At 03:00am this morning, County Mayo’s Joan Mulloy crossed the finish line of the first leg of one of the most competitive solo sailing races, La Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro. Mulloy is the first Irish female to compete in this famous race. Mulloy placed 4th out of the 8 Rookies and 27th overall from 36. Speaking about her performance Mulloy said: “I am disappointed in the result a wee bit, but then you just have to look at what our goals were at the start of the year and where we are now, it is great to have been on the start line and now at the finish line.”
Speaking on arrival as she stepped off her boat ‘Taste the Atlantic - A Seafood Journey’, Mulloy said: “I’m totally zonked, the intensity, and the length of it. Three and a half days is a long time to constantly have your foot on the pedal. I loved it, I felt really well prepared, and we felt really well prepared as a team and I had fun!”
The gruelling three and a half day race started in the French port of Le Harve and finished off Saint Quai Portrieux in France. The fleet raced across the English channel battling 30+ knot winds only to be becalmed as the made their way towards a lighthouse off the southwest tip of England. 36 identical 32ft yachts crossed the starting line but the punishing conditions saw seven skippers forced to retire including Ireland’s Tom Dolan.
On Sunday Mulloy will be starting leg 2 of this 4 leg race. When asked what her priorities were during that time she said: “Sleep, have a bath and eat food!”
Leg 2 will see the fleet crossing the notorious Bay of Biscay to finish in the Spanish town of Ría de Muros-Noia 520 miles later.