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La Solitaire du Figaro Yacht Race. French Solo Sailing Event News
Cork Solo Sailor to Make French Figaro Race Debut in 2013
#figaro – A 21–year–old Cork sailor has launched a bid to compete in one of the world's toughest offshore challenges. David Kenefick will debut in an international fleet that sails to Ireland next year in the 44th edition of the…
Jérémie Beyou is Crowned King of the Solitaire du Figaro 2011
Today, Wednesday at 12:49:01 Jérémie Beyou crossed the line first to win the fourth and final leg from Les Sables d'Olonne to Dieppe. By finishing in Dieppe ahead of the rest of the fleet, and scoring his third consecutive victory,…
Figaro Fleet Near Les Sables
After the excitement of the Dun Laoghaire depature on Sunday the third leg of the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro should be finishing in Les Sables d'Olonne on Wednesday around noon. The 46 boat strong fleet has been progressing in light…
Figaro Says Goodbye to Dún Laoghaire (Photos Here)
At precisely 12:00 on Sunday 14th August, the Race Committee fired the start signal of the third leg of the Solitaire du Figaro, 477 miles from Dún Laoghaire to Les Sables d'Olonne, as public crowded the pier to wave goodbye…
Figaro Fleet Taking it Easy in 'Friendly' Dun Laoghaire
The 46 skippers are profiting from the quiet and relaxed atmosphere in Dún Laoghaire to recover from a very tough second leg. Each has his or her own way of recharging the batteries... a massage, a pint of Guinness, some…
Jérémie Beyou winner and Overall Leader in Dún Laoghaire
The 2005 Solitaire du Figaro champion crossed the finish line Dún Laoghaire not only to win the second leg but take the overall lead in the four-stage sailing race.  Nicolas Lunven, the 2009 champion was second with Adrien Hardy, who…
Jérémie Beyou on BPI wins Dun Laoghaire Leg of Solitaire du Figaro
Crossing the Dún Laoghaire finish line this morning at 09:14:16 French solo sailor Jérémie Beyou won the second leg of 42nd edition of famous sailing race Solitaire du Figaro. It took BPI skipper, who was crowned overall winner back in…
Figaro Leaders Expected in Dun Laoghaire Wednesday Morning
The ETA in Dún Laoghaire for the La Solitaire du Figaro yacht race is tomorrow morning. The first arrivals of the 46 competitors of La Solitaire du Figaro yacht race and accompanying French Naval Patrol Ship (PSP Cormoran) and the…
Figaro Set to Restart in the Irish Sea
A new start in the Celtic Sea? It's sounds incredible, but that is the La Solitaire du Figaro race! Efforts invested in the past 48 hours could come down to very little for the 46 skippers participating on the second…
Jean-Pierre Nicol slips through into Figaro Lead
There has been plenty of action in the first 24 hours of racing on the second leg of La Solitaire du Figaro from Caen to Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.  Jean-Pierre Nicol, racing on board Bernard Controls moves into the lead following…
Figaro Sailors Preparing for Windy Start
The second leg of La Solitaire du Figaro got off on Sunday 7th of August in the Sein Bay, opposite Ouistreham in Normandy with  thousands of people lining the canal and outer harbour wall to wave the solo sailors off. …
470 Miles Upwind to Dún Laoghaire for Figaro Sailors
The second leg of the four stage La Solitaire du Figaro race starts tomorrow from Caen in Normandy to Dún Laoghaire harbour just outside Dublin in Ireland. The 47 solo sailors will set off at 16:00 local French time on…
Figaro Gossip from Caen Before Departure for Dun Laoghaire
Over the course of the first leg there is the sport of sailing and competition on the water to talk about.  There is however, a life at sea we only find out about once the sailors relax and are back…
60% of the Figaro Fleet Finish Within 60 Minutes
Today in Caen, the day after the finish of the first light and demanding leg of La Solitaire du Figaro it it time to review the race standings; there is plenty of hope as 60% of the fleet remain within…
Delahaye wins on Home Waters and Britain's Phil Sharp Seventhth
At 13:14:36 on Tuesday 2nd of August, Fabien Delahaye crossed the finish line to win the first leg of La Solitaire du Figaro between Perros-Guirec and Caen in first place.  The Normandy skipper sailing on Port Caen Ouistreham took just…
Figaro Fleet Inches Forward to Dun Laoghaire
Thirty hours into racing on the first leg of La Solitaire du Figaro, 320-miles from Perros-Guirec in Northern Brittany to Caen,  lower Normandy, and the leaders are positioned just 5 miles from Fairways, off the Needles, on the western tip…

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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