Joan Mulloy’s 2019 Figaro bid gets a step closer to reality as the first race of the season, the Sardinha Cup, comes in just a few days’ time.
Mulloy, who made her debut in the Figaro last year, has been juggling training with the sponsorship hunt for the last few months, and describes the prospect of her first race back as “a little intimidating”.
But from early next week her focus will be squarely on her Beneteau Figaro 3, which she will be racing with experienced co-skipper Mike Golding.
“Mike will bring a lot of experience to the team, with four Vendée Globes under his belt, but we will both be very much finding our feet for this race,” she says.
Mulloy and Golding will be part of a “pretty intense” lineup that includes more than a few offshore legends — and fellow Irish in the combination of last season’s third overall rookie Tom Dolan and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Damian Foxall.
“I’m very excited to be back on the circuit again this year, but it hasn’t been an easy winter in terms of finding sponsors,” Mulloy says, confirming that she will be starting this first race without a title sponsor.
She adds: “I have some good news in the pipeline, but not quite enough to see me to the end of the Solitaire.”
This year’s Solitaire URGO Le Figaro returns to Kinsale for the first time since 2009.
However, the Figaro is not Mulloy’s only campaign of his season, as she has also been conformed as co-skipper for Alexia Barrier in her IMOCA 60 4myplanet in this year’s Fastnet and Transat Jacques Vabre Races.
“These races give me crucial qualifying miles towards the Vendée Globe,” she says of her ultimate goal. “There are approximately 12 places left in the 2020 Vendée Globe, after those allocated for new boats or previous race competitors.
“These 12 places are allocated based on accumulated qualifying miles … I am currently 11th on this list and so working hard to stay here is very important.”
From next Wednesday follow Joan Mulloy’s progress (as well as Dolan and Foxall) on the Sardinha Cup race tracker HERE.