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Next Figaro Leg Beckons for Tom Dolan & Joan Mulloy in Kinsale

8th June 2019
The Figaro fleet berthed at Castlepark Marina The Figaro fleet berthed at Castlepark Marina

Recovering from the baptism of fire that was leg one of the 50th La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro race into Kinsale on Thursday, both Irish entrants, Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy, attended the Skipper's briefing in Kinsale this afternoon as the south coast town greeted the international fleet.

From what is considered the most competitive fleet ever, Yoann Richomme won the opening stage of the 50th La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro. The open, strategic 545-nautical mile leg from Nantes across the Celtic Sea to Kinsale in Ireland proved to be an appropriately testing introduction of the new Figaro Beneteau foil assisted one design yacht.

Dolan Mulloy OCoineenTom Dolan (left) with Joan Mulloy and her sponsor Enda O'Coineen of the Sunday Business Post

Predominantly light and very changeable winds prevailed through the marathon four days and four nights of racing offering very little opportunity to rest. Expected to finish into the picturesque Irish haven on Wednesday, the stage overran by a full 24 hours.

La solitaire White ladyThe Skippers Briefing at Kinsale's White Lady night club

Figaro Kinsale1Tom and Joan give their impressions of the first leg at a public reception in Market Square

Figaro Kinsale1Jim Lyons of RCYC at the Figaro public reception in Kinsale's Market Square

Figaro Kinsale1

Figaro Kinsale1Competitor Adrien Hardy, who is from Nantes is a former French 420 dinghy champion and Mini class racer

Figaro Kinsale1Kinsale Yacht Club Vice Commodore Mike Walsh (right)

Figaro Kinsale1

Figaro Kinsale1

Figaro Kinsale1

Figaro Kinsale1

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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