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Cork's David Kenefick Finishes in the Top 20 in Figaro Leg Two

11th June 2013
Cork's David Kenefick Finishes in the Top 20 in Figaro Leg Two

#fullirish – Royal Cork's David Kenefick was 18th in the second leg of the Figaro Race that concluded this morning. Overall this puts the sole Irish sailor 30th overall in the 41-boat professional fleet. Full results breakdown below.

Vendée Globe competitor and two time Solitaire winner Armel Le Cleac'h takes home the Leg 2 win, with second skipper Morgan Lagraviere just 59 seconds behind. Light and unpredictable conditions made for an incredibly close end to the Leg – after 298 miles of racing, the first 15 boats finished within one hour of the winner Armel.

Four British skippers finish within the top 20 boats – Sam Goodchild maintains the best of British title, finishing 11th after Leg 2 and Academy Rookie Jack Bouttell delivers another sterling performance as third Rookie to hold on to his overall lead by five minutes in the Rookie division,

On the evening of Monday 10th June, the short and tactical 298-mile Leg 2 of the Solitaire du Figaro, from Porto (Portugal) to Gijon (Spain) concluded. After a final close contact drag race to the finish line, at 15:21:43 BST Armel Le Cleac'h won Leg 2 of the Solitaire du Figaro, with Morgan Lagraviere crossing the line in second just 59 seconds behind him and the next 13 skippers finishing within an hour of the two leaders after just over 51 hours of racing. Leg 2 of the 1,938 mile race saw mixed results for the Artemis Offshore Academy, with a delighted Sam Goodchild (Shelterbox-Disaster Relief) finishing the race in 11th, Nick Cherry (Magma Structures) in 14th, Jack Bouttell (Artemis 77) in 19th and third Rookie and Henry Bomby (RockFish) in 20th to see four British skippers inside the top 20, followed by a very disappointed Ed Hill in 38th. For current leading British skipper Sam, his cumulative times for leg 1 and 2 put the 23-year-old 9th in the overall Solitaire du Figaro rankings.
"I feel much happier with this Leg," said a chuffed Sam on the dock, finishing the Leg after 2 days, 3 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds at sea. "Even though I finished 8th after Leg 1, I feel that on this Leg I sailed myself into 11th as opposed to getting lucky and ending up in the top 10, so I'm much happier with that result."
After leaving Porto, the light and wholly unpredictable winds off the Spanish Coast soon left weather reports redundant, with the skippers instead having to take each shift as it came, adding to the frustration and tactical nature of the Leg: "I finished Leg 2 with another good result, but I never knew what was going on with the wind," reported Magma Structures skipper Nick after finishing Leg 2 in 14th. "From a few hours into the race I decided to just throw the weather forecast out of the window, as nothing was playing out as it should have, so I just tried to stay with the middle of the fleet, sometimes dropping back, sometimes moving forward, but managing to finish just at the right time." See Nick's post race interview here.
"It was very difficult to know what the wind was doing, I had no idea most of the time," Jack added. "I was trying to take into account what Nico (Coach) had told us, but it played out very differently, so it was a bit of luck, and making the most of stable winds to sleep. It was a tricky Leg, standard Figaro and very frustrating." Jack was the third British skipper to finish in Gijon in 19th, also claiming third in the Rookie class just six minutes and six seconds behind winning Rookie Claire Pruvot, with Jack keeping hold of his overall Solitaire du Figaro Rookie division lead by just over five minutes. See Jack's post race interview and onboard footage here.
After a poor start and hanging on in the thirties for the first half of the race, Academy Graduate Henry pulled it out of the bag to climb 13 places over the final day of racing to finish 20th, making Henry the fourth Brit to finish within the top 20 boats at the end of Leg 2: "I made some silly mistakes in my in navigation and I lost a lot of time on that, but this is still my best result in the Solitaire so I'm not too unhappy, just frustrated because I know I could have done a lot better and didn't." Despite claiming his best Solitaire du Figaro result to date, at the end of Leg two the RockFish skipper was faced with bad news after finishing last behind Sam Goodchild, Alexis Loison, Fabien Delahaye and Claire Pruvot – his housemates: "I think I'm the last in the house and for the second time Claire beat me. We did a little internal competition and I think next year, it's going to be me who'll be doing the dishes..."
Ed was the final Academy skipper to arrive back on the docks at 09:33BST as Leg 2 turned into a nightmare for this aspiring skipper. After taking a risky turn west in search of breeze on the approach to Cape Finisterre, Ed was left chasing the fleet before managing to climb three places to finish 38th in the final hours of racing: "I ended up sailing 6 miles behind everyone else and on my own for two days, which was pretty horrible. Fortunately, I caught up with the guys at the back but it's still a terrible result. I'm pretty gutted. I wanted to not lose the Solitaire in a Leg and that is what's happened, meaning all of my hopes of doing well as a Rookie have been dashed." Ed's combined results from Leg 1 and 2 leave him 34th overall with two Legs left to sail. He will now have to find the motivation for the remaining two legs, and perhaps with the pressure off Ed will sail more freely but it is an experience that will, undoubtedly, knock his confidence and demonstrates what a cruel mistress the Solitaire can be. See Ed's dockside interview here.
With two Legs down, Sam is still in the running to win the Patton Hark Regatta Watch as part of the Patton Challenge, despite some pre-race fighting talk from his rivals: "I'm in second behind Sam, but there's four boats behind who'll be keen to win the watch off me," boasted Nick. "I definitely want to win it, it's a good prize and I want to beat the other guys for sure."
Follow the progress of Nick, Sam, Ed, Jack and Henry during the Solitaire du Figaro and Patton Challenge via the Artemis Offshore Academy website. Keep up to date with the latest Solitaire du Figaro news via Facebook and Twitter.
The Patton Challenge Rankings after Leg 1 and 2
Position/Skipper/Boat name/Leg 1/Leg 2/Total points
1. Sam Goodchild/Shelterbox-Disaster Relief/1/1/2
2. Nick Cherry/Magma Structures/2/2/4
3. Jack Bouttell/Artemis 77/3/4/7
4. David Kenefick/Full Irish/6/3/9
5. Ed Hill/Artemis 37/4/6/10
6.Henry Bomby/5/5/10

Solitaire du Figaro Leg 2 results:
Position/Skipper/Boat name/Time at sea
1. Armel Le Cleac'h/BANQUE POPULAIRE/2d, 3h, 11', 43"
2. Morgan Lagraviere/VENDEE/2d, 3h, 12', 42"
3. Anthony Marchand/BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUAL PERFORMANCE/2d, 3h, 16', 12"
4. Jeremie Beyou/MAITRE COQ/2d, 3h, 16', 56"
5. Yann Elies/GROUPS QUEGUINER – LEUKEMIA HOPE/2d, 3h, 19', 45'
6. Yoann Richmomme/DLBC/2d, 3h, 23', 29"
7. Damien Guillou/SOLIDARITY MUTUALISTE/2d, 3h, 27', 5"
8. Nicolas Lunven/GENERALI/2d, 3h, 28", 41"
9. Fabien Delahaye/SKIPPER MACIF 2012/2d, 3h, 30', 32"
10. Frédéric Duthil/SEPULMIC/2d, 3h, 32', 47"
11. Sam Goodchild/SHELTERBOX – DISASTER RELIEF/2d, 3h, 42', 12"
12. Paul Meilhat/SKIPPER MACIF 2011/2d, 3h, 43', 34"
13. Michel Desjoyeaux/TBS/2d, 3h, 43', 43"
14. Nick Cherry/MAGMA STRUCTURES/2d, 3h, 45', 36"
15. Alexis Loison/FIVA GROUPS/2d, 3h, 46', 10"
16. Claire Pruvot/PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM/2d, 4h, 2', 30" – 1st Rookie
17. Xavier Macaire/SKIPPER L'HERAULT/2d, 4h, 4', 33"
18. David Kenefick/FULL IRISH/2d, 4h, 7', 53"/Rookie
19. Jack Bouttell/ARTEMIS 77/2d, 4h, 8', 24"/Rookie
20. Henry Bomby/ROCKFISH/2d, 4h, 29' 50"
21. Corentin Horeau/BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR/2d, 4h, 30', 52"
22. Matthieu Girolet/LAFONT PRESSSE/2d, 4h, 32', 45"
23. Benoit Hochart/ADOCIS/IB REMARKETING/2d, 4h, 41', 6"/Rookie
24. Jean Paul Mouren/GROUPE SNEF/2d, 4h, 54', 21"
25. Jean-Pierre Nicol/BERNARD CONTROLS/2d, 4h, 58', 6"
26. Thierry Chabagny/GEDIMAT/2d, 5h, 3', 25"
27. Gildas Morvan/Cercle Vert/2d, 5h, 16', 48"
28. Nicolas Jossier/IN EXTENSO ACCOUNTANTS/2d, 5h, 25', 22"
29. Adrien Hardy/AGIR RECOUVREMENT/2d, 5h, 34', 42"
30. Julien Villion/SEXIO HABITAT/2d, 5h, 35', 38"
31. Thomas Ruyant/DESTINATION DUNKERQUE/2d, 5h, 39', 30"
32. Frédéric Rivet/DFDS SEAWAYS/2d, 6h, 11', 36"
33. Simon Troel/LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS/2d, 6h, 16', 27"/Rookie
34. Vincent Biarnes/PRATIBUCHES/2d, 6h, 19', 24"
35. Yannig Livory/THERMACOTE FRANCE/2d, 6h, 27', 15"36. Gilles Le Baud/CARNAC THALASSO & SPA/2d, 9h, 0', 35"
37. Joan Ahrweliller/REGION BASSE NORMANDIE/2d, 9h, 7', 19"/Rookie
38. Ed Hill/ARTEMIS 37/ 2d, 9h, 23', 27"/Rookie
39. Didier Bouillard/JEHOL/2d, 9h, 30', 16"
40. Amaiur Alfaro/REGION AQUITAINE/ATELIERS DE FRANCE/2d, 9h, 35', 45"
41. Louis Maurice Tannyéres/JOANNA/RTR
Solitaire du Figaro rankings overall after Legs 1 and 2:
Position/Skipper/Boatname/Leg 1 time/Leg 2 time/Accumulative time/Time behind leader
1. Yann Elies/GROUPE QUEGUINER – LEUCEMIE ESPOIR/3 days, 3h 3m 26s/2 days, 3h 19m 45s/5 days, 6h 23m 11s
2. Frédéric Duthil/SEPALUMIC/3 days, 3h 47m 30s/2 days, 3h 32m 47s/5 days, 7h 20m 17s/0h 57m 06s
3. Alexis Loison/FIVA GROUPS/3 days, 4h 21m 2s/2 days, 3h 46m 10s/5 days, 8h 7m 12s/1h 44m 01
4. Xavier Macaire/SKIPPER L'HERAULT/3 days, 4h 8m 38s/2 days, 4h 4m 33s/5 days, 8h 13m 11s/1h 50m 00s
5. Morgan Lagravière/VENDEE/3 days, 5h 4m 5s/2 days, 3h 12m 42s/5 days, 8h 16m 47s/1h 53m 36s
6. Armel Le Cléac'h/BANQUE POPULAIRE/3 days, 5h 8m 48s/2 days, 3h 11m 43s/5 days, 8h 20m 31s/1h 57m 20s
7. Yoann Richomme/DLBC/3 days, 4h 59m 35s/2 days, 3h 23m 29s/5 days, 8h 23m 4s/1h 59m 53s
8. Jeremiah Beyou/MAITRE COQK/3 days, 5h 10m 4s/2 days, 3h 16m 56s/5 days, 8h 27m 0s/2h 03m 49s
9. Sam Goodchild/ShelterBox – DISASTER RELIEF/3 days, 4h 49m 29s/2 days, 3h 42m 12s/5 days, 8h 31m 41s/2h 08m 30s
10. Nicolas Lunven/GENERALI/3 days, 5h 3m 3s/2 days, 3h 28m 41s/5 days, 8h 31m 44s/2h 08m 33s
11. Paul Meilhat/SKIPPER MACIF 2011/3 days, 4h 54m 32s/2 days, 3h 43m 34s/5 days, 8h 38m 6s/2h 14m 55s
12. Damien Guillou/SLA SOLIDARITÉ MUTUALISTEE/3 days, 5h 13m 28s/2 days, 3h 27m 5s/5 days, 8h 40m 33s/2h 17m 22s
13. Fabien Delahaye/SKIPPER MACIF 2012/3 days, 5h 13m 42s/2 days, 3h 30m 32s/5 days, 8h 44m 14s/2h 21m 03s
14. Nick Cherry/MAGMA STRUCTURES/3 days, 5h 0m 34s/2 days, 3h 45m 36s/5 days, 8h 46m 10s/2h 22m 59s
15. Jean-Pierre Nicol/BERNARD CONTROLS/3 days, 3h 59m 44s/2 days, 4h 58m 6s/5 days, 8h 57m 50s/2h 34m 39s
16. Michel Desjoyeaux/TBS/3 days, 5h 24m 32s/2 days, 3h 43m 43s/5 days, 9h 8m 15s/2h 45m 04s
17. Thierry Chabagny/GEDIMAT/3 days, 4h 27m 46s 2 days/5h 3m 25s/5 days, 9h 31m 11s/3h 08m 00s
18. Jackson Bouttell/ARTEMIS 77/3 days, 5h 27m 49s/2 days, 4h 8m 24s/5 days, 9h 36m 13s/3h 13m 02s/1ST Rookie
19. Claire Pruvot/PORT DE CAEN Ouistreham/3 days, 5h 38m 45s/2 days, 4h 2m 30s/5 days, 9h 41m 15s/3h 18m 04s/Rookie
20. Gildas Morvan/CERCLE VERT/3 days, 4h 26m 6s/2 days, 5h 16m 48s/5 days, 9h 42m 54s/3h 19m 43s
21. Anthony Marchand/BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE/3 days, 6h 30m 3s/2 days, 3h 16m 12s/5 days, 9h 46m 15s/3h 23m 04s
22. Matthew Girolet/LAFONT RELEASE/3 days, 6h 5m 3s/2 days, 4h 32m 45s/5 days, 10h 37m 48s/4h 14m 37s
23. Nicolas Jossier/IN EXTENSO experts comptables/3 days, 5h 13m 11s/2 days, 5h 25m 22s/5 days, 10h 38m 33s/4h 15m 22s
24. Henry Bomby/ROCKFISH/3 days, 6h 14m 7s/2 days, 4h 29m 50s/5 days, 10h 43m 57s/4h 20m 46s
25. Adrien Hardy/Thomas Ruyant/3 days, 5h 27m 6s/2 days, 5h 34m 42s/5 days, 11h 1m 48s/4h 38m 37s
26. Benedict Hochart/ADOCIS / IB Remarketing/3 days, 6h 25m 8s/2 days, 4h 41m 6s/5 days, 11h 6m 14s/4h 43m 03s/Rookie
27. Frédéric Rivet/DFDS SEAWAYS/3 days, 5h 6m 23s/2 days, 6h 11m 36s/5 days, 11h 17m 59s/4h 54m 48s
28. Thomas RuyanT/DESTINATION DUNKERQUE/3 days, 5h 41m 32s/2 days, 5h 39m 30s/5 days, 11h 21m 2s/4h 57m 51s
29. Vincent Biarnes/PRATI'BÛCHES/3 days, 5h 6m 38s/2 days, 6h 19m 24s/5 days, 11h 26m 2s/5h 02m 51s
30. David Kenefick/FULL IRISH/3 days, 7h 30m 55s/2 days, 4h 7m 53s/5 days, 11h 38m 48s/5h 15m 37s/Rookie
31. Corentin Horeau/BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR/3 days, 7h 9m 17s/2 days, 4h 30m 52s/5 days, 11h 40m 9s/5h 16m 58s
32. Julien Villion/SEIXO HABITAT/3 days, 7h 33m 33s/2 days, 5h 35m 38s/5 days, 13h 9m 11s/6h 46m 00s
33. Yannig Livory/THERMACOTE FRANCE/3 days, 7h 23m 21s/2 days, 6h 27m 15s/5 days, 13h 50m 36s/7h 27m 25s
34. Edmund Hill/ARTEMIS 37/3 days, 6h 9m 17s/2 days, 9h 23m 27s/5 days, 15h 32m 44s/9h 09m 33s/Rookie
35. Didier Bouillard/JEHOL/3 days, 7h 55m 2s/2 days, 9h 30m 16s/5 days, 17h 25m 18s/11h 02m 07s
36. Simon Troel/LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS/3 days, 11h 25m 52s/2 days, 6h 16m 27s/5 days, 17h 42m 19s/11h 19m 08s/Rookie
37. Joan Ahrweiller/REGION BASSE NORMANDIE/3 days, 8h 51m 33s/2 days, 9h 7m 19s/5 days, 17h 58m 52s/11h 35m 41s/Rookie
38. Jean Paul Mouren/GROUPE SNEF/3 days, 13h 31m 15s/2 days, 4h 54m 21s/5 days, 18h 25m 36s/12h 02m 25s
39. Gilles Le Baud/CARNAC THALASSO & SPA/3 days, 9h 40m 18s/2 days, 9h 0m 35s/5 days, 18h 40m 53s/12h 17m 42s
40. Amaiur Alfaro/REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIERS DE FRANCE/3 days, 13h 50m 28s/2 days, 9h 35m 45s/5 days, 23h 26m 13s/17h 03m 02s
41. Louis Maurice Tannyères/JOANNA/3 days, 11h 3m 45s/RTR/3 days, 11h 3m 45s

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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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