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Onboard Computer Inspection Results in French Rookie Benoît Tuduri 'Excluded' from La Solitaire du Figaro Race, Pierre Daniellot 'Disqualified' from Stages 2 and 3

17th September 2023
Figaro 2023 -
The fundamental principle of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec is simple: sailors fight on equal terms on one-design boats. Therefore, it is the sailor who makes the difference. The rules of sailing racing were applied, and those who deviated from them were sanctioned Credit: Alexis Courcoux

Following the inspection of the on-board computers of all the Figaro BENETEAU 3s after the final finish of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec in Piriac-sur-Mer, the jury of the French Sailing Federation (FFVoile), chaired by Georges Priol, took the decision on Saturday afternoon to exclude Benoît Tuduri (CAPSO – En Cavale) from the race and to disqualify Pierre Daniellot (Team Vendée Formation) from the second and third stages of the race.

Race organisers released the following statement:

"In contravention of the race rules, which strictly prohibit phone connections off the boat during the race, the two sailors actually downloaded GRIB (weather) files during the race, which is prohibited by the class rule and therefore also contravenes World Sailing Rule 69 (damage to the image of the sport). These decisions mean a modification of the General Classification of the race, the Beneteau des Bizuths classification and the Beneteau des Bizuths Trophy.

Following an inspection carried out on Saturday, two boats were the subject of a jury report: CAPSO – En Cavale and Team Vendée Formation.

"The race rules strictly prohibit phone connections off the boat during the race"

“The skippers of these two boats downloaded weather files during the race. We summoned these two racers who appeared before the jury. The documents provided to us prove that they actually downloaded files,” explains Georges Priol. During the investigation, the skipper of CAPSO – En Cavale “admitted that he had taken a second phone on board allowing him to benefit from an Internet connection, which absolutely contravenes all the rules of the race on which the means of reception on board are prohibited. Following his hearing by the FFVoile jury, Benoît Tuduri is therefore excluded from the event. “Given the seriousness of the facts, a report will be sent by the jury to the FFVoile, which could lead to additional consequences for the racer.”

The case of Pierre Daniellot is a little different: due to the limited number of files downloaded, one in England, the other in Vendée and without proven proof that he had a telephone on board, the sanction is not as heavy. He was disqualified from stages 2 and 3. He dropped from 9th to 28th place in the general classification, knowing that any person disqualified on a stage is credited with the last person's time to which three hours are added.

The fundamental principle of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec is simple: sailors fight on equal terms on one-design boats. Therefore, it is the sailor who makes the difference. The rules of sailing racing were applied, and those who deviated from them were sanctioned".

On stage 3 the new podium is as follows: 1 Jules Delpech (ORCOM) 2 Elodie Bonafous (Queguiner - la vie en rose) 3 Gaston Morvan (Brittany Region - CMB performance)

New rookies ranking: 1 Victor Le Pape (Région Bretagne - CMB espoir) 2 Romain Le gall (Centre d'excellence voile - Secours populaire) 3 Julie Simon (Douze)

New overall rankings here

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Published in Figaro
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Ireland & La Solitaire du Figaro

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 celebrated 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.

What Irish ports have hosted The Solitaire du Figaro?

The race has previously called to Ireland to the following ports; Dingle, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Howth and Dun Laoghaire.

What Irish sailors have raced The Solitaire du Figaro?

So far there have been seven Irish skippers to participate in La Solitaire du Figaro. 

In 1997, County Kerry's Damian Foxall first tackled the Figaro from Ireland. His win in the Rookie division in DHL gave him the budget to compete again the following year with Barlo Plastics where he won the final leg of the race from Gijon to Concarneau. That same year a second Irish sailor Marcus Hutchinson sailing Bergamotte completed the course in 26th place and third Rookie.

In 2000, Hutchinson of Howth Yacht Club completed the course again with IMPACT, again finishing in the twenties.

In 2006, Paul O’Riain became the third Irish skipper to complete the course.

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 had two Irish boats in the offshore race thanks to Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy who joined the rookie ranks and kept the Irish tricolour flying high in France. Mulloy became the first Irish female to take on the race.

Tom Dolan in Smurfit Kappa competed for his third year in 2020 after a 25th place finish in 2019. Dolan sailed a remarkably consistent series in 2020 and took fifth overall, the best finish by a non-French skipper since 1997 when Switzerland’s Dominique Wavre finished runner up. Dolan wins the VIVI Trophy.

Dolan finished 10th on the first stage, 11th on the second and seventh into Saint Nazaire at the end of the third stage. Stage four was abandoned due to lack of wind. 

Also in 2020, Dun Laoghaire’s Kenneth Rumball became the eleventh Irish sailor to sail the Figaro.

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.

2023 La Solitaire du Figaro Course

Stage #1 Caen – Kinsale : 610 nautical miles
Departure August 27 (expected arrival August 30)

Stage #2 Kinsale – Baie de Morlaix : 630 nautical miles
Departure September 3 (expected arrival September 6)

Stage #3 Baie de Morlaix – Piriac-sur-Mer : 620 nautical miles
Departure September 10 (expected arrival September 13)

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