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David Kenefick Racing for Figaro Qualification

12th April 2013
kenefick solo arrimer
Solo sailor David Kenefick competing in the Solo Arrimer race off Les Sables d’Olonne. Photo: Marcus Hutchinson
David Kenefick Racing for Figaro Qualification

#SoloArrimer – David Kenefick is racing in 21st position this morning after his first night at sea in the Solo Arrimer race in the Bay of Biscay. It is a 320 mile coastal race that has huge significance for the Royal Cork novice sailor as it is one of only two qualification chances for his goal of participation in the La Solitaire du Figaro race in two months time.

The 22-year-old Crosshaven sailor moved up two places into 20th position as he rounded the Pertuis Antioche Buoy at midnight.

The fleet  headed North for 90 miles through the night to Gouvé Vast Buoy near the Quiberon Peninsula. In building winds the fleet was on a two sail reach, a tough leg.

The testing Solo Arrimer race off Les Sables d'Olonne is against 25 of the world's top solo sailors. Former Irish Figaro solo sailor Paul O'Riain of Dublin commented:  'What a line up of solo sailors, it's the who's who of solo sailing; Le Cleac'h (the Jeckyl), Desjoyeaux (the professor), Elies, Duthil, Lunven, Beyou...Vendee winners, multiple Figaro winners, jesus you picked a good fight David for your first big outing, Love it.. brilliant.'

Kenefick is expected back into the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne in the small hours tomorrow (Sat).

Track David's progress here.

Published in Figaro
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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 celebrates 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.

The race has previously called to Dingle, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Howth and Dun Laoghaire.

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 will have two Irish boats in the offshore race thanks to Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy who join the rookie ranks and keep the Irish tricolour flying high in France. 

The 2019 course is more Than 2,000 miles between Nantes, Kinsale (Ireland), Roscoff and Dieppe and is the longest in the race's history.

 

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.

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