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."
SOLO CONCARNEAU Results
1 20h01'50'' MEILHAT Paul SKIPPER MACIF 2011
2 20h14'15'' LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI
3 20h17'13'' LE CLEAC'H Armel BANQUE POPULAIRE
4 20h20'00 ELIES Yann GROUPE QUEGUINER LEUCEMIE ESPOIR
5 20h34'00 VILLION Julien SEIXO HABITAT
6 20h37'50'' RUYANT Thomas DESTINATION DUNKERQUE
7 20h39'15'' MACAIRE Xavier SKIPPER HERAULT
8 20h39'58'' DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
9 20h49'30'' BOMBY Henry Christine
10 20h50'22'' JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
11 CHABAGNY Thierry GEDIMAT
12 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
13 PRUVOT Claire PORT DE CAEN-OUISTREHAM
14 CHERRY Nick ARTEMIS 23
15 KENEFICK David FULL IRISH
16 GOODCHILD Sam SCHELTER BOX DISASTER RELIEF
17 BOUTTEL Jack ARTEMIS 77
18 HOCHARD Benoît IB - MARKETING￼
19 AHRWEILLER Joan Région BASSE NORMANDIE
20 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS 37
21 Le Baud Gilles Thalasso
(Nine boats retired)