Ireland's 'Figaro Duo' teams are racing in the 400-mile Drheam Cup and after a 1 pm start this afternoon are neck and neck in the seven-boat Figaro division.
Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee are making their double-handed debut for Ireland and joining them on the Figaro Beneteau 3 fleet start line are County Meath and French combination Tom Dolan and Mini Transat Winner François Jambou.
As Afloat reported previously, both Rumball and Dolan are looking for a performance boost after both Irish solo sailors posted mixed results in the Solo Maitre Coq last month.
The race represents the start of the Irish campaigns for double-handed keelboat selection for Paris 2024.
The course started from Cherbourg Cotentin and finishes in Lorient and first takes the fleet across the Channel to the West Shambles mark off Weymouth, westwards along the English coast to Wolf Rock off Land’s End and then back across the entrance to the Channel to finish at Lorient, some time on Tuesday.
The 400-mile race mirrors some of what is likely to be part of September’s pinnacle event the La Solitaire du Figaro offshore in which Rumball and Dolan have their sights on.
It is the first time the Figaro Beneteau 3 fleet has been invited to race in this 100-plus boat event which has become a multi-class French offshore Grand Prix, set to feature the Ultime and IMOCA fleets too.