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Displaying items by tag: Joan Mulloy

Unfortunately, Stage 1 of his La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro only lasted about 90 minutes for the Irish solo racer Tom Dolan yesterday. He has been forced to retire in to Le Havre because of a damaged starboard spreader. Dolan informed the race organisers that he was returning to the race start port where he is expected to repair and head directly to Saint-Brieuc to be ready for Stage 2. Abandoning the leg means his elapsed time is calculated at that of the last skipper to finish plus an additional two hours.

Listen into Tom Dolan speaking about the spreader failure on podcast here.

spreader mastDolan's broken spreader in Le Havre port last night. The breakage gave the County Meath sailor no choice but to retire and make repairs for leg two.

Meanwhile, Joan Mulloy, Ireland's first female in the race is currently lying 29th from 30 still racing. See tracker here.

The first stage of this 49th edition, La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, is the longest of the four legs and it will be something of a baptism of fire for the 36 solo racers. They may have a relatively straightforward first afternoon after the start Sunday at 1300hrs but there will be a fast crossing of the Channel under spinnaker as a fast moving and active front passes over the fleet at the start of this evening.

It will be a pretty tough, challenging first night at sea with little chance to rest. But by Monday afternoon it there will be a big change in the weather as the anticyclone re-establishes itself and with that comes a measure of uncertainty, bringing light and unsteady winds. To get to Wolf Rock off the tip of Cornwall first and then across to the Portsall mark off the Breton peninsula in good shape, up to Guernsey and in to the finish in Saint Brieuc, it looks like a long, hard and very open game.

Only six and a half hours after leaving the La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro start line in Le Havre the leaders have already turned west, upwind at the Pullar mark, to the west of Owers. Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire) lead at South Pullar at 1930h French time (1830 BST) being chased hard by Gildas Mahe (Breizh Cola), Tanguy le Turquais (Everial), Sebastien Simon (Bregagne Credit Mutuel Performance), Eric Peron (Finistere Mer Vent), Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF )and Vincent Biarnes (Baie de Saint-Brieuc). Brit Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) is tenth at 1.3nm behind leader. The fleet now race upwind leaving the Isle of Wight to starboard. Low water at Saint Catherine's point was around 1720 BST/1820 French time and so they will be sailing against the building flood tide.

Published in Figaro

First unveiled in 2003 as the new boat for the 1970-founded Figaro Solo Series, the Marc Lombard-designed 34ft Figaro 2 is a class act writes W M Nixon. But with the last one built in 2015, and replacement by the foil-sporting Figaro 3 well underway for next year, the versatile Figaro 2’s days at the sharpest edge of offshore racing are numbered.

figaro three2The Figaro 3’s foiling configuration will become a full part of the Figaro Solo story in 2019

Or are they? Though she carries a tough IRC rating, the Figaro 2 can sail up to it, as has been revealed in the RORC Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. The tail-enders in that boat-breaking marathon are still struggling in light winds towards the finish in the Solent. But in the two-handed division, Volvo Ocean race veterans Benjamin Schwartz and Chen Jin Hao with their Figaro 2 El Velosolex SL Energies Group are long since finished, and they’ve made quite a clean sweep of it – first in 2-handed, first in IRC 2, and 2nd in IRC Overall.

schwartz and hao3Chen Jin Hao and Benjamin Schwartz after winning the Two-Handed Division and placing second overall in the RORC Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race.

This made it an event to remember for Marc Lombard, as he also designed Guy Redpath’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra which won IRC overall and is also rated as the line honours winner. For although Class 40 sailed the same course with Phil Sharp’s Imerys Energy first to finish of the entire fleet, as far as the RORC were concerned it was the IRC Divisions which were the real race, and they made Pata Negra (third in fleet) the recognised line honours victor.

That in turn made El Velosolex second in line honours, But even in the complete fleet with Class 40 included, she was fifth on the water across the finishing line, a brilliant performance by two hyper-tough guys with a now classic boat which happened to be the smallest in the fleet.

This very special boat comes centre stage again on Sunday, with her final time as the boat-of-choice for the staging of the four part URGO Figaro Solitaire from Le Havre, and we’ll be looking at the prospects for Irish skippers Joan Mulloy and Tom Dolan here very shortly. But for now, after the series is over, what then for the Figaro 2 after she has completed these impressive Farewell Tours??

Doubtless most of the boats have already been earmarked for new owners who will know they’re getting a bargain. Trouble is, in future seasons this will be a “No Excuses Sailing Machine”. In an open fleet against more ordinary craft, there’ll be no excuse for not doing well.

Published in Figaro

Joan Mulloy, a pioneering solo sailor from Clew Bay in County Mayo has reached the target of her ambitious #FirstIrishWoman funding effort four days ahead of schedule. Just two weeks ago, Joan launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise €15,000 before the start of the Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro solo sailing race series in France.

The campaign was launched on 10 August at a Women in Leadership event in Trinity College Dublin. The launch saw Joan joining a panel of impressive women leaders from politics, technology, business and academia where they discussed their experiences and Joan’s goal to be the #FirstIrishWoman to compete in the non stop race around the world, the Vendée Globe in 2020.

This Sunday 26th August, Joan will be the first Irish woman to compete in the notoriously competitive Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro sailing race. The Solitaire is a stepping stone and proving ground for aspiring Vendée Globe skippers.

Speaking from France where she is preparing to start her Solitaire race, Mulloy, added: “On Sunday, I will line up against some of the best solo sailors in the world and it is thanks to the support and vision of all those that donated to my crowdfunding campaign, and all the companies that have supported my sailing career.

Mulloy will be racing against a fellow Irish skipper Tom Dolan in this year's Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro. The race spans 4 legs around the French and Spanish coasts.

Published in Figaro
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Solo sailor Joan Mulloy, who will be Ireland's first female entry into the Solitaire du Figaro race, the premier solo sailing race series in France, at the end of this month has started a crowdfunding campaign to support her pioneering professional sailing exploits. She's heading a panel discussion on Women in Leadership this month and is inviting sailors to join the discussion.

At the launch, there will be a panel discussion on Women in Leadership with female leaders from politics, tech, public sector and business as well as hearing about Joan's journey as a professional solo offshore sailor.

Mulloy also has ambitions to be the first Irish woman to compete in the Vendée Globe, the "Everest of sailing", a round-the-world solo yacht race that had no female competitors in 2016.

Speaking ahead of the event, Joan said: “What an amazing week to be having our Women in Leadership event. The Irish hockey team has inspired the nation just like Annalise did in Rio. We have a really strong group of female leaders on the panel which will make for some great discussions. All are welcome, registration is open on firstirishwoman.eventbrite.ie”

Joan Mulloy is part of Team Ireland that includes Gregor McGuckin and his ongoing Golden Globe Race, and Enda O'Coineen's circumnavigation as part of the last edition of the Vendée Globe.

Published in Figaro
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#Cruising - Vendée Globe challenger Enda O’Coineen will be part of the Royal Galway Yacht Club’s inaugural cruise in company from Galway Docks to the new marina in Rossaveal this Sunday 8 July.

BIM seafood ambassador and Figaro contender Joan Mulloy will lead the cruise on board her on board the 30ft racing boat Taste the Atlantic, departing from Galway Docks on the tide at 12pm and aiming to arrive in Rossaveal about four-and-a-half hours later

Other boats taking part are Evolution, a 60ft motorboat skippered by John Killeen, one of the club’s three commodores, and Kilcullen Team Ireland, the IMOCA 60 on which O’Coineen completed his solo global circumnavigation.

All boat owners in the area are invited to join the first of what’s hoped to be an annual event. O’Coineen promises some esteemed company — including Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, who hopes to sail down from Roundstone to meet the fleet.

The cruise is also a great opportunity to meet Joan Mulloy and show support for her Figaro campaign, as well as her own future Vendée Globe ambitions in 2020.

Published in Cruising

On a sunny Monday morning, Mayo sailor, Joan Mulloy sailed up a calm Galway Bay after completing a 1,300 nautical mile solo trip on Team Ireland’s IMOCA 60.

She departed Portimao, Portugal and headed out into the Atlantic in order to clock up the required 1,300 solo miles that now means if a sponsor is found, she can compete in the solo transatlantic race the Route du Rhum. This race would then qualify Joan for the Vendée Globe, the ultimate non-stop solo race in the incredibly powerful IMOCA 60 yacht.

On her arrival, Joan said: “This is an incredibly proud moment for me personally and the wider Team Ireland"

Speaking about the achievement she said: “The qualification marks a huge milestone in our plans to compete in the Route du Rhum and ultimately the Vendée Globe. To be the first Irish female to get to the starting line of the Route du Rhum, and then the Vendée Globe would be amazing. I stand a good chance of being the first Irish female to sail alone, non-stop around the world".

Mulloy will be in Galway this week for SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival. "We’ll have both the IMOCA 60 and Figaro here for the weekend so be sure to make your way to Galway.

Published in Solo Sailing
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Mayo's Joan Mulloy/Thomas Ruyant on board Kilcullen Team Ireland have finished fourth from nine teams in the inaugural Monaco IMOCA series. 

As Afloat.ie reported previously, Ireland's only female solo sailor got a special send off from Vendee Globe competitor Enda O'Coineen.

On crossing the line at 0817hrs this morning (Thursday) after 3 days, 19 hours and 17 minutes of racing, Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet (SMA) won the Monaco Globe Series, the first leg of the new IMOCA world championship. Less than two hours later, the mixed pairing of Isabelle Joschke and Alain Gautier (Monin) did well to take second place, finishing just ahead of Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Péron on Newrest-Art & Fenêtres. The double-handed crews formed by Joan Mulloy/Thomas Ruyant (Kilcullen Team Ireland) and Stéphane Le Diraison/Stan Maslard (Boulogne-Billancourt) completed the top five in what was a breathtaking and instructive race for everyone.

An exciting and hard-fought new race, the first event in the Globe Series, the new IMOCA world championship for the 2018-2021 period, lived up to its promise. In conditions that can only be described as typical of the Mediterranean, as the weather was unreliable and demanded a lot of the sailors, the nine pairs competing went through nine technical and stressful days. After setting sail from Monaco last Sunday, the IMOCAs raced in a magnificent setting and everyone enjoyed themselves out on the water. They headed towards the Strait of Bonifacio before rounding Sardinia from east to west and then headed back up to the Golden Isles, returning to the Principality in a long Mediterranean coastal race.

They were the favourites in the Monaco Globe Series and managed to confirm those predictions. Aboard SMA, Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet warded off the attacks from the determined crews behind them, starting with Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Péron, who remained very threatening on their foiler, Newrest – Art & Fenêtres. “It was extremely physical and tough on the nerves,” explained Meilhat, who won the Bermuda 1000 Race just a few weeks ago. “It reminded me of what I experienced racing on a Figaro in the Mediterranean. In terms of the race, it was crazy with a lot of action. Whether you were ahead or behind, it was never over. But there’s nothing more interesting in terms of adrenaline. You feel alive when you race in the Med!”

Still in with a chance of winning last night, Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Péron had a great race, but in the end had to make do with third place. Fabrice Amedeo: "We may be a bit disappointed, as we almost made it to second place. But upwind, in five knots of wind and with no daggerboard, it wasn’t going to be easy to keep with boats like SMA and Monin. What we will remember however is that we were up with the frontrunners in this battle from start to finish and we were the first foiler to cross the line.”

The mixed pairings in the best of shape

Isabelle Joschke and Alain Gautier (Monin) never eased off and in fact overtook their rivals just a few miles from the finish in Monaco to take second place. A strong performance rewarding a well-managed race. Another mixed double pairing also did particularly well in the Monaco Globe Series. Aboard Kilcullen Team Ireland, the Irish skipper, Joan Mulloy took fourth place along with Thomas Ruyant, who was back on the IMOCA, aboard which he took part in the last Vendée Globe.

Contests at every level with nine boats safely home

Further back, two double-handed crews fought it out like cat and dog to make it to the top five. Respectively seventh and eighth yesterday evening, Boulogne Billancourt (Stéphane Le Diraison/Stan Maslard) and Groupe Setin (Manu Cousin/Alan Roura) clawed their way back during what was a decisive final night to finish fifth and sixth in Monaco. “This was a useful experience for the future of Groupe Setin, as I’ll know better now how to get the most out of the boat. I’ve been throwing everything at this project and that will be continuing in the future,” said a smiling Manu Cousin at the finish.

Two crews sailing IMOCAs with foils suffered in the Mediterranean weather and have to make do with a result that is probably below what they were hoping for. Malizia II (Boris Herrmann/Pierre Casiraghi) and Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton/Arthur Hubert) crossed the finishing line in seventh and eighth place. Pierre Casiraghi: “It was really a fantastic race with lots of ups and downs. It was tough once we’d passed the Strait and we really had to fight hard to climb back up towards Port-Cros with the gaps narrowing within the fleet. The Mediterranean lived up to its promise with a wide range of extremely varied conditions. It was a race that was exciting and an incredible experience.”

Alexia Barrier and Pierre Quiroga brought up the rear this afternoon (Thursday) in spite of their brave efforts on 4MyPlanet2, the oldest boat in the fleet (launched back in 1998). All of the boats competing in the Monaco Globe Series are now safely back in port.

Monaco Globe Series final rankings :

1. Paul Meilhat/Gwénolé Gahinet (SMA)
2. Isabelle Joschke/Alain Gautier (Monin)
3. Fabrice Amedeo/Eric Péron (Newrest-Art & Fenêtres)
4. Joan Mulloy/Thomas Ruyant (Kilcullen Team Ireland)
5. Stéphane Le Diraison/Stan Maslard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
6. Manu Cousin/Alan Roura (Groupe Setin)
7. Boris Herrmann/Pierre Casiraghi (Malizia II)
8. Louis Burton/Arthur Hubert (Bureau Vallée 2)
9. Alexia Barrier/Pierre Quiroga (4MyPlanet2)

Published in Vendee Globe
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Mayo’s Joan Mulloy is taking the helm of the impressive Kilcullen Team Ireland IMOCA 60 to compete in the Monaco Globe Series on the 1st June. This will be Mulloy’s first IMOCA event and will give her valuable points towards qualifying to race around the world in the Vendee Globe. It will also be the first time ever that a female Irish sailor has competed in a qualifying race for the Vendee Globe.

The Monaco Globe Series will see nine IMOCA 60 racing yachts compete double handed over the course of a week in a mix of inshore ‘exhibition races’ and a 1,300-mile offshore sprint around the Mediterranean. The offshore race will pass many iconic islands such as Sardinia, Corsica and Menorca in a race that is expected to last 4 days.

"This will be Mulloy’s first IMOCA event and will give her valuable points towards qualifying to race around the world in the Vendee Globe"

Speaking ahead of the event Joan Mulloy said: “This is an incredible opportunity for me to get my first race in an IMOCA 60 done and will give me an all-important taste of what the Vendee Globe will be like.

Enda O’Coineen and the backing of Team Ireland has been instrumental in getting Joan Mulloy Team Ireland up and running and this will be another huge step forward in getting the first Irish female entrant to the start of the Vendee.”

Joan’s co-skipper for the Series is Thomas Ruyant. Thomas was a previous skipper of the now named Kilcullen Team Ireland in the 2016 edition of the Vendee Globe. His racing record includes an impressive win in the Mini Transat followed by a Route du Rhum victory in a Class 40.

For more on the event see here

Published in Solo Sailing
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Mayo solo sailor Joan Mulloy successfully completed her first race in the highly competitive Figaro II fleet in France this morning. The Solo Maître CoQ was the first major race of Joan’s 2018 season and the first time her ‘Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey’ branding was revealed.

The race consisted of a two hour ‘inshore’ race where the 24 strong fleet raced in 20 knot plus winds and big seas off the coast of Les Sables d’Olonne. This was then followed by the 245 miles offshore race that took over 40 hours of nonstop sailing to complete. Joan was the only female to complete the race.

Joan Mulloy Solo
Joan Mulloy lines up at the start of the solo race

Typically, the solo skippers rely heavily on the ‘autohelm’, an electronic self-steering system, to allow them to sleep, cook and trim the sails. Unfortunately for Joan her autohelm malfunctioned before the start of the offshore race and she was faced with a difficult decision to abandon the race or to continue on knowing that she will get virtually no sleep for the entire race. Joan opted to continue on and sacrifice sleep.

“I said I would do the first short leg and see if I could find a solution to get my autohelm working again. It became clear that this wasn’t going to happen, but I made the decision to continue racing. I knew it would be hard to remain competitive without sleep and not being able to leave the helm for more than a few seconds,” said Joan.

The 245-mile course saw the fleet round some stunning islands off the coast of France and return to Les Sables d’Olonne. The skippers battled the elements and saw winds range from 25 knots to almost nothing at all.

Joan added, “I can’t explain how proud I am to have finished my first solo event."

Joan will now return to Lorient to train for her next event. 

Published in Figaro

#Figaro - Bord Iascaigh Mhara will support for Joan Mulloy in her challenge this year as the first Irish female sailor to compete in the world famous Solitaire du Figaro race.

The solo, multi-stage race spans the length of the French coast from the Mediterranean to the North Atlantic Ocean. Fewer than 15% of competitors are female, and no women from Ireland have ever before taken part.

BIM’s ‘Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey’ trail, co funded by the EU and the Government under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), is headline partner to the Joan Mulloy – Team Ireland 2018 challenge.

The trail, developed in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, is designed to educate people as to how Irish seafood is caught and farmed sustainably along the Wild Atlantic Way.

BIM chief executive Jim O’Toole explains the rationale behind the sponsorship: “Joan grew up working on her father’s mussel farm in Clew Bay and her knowledge of the seafood sector and her clear passion for the sea makes her sailing initiative a great fit for BIM and Irish seafood. I would like to wish Joan the very best of luck as she trains for this extraordinary challenge.”

The famously gruelling single handed ‘Le Figaro’ race takes place at the end of August and involves four legs, ranging from two to five days at sea, sailing day and night.

Over 40 identical boats will compete, the majority of which are skippered by the best French sailors, who lead the world in single-handed sailing.

Joan Mulloy explains what this challenge means to her: “Being the first Irish female sailor to compete in the famous Solitaire du Figaro is an honour and would not be possible without the support we have received from BIM. This is as competitive as solo sailing gets so it's going to be an amazing learning experience out there on the racecourse.”

Joan will act as a Taste the Atlantic ambassador promoting the trail throughout the year, culminating in her appearance at the BIM Seafood Exhibition at the annual SeaFest in Galway from 29 June.

Visitors to Ireland's national maritime festival will get the opportunity to get on board Joan’s impressive yacht to see first-hand how she will undertake the Figaro challenge.

“The Solitaire du Figaro will be the racing highlight but I cannot wait to explore the west coast of Ireland throughout the year,” she said. “Having the boat in Galway for SeaFest is going to provide a really great platform to meet thousands of people and tell them about solo sailing and Irish seafood, two of my favourite things!”

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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