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Golden Jubilee Figaro in Kinsale & Round Isle of Man

24th January 2019
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The 2019 Figaro course features racing in Irish waters The 2019 Figaro course features racing in Irish waters

The legendary Figaro URGO sailing show will be coming to Ireland and the Irish Sea big time for its Golden Jubilee season in 2019 writes W M Nixon, with a 20th visit to Kinsale being supported by a subsequent second stage from Kinsale to Roscoff using the Isle of Man as a mark of the course to provide a stage distance of 630 miles.

As previously reported by Afloat.ie, using the new foiling Figaro 3s (with Ireland’s Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy already in possession of one apiece, for which they drew at the Paris Boat Show), the race will start from Nantes on 27th May, and will be a month-long series, as the course of Nantes to Kinsale, Kinsale to Roscoff via the Isle of Man, and Roscoff to Dieppe will not conclude until June 30th.

The fact that single-handed boats will be sailing in Irish waters is covered by the Figaro policy (particularly in evidence when they’re crossing the very busy English Channnel) of having a flotilla of substantial support vessels to shepherd them on their way. As to the visit to Kinsale, it will be quite like old times, as 40% of these major events have used Kinsale as a finish and start port.

Published in Figaro
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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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