 of La Solitaire Du Figaro that began off Kinsale, County Cork on Sunday
Tom Dolan, the Irish solo sailor who won the first leg of the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, has made a solid start in the second stage of the competition. The leg, which covers over 500 miles from Kinsale…
Tom Dolan (centre) Nils Palmieri (left) and Robin Marais (right) at Saturday’s prizegiving in Kinsale
Tom Dolan, the winner of Stage 1 of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, has been making waves in the sailing world as the first Irish skipper to win a leg of the French solo offshore race in 25 years. The…
Two becomes one - An International Jury decision has promoted Tom Dolan (IRL) to Stage 1 winner of the La Solitaire du Figaro
Jury decisions have changed rankings on the first stage of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, which means Ireland's Tom Dolan has won the leg to Kinsale. The rankings for the first stage of the 54 La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec…
The rise in the international solo offshore sailing reputation of Tom Dolan was marked by his second-place finish into Kinsale on the first leg of the 2023 La Solitaire du Figaro
The rise in the international solo offshore sailing reputation of Tom Dolan, who has been known to describe himself as “an escaped farmboy from north Meath”, has been one of the great Irish sailing sagas of our time. For more…
A delighted Tom Dolan in Kinsale after achieving second place in the first leg of the Figaro Race
Solo sailor Tom Dolan was fairly tired when I talked to him at Kinsale Yacht Club after he had finished second in the first leg of this year’s Figaro Race, sailing Smurfit Kappa into Kinsale with a 14-minute advantage over…

Ireland & La Solitaire du Figaro

The Solitaire du Figaro, was originally called the course de l’Aurore until 1980, was created in 1970 by Jean-Louis Guillemard and Jean-Michel Barrault.

Half a decade later, the race has created some of France's top offshore sailors, and it celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new boat equipped with foils and almost 50 skippers Including novices, aficionados and six former winners.

The solo multi-stage offshore sailing race is one of the most cherished races in French sailing and one that has had Irish interest stretching back over 20 years due to the number of Irish stopovers, usually the only foreign leg of the French race.

What Irish ports have hosted The Solitaire du Figaro?

The race has previously called to Ireland to the following ports; Dingle, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Howth and Dun Laoghaire.

What Irish sailors have raced The Solitaire du Figaro?

So far there have been seven Irish skippers to participate in La Solitaire du Figaro. 

In 1997, County Kerry's Damian Foxall first tackled the Figaro from Ireland. His win in the Rookie division in DHL gave him the budget to compete again the following year with Barlo Plastics where he won the final leg of the race from Gijon to Concarneau. That same year a second Irish sailor Marcus Hutchinson sailing Bergamotte completed the course in 26th place and third Rookie.

In 2000, Hutchinson of Howth Yacht Club completed the course again with IMPACT, again finishing in the twenties.

In 2006, Paul O’Riain became the third Irish skipper to complete the course.

In 2013, Royal Cork's David Kenefick raised the bar by becoming a top rookie sailor in the race. 

In 2018, for the first time, Ireland had two Irish boats in the offshore race thanks to Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy who joined the rookie ranks and kept the Irish tricolour flying high in France. Mulloy became the first Irish female to take on the race.

Tom Dolan in Smurfit Kappa competed for his third year in 2020 after a 25th place finish in 2019. Dolan sailed a remarkably consistent series in 2020 and took fifth overall, the best finish by a non-French skipper since 1997 when Switzerland’s Dominique Wavre finished runner up. Dolan wins the VIVI Trophy.

Dolan finished 10th on the first stage, 11th on the second and seventh into Saint Nazaire at the end of the third stage. Stage four was abandoned due to lack of wind. 

Also in 2020, Dun Laoghaire’s Kenneth Rumball became the eleventh Irish sailor to sail the Figaro.

At A Glance – Figaro Race

  • It starts in June or July from a French port.
  • The race is split into four stages varying from year to year, from the length of the French coast and making up a total of around 1,500 to 2,000 nautical miles (1,700 to 2,300 mi; 2,800 to 3,700 km) on average.
  • Over the years the race has lasted between 10 and 13 days at sea.
  • The competitor is alone in the boat, participation is mixed.
  • Since 1990, all boats are of one design.

2023 La Solitaire du Figaro Course

Stage #1 Caen – Kinsale : 610 nautical miles
Departure August 27 (expected arrival August 30)

Stage #2 Kinsale – Baie de Morlaix : 630 nautical miles
Departure September 3 (expected arrival September 6)

Stage #3 Baie de Morlaix – Piriac-sur-Mer : 620 nautical miles
Departure September 10 (expected arrival September 13)

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