Dolan and co-skipper Tanguy Bouroullec crossed the finish line of the iconic transatlantic yacht race on their boat Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance after 19 days, nine hours, five minutes and 10 seconds.
The duo, who had only sailed together once before teaming up for the 4,000-mile dash from Concarneau, France, to St Barts in the Caribbean, took the top spot in the hotly contested ‘rookie’ category for first-timers
They finished ahead of arch rivals Erwan Le Draoulec and Lois Berrehar by just 45 minutes.
It’s an impressive start to the Figaro Beneteau season for Dolan, who moved into the class from the Mini 6.50 – and joined forces with eco-packaging giant Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance – at the start of 2018.
The 20-strong fleet of two-person teams included 2016 Figaro La Solitaire winner Yann Richomme as well as Vendee Globe racers Morgan Lagraviere and Thomas Ruyant.
Dolan’s Transat AG2R rookie victory is all the sweeter as Le Draoulec was one of his and Bouroullec’s closest competitors in the Mini 6.50, and the winner of the 2017 Mini Transat.
“We are super happy with the race, and especially as we were the first rookies,” Dolan said. “It’s a big thing in the Figaro class so we’re delighted to take the title for the Transat.
“Tanguy and I both know Erwan really well through the Mini 6.50 but neither of us had beaten him in a while! It’s good for the moral to beat the guy who won the Mini Transat.
“The objective for this race was always to be on the rookie podium and we won it, so it’s great.”
Dolan and Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance now turn their attention to training for the season highlight, the singlehanded Solitaire du Figaro in August.
“This result sets me up nicely for the rest of the season,” added Dolan, 30, from Kells in Meath. “The boat has been demystified and now I can concentrate on preparing for the big one – the Figaro du Solitaire.”