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David Kenefick Relaxed & Ready for the Sail of his Life

2nd June 2013
Full Irish
David Kenefick's Full Irish Figaro bid is underway in France today
David Kenefick Relaxed & Ready for the Sail of his Life

#fullirsh – David Kenefick's bid for Figaro success as a rookie is underway in Paluillac, France this afternoon after month's of preparation brought the solo Irish sailor to the start line at noon today. 

This morning shore teams gave the final touches to the boats and checking each and every detail on board. Earlier the skippers attended the usual pre-start weather briefing led by Météo Consult expert Cyrille Duchesne and gathered for the traditional group photo shooting. 

Photos from yesterday's prologue race in the heart of Bordeaux show a relaxed David Kenefick at the helm of Full Irish, organised and focused above all  the Cork sailor is now relieved just to be getting on with the job.

The original plan yesterday was to have all 41 boats race about 3 miles up the narrow river but due to a flood up the river several miles away, a dam was needed to be opened which caused a load of trees and some were over 30 feet long to flow down the river. It was to risky to send all the skippers out to race as they could hit a large log and do some damage.

So at 2pm the organisers made a decision to allow the skippers to take as many crew as they wanted to safely sail the race. It was not a race thought but a spectacle for the 25/30k people who lined the 2.3mile shore line on both sides of the river. They staggered the starts in boats of 4, until all 41 boats sailed up the river to the finish.

David's Dad Neil is in France and (pictured below) sailed the race yesterday with David yesterday.

AOA FIGARO 010613 IMG-0470 BC

AOA FIGARO 010613 IMG-0513 BC

AOA FIGARO 010613 IMG-0557 BC


Published in Figaro Team

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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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