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Kenefick Moves into Tenth Position in Figaro Leg Four

30th June 2014
kenefick_la figaro
David Kenefick is mixing it in the top ten of Leg Four of La Solitude du Figaro. Photo: B. Gergaud
Kenefick Moves into Tenth Position in Figaro Leg Four

#fullrish – The start of leg 4 from Les Sables on Sunday was pretty wild writes Irish solo sailor David Kenefick competing in the La Solitaire du Figaro. 25 knots and a two metre swell in bright sunshine made for a fine spectacle.

The 2.5 mile windward leeward start of the long 490 mile leg to Cherbourg sorted a lot of things out quite quickly with fairly large variations in speed shown straight away.

Spectacular surfs downwind eased the pain of the long upwind slog along the rocky coast and as night fell the fleet was heading West towards the approaching depression.
David made a good start and held his own around the course and on Monday morning is in the top half of the fleet in much lighter airs sailing North past Belle Isle.

Having sailed most of the night upwind into a dropping wind as they crossed the pre-depression ridge the fleet is now reaching with spinnakers heading North West to the Chausée de Sein, the next mark of the course.

But as ever there is a trade-off going on between being further west and getting the better breeze earlier or further north and getting to the mark earlier. The next part of Monday will show us which side of the fleet has got this right.

At 08:00 this morning David was in 10th position on the Eastern side of the fleet. You can follow the tracker on lasolitaire.com

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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