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Figaro Class’s Concarneau 350 Race Will Test Ireland’s Joan Mulloy & Tom Dolan

4th April 2018
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Joan Mulloy of Westport begins her second experience of top level Figaro Solo racing tomorrow with the Concarneau 350 Joan Mulloy of Westport begins her second experience of top level Figaro Solo racing tomorrow with the Concarneau 350

The elite Figaro Class’s 350-miles Solo Concarneau for the trophee Guy Cotton in the Bay of Biscay tomorrow (Thursday) will test Ireland’s Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy on an intricate course writes W M Nixon. The route take two fleets – one solo with Mayo’s Mulloy, the other two-handed with Meath’s Dolan – northwestwards from the Breton fishing/sailing port of Concarneau through the Raz de Seine and the islands off it, and then there’s a long haul southeast to the Ile d’Yeu before returning north to Concarneau.

Joan Mulloy succeeded in finishing her first Figaro Solo race on March 17th, a 245-mile event in which achieving the finish at all was a real challenge, as her autohelm failed shortly before the start. But she got there nevertheless - a courageous performance.

'It looks like the Irish division will be battling it out for glory in the rookie rankings' – Tom Dolan

tom dolan concarneau2Tom Dolan revelling in a breeze in his Mini-Transat – tomorrow, he starts his first race in a Figaro, two-handed with Tanguy Bouroullec.

For Tom Dolan, in training for the Figaro Two-handed Transat AG2R on 22nd April with longtime crewmate Tanguy Bouroullec, things have been hectic, as he took delivery of his second-hand Figaro just two months ago. He and Bouroullec have continued to run their busy Offshore Academy while training themselves in with the boat and sorting sponsorship deals, but fortunately as they’re Concarneau-based it’s a crowded schedule which has been just about possible.

Dolan comments: “There’s some fairly big guns competing in both divisions, most of them have been at this (Figaro racing) for years, so it looks like the Irish division will be battling it out for glory in the rookie rankings…..”

Race Tracker 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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