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La Solitaire du Figaro Yacht Race. French Solo Sailing Event News
. Ireland’s Joan Mulloy at the start of the Le Figaro, she is currently showing at 23rd, but like several others is virtually becalmed, and she now has a shortfall of 21 miles on the leader
The second night in La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro has been an extremely frustrating one for the fleet as they struggle with light airs in the western English Channel writes W M Nixon. They’ve been trying a variety of tactics…
Joan Mulloy crosses ahead of Anthony Marchand in the Solitaire URGO Figaro Prologue Race this week. At the finish, however, Marchand was 20th while Mulloy had slipped to 28th. In an interesting marketing technique, the BIM-sponsored Taste the Atlantic livery on the Mulloy boat does not seem to mention Ireland anywhere at all.
Sailing fans and supporters currently flocking into the French port of Le Havre for the start of the first of four stages of La Solitaire URGO Figaro 2018 on Sunday are looking to enjoy the shared and at times noisy…
A classic of our time. Joan Mulloy of Westport with her Figaro 2 Taste the Atlantic, tuning up for Sunday’s start at Le Havre of the Figaro URGO Solo 2018. This will be the last time the 2003-vintage Figaro 2 design will be used
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…
Joan Mulloy got a campaign boost through crowdfunding
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…
Solo Sailor Joan Mulloy's 'Women in Leadership' Event Ahead of Figaro Race
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…
Irish solo sailor Joan Mulloy competed in the Figaro Maître CoQ race this weekend
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…
BIM Supports Joan Mulloy’s Pioneering Figaro Challenge
#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…
Joan Mulloy on her way back to Dun Laoghaire from Cowes in her Figaro race yacht
At 18.00 on a cold Friday January evening, west of Ireland solo sailor Joan Mulloy tied up her new Figaro II up in Dun Laoghaire after a 48–hour sail from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. In what is a…
French healthcare group URGO will partner the Solitaire du Figaro for the next three years
URGO, a leading French healthcare group which specialises in advanced dressings and bandages for wound care and family medication, and OC Sport Pen Duick, experts in the organisation of ocean races, have announced today that URGO has become the Title…
Andrew Baker heads for Pampol on leg 2 of the French solo race
Northern Ireland solo offshore sailor Andrew Baker was among the Artemis Offshore Academy making an emotional procession out of Cowes Yacht Haven, the pontoons sinking beneath the weight of friends and family cheering them on their way to Paimpol. Starting Leg…
Andrew Baker from Strangford Lough
Northern Ireland solo sailor Andrew Baker has announced his support of UKSA’s youth development campaign ‘#SeaChange’ during the 2016 Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro. #SeaChange provides life-changing opportunities to schools and groups, disadvantaged and disaffected young people who are not in…
Academy Alumni Andrew Baker (Artemis 64) was 13th
Northern Ireland solo sailor Andrew Baker finished 13th in the Solo Normandie race. Baker, from Strangford Lough, is part of the British Artemis offshore team. British Figaro racer Alan Roberts secured third place, his third top-10 finish of 2016 on…
Six British skippers will take part in the Solo Normandie 2016, Robin Elsey, Alan Roberts, NI's Andrew Baker, Hugh Brayshaw, Mary Rook and Will Harris.
Northern Ireland solo offshore sailor Andrew Baker sailing Artemis 64 says he's learned to 'forget the small stuff in anticipation of bigger challenges' as he prepares for today's Solo Normandie that offers him and his fellow Artemis team–mates the chance to check out…
Northern Ireland solo sailor Hamish Baker from Strangford Lough is in action in France today
Strangford Lough sailor Hammy Baker is among a line up of British sailors from the Cowes-based Artemis Offshore Academy are looking to post strong results in the week-long Solo Maitre Coq race that starts from Les Sables d’Olonne today. With…
Eight British Artemis Offshore Academy skippers competing on the Classe Figaro Bénéteau Circuit in 2016.
Great Britain’s Will Harris was the stand-out performer in the opening race of the 2016 single-handed Figaro circuit, finishing in an impressive sixth place in a fleet of 23 boats on debut. Harris, aged 22, from Surrey at the helm…
At 1300 CET on Sunday 19th June, Leg 1 of the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro will kick off from the historic French town of Deauville. Unfortunately, for Irish fans, after a string of Irish stopovers at Howth, Crosshaven, Dingle, Kinsale…

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.

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