Displaying items by tag: Solitaire du Figaro
Having led the 33 strong La Solitaire du Figaro fleet since the early hours of this morning Britain’s Sam Goodchild (Leyton) has had to see his hard-earned margin evaporate in a fast failing breeze off the Baie de Morlaix this evening. The two Irish sailors in leg three are currently placed 19th (Tom Dolan) and (Kenny Rumball) 30th. Tracker here.
For the 30-year-old Brit solo racer who placed twice on the podium of warm-up Figaro races this season and who, on Sunday, started the 492 miles Stage 3 from Dunkirk in third position overall, seeing the fleet fall in on his stern was not unexpected as the forecasted shut down in the light easterly breeze arrived.
Goodchild has sailed an outstanding leg so far, fast in all conditions, focused and making assured, relatively low-risk moves. But the final 195 nautical miles, around the tip of Brittany, and south to the finish line at Saint Nazaire at the entrance to the Loire look set to be painfully slow. “We are just coming up to the north Brittany coast. Forecast-wise now we only have what we get from MeteoConsult and that leaves some grey areas, they are not very precise. At the moment the idea is to get to coast quickly to be able to hide or anchor if we need from the strong tide.” Reported Goodchild today as he raced side by side with Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) who won Stage 1.
The Leyton skipper added, “I took advantage of my investment to the SW yesterday and managed to round the Cap de la Hague in the lead with Xavier Macaire who was further out to sea. Achilles Nebout went off Alderney and Adrien Hardy sailed off towards Guernsey, but we may all get back together again depending on what happens to the weather. We’re waiting for the next weather forecast to see what is coming up. We’re expecting to come to a stop off Northern Brittany and we’ll see how things get going again. As usual, there is a lot of seaweed. There are a hundred miles to sail now with very little wind. Guernsey looks good from here. I have never been there but we’re sailing close to the rocks and enjoying the view. Conditions have been easy and pleasant so far.”
Sounding relaxed today Sam Goodchild has already shown considerable maturity and serenity so far and worked carefully with Corentin Douguet on a weather strategy, his friend and rival French skipper being forced out of the race with a damaged vertebrae in his back. “Sam really has followed the game plan we developed beforehand to the letter.” Commented Douguet, “ He is sailing very quickly, always making the right decisions, without ever taking any risks and so far the conditions have been to his advantage. Certain options taken by skippers after passing Dieppe surprised me, but it is not in my philosophy to choose extreme routings when conditions are uncertain. We can still see guys like Eric Péron (French Touch) and Adrien Hardy (Ocean Attitude), who like to "bang the corners". The crucial phases went well for Sam, who is having a very good season. But the remainder of the leg seems more complicated. It seems to me that the hardest part is yet to come.”
With Armel Le Cléac’h more than 12 miles, or two hours behind, in 24th today these two sailors would top the General Classification, but this promises to be an exceptionally challenging, slow night as small, localised low pressure systems such away all of the breeze.
Macaire, who took a narrow lead back from Goodchild this evening, a matter of 150 metres of so, said today, “The sun is out, so it is fairly pleasant today. It’s nice to be out at the front of the fleet. We have got away from the pack behind. The wind is going to drop off this evening and during the night. So a lot could happen. The pack could catch up. I don’t know what to expect. It looks like it is going to be a long one. We knew what was going to happen back at the start with several areas of calm ahead of us. We have just been through one on this second day of racing. And there’s a second one late this afternoon or this evening. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. I have a rough idea of what lies ahead, but I can’t say for the moment what my strategy will be. That will depend on how the wind shifts. We may be close to the coast or further off. We’ve certainly got plenty to amuse ourselves with”
The six leading boats were compacted back to within one mile of each other. The favourable ebb current should work with them from 1800hrs this evening to help them pass the entrance to the Baie de Morlaix. This is probably the most familiar stretch of coastline for the Figaro racers but there will certainly be elements of good and bad luck come into play tonight. The tide will help for the first part of the night but by Portsall, on the corner, the strong tides will be against them and anchoring may be required before Ushant.
“These small low pressure systems are lurking around the tip of Brittany ” explained Francis Le Goff, Race Director. "From tonight they will suck up all the wind, pretty much for whole of the night. In the end this leg is going to be around 96 hours of racing," said Race Director Le Goff, holding on to the idea of a finish time in Saint Nazaire on Wednesday afternoon. He has already postponed the start of the final leg.
Among the notable recoveries in the light airs Yann Eliès (Quéguiner Materiaux-Leucémie Espoir) was back up to eighth at three miles behind the leaders and Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) was in 12th 4,3 miles behind his compatriot Goodchild.
Now more than ever we all need to think about what we buy, where it comes from and where it goes afterwards.
Snacks are difficult to choose; they need to be high in calories while at the same time being tough enough to survive banging around the boat for a couple of days.
So, we can quickly get lazy when shopping and buy things that are triple wrapped in single-use plastic, things that we wouldn't normally eat on land. So why do differently at sea? It took a bit of searching.
I found this great chocolate called 'Grain de Sail', which is manufactured in Brittany. The raw materials (green coffee and cocoa) come mainly from the Caribbean and Central America and are sourced equitably. The company are building their own sailing boat in order to transport the raw materials under sail! Their packaging is made entirely of paper and to top it all off it is very, very good!
I bought dried and fresh fruit and stored it in reusable Tupperware boxes along with cold meats and portions of cheese all from the local market or shop and again wrapped in paper.
- Sacrifices: Babybel, Snickers and penguin bars!
- What I saved: A little under one small bin bag full of single-use plastic packaging
- Shopping list: Lots and lots of reusable Tupperware!
The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is set to return to Kinsale this summer for the first time since 2009 for its 50th gala edition, with a course that takes in a rounding of Fastnet Rock to Kinsale on the weekend of 8-9 June to end its first leg out of Nantes.
The racing fleet continues on a “marathon run” around the Irish coast through the Irish Sea, around the Isle of Man and back down the west coast of Great Britain to Roscoff in northern France.
Stage three is a loop of ‘La Manche’ back to Roscoff before the final stage, via Wolf Rock and the Isle of Wight, to Dieppe. In all the course covers 2,130 miles (not accounting for weather-related changes).
Tom Dolan has already pledged his return for his second Figaro, this time in his new Figaro 3 boat, while the presence of Joan Mulloy — Ireland’s first female entry in the race — will further buoy Irish interest in the challenge as it takes in our coast.
Dolan tells Afloat.ie that he is “itching to get going after three months of computers and meetings!”
Race organisers add:
The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is set to enter a new era this year, with the introduction of the new Figaro Bénéteau 3 for the 50th edition of the annual solo sailing race. Starting from the French city of Nantes on June 2nd, 2,130 nautical miles of challenging offshore racing around some of Europe’s roughest waters await the Figaro skippers, including a return to Ireland with a stopover in Kinsale.
Owned and organised by OC Sport’s French subsidiary OC Sport Penduick, the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is one of the world’s toughest sailing competitions. Fiercely competitive, the race is recognised as the unofficial world championship of solo offshore racing, with the course taking just over a month to complete. Requiring a unique skill set, the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro pushes competitors to the edges of their physical and mental limits.
OC Sport Pen Duick Event Director Mathieu Sarrot commented: “This anniversary year of the Solitaire is set to be an historic edition and we are expecting a diverse fleet including previous winners and new comers to the new Figaro Bénéteau 3. This means the stakes will be high with everyone out to prove themselves in a new boat.
“On the water it will be particularly challenging,” Sarrot continued. “To be successful the competitors will need seasoned offshore experience as well as coastal knowledge. But also sheer grit and determination. With the ongoing support of our title partner URGO, it’s set to be an incredible 50th edition."
The fleet will start leg 1 under the striking bridge of Saint-Nazaire following a passage through the river Loire from the historic city of Nantes in Brittany. After rounding Île d’ Yeu, they will head across the Celtic Sea before passing the legendary Fastnet Rock and heading to the port of Kinsale, Ireland. At 500 nautical miles, the fleet will be immersed in a tough race from the off with a drag race through potentially choppy seas to keep the solo skippers on their toes before they arrive in Irish waters.
Speaking on behalf of the Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business, Board Member Ciaran Fitzgerald and Chairperson Guny Patel commented: “Kinsale Chamber is delighted with the announcement that the 50th Anniversary of the prestigious La Solitaire Le Figaro yacht race has been awarded to Kinsale for June 2019.
“This is an amazing event for Kinsale to host and welcome back having hosted this world famous single handed race more than any Port over the 50 years of the race. Kinsale Chamber looks forward to welcoming the sailors and visitors for what will be an incredible spectacle on sea and land over the five days of the stopover. Congratulation to Enda O'Coineen and his team for bringing this event to Ireland.”
Expected to arrive in Kinsale on Wednesday 5th June, the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro fleet will stay in Ireland until Sunday 9th June, when the skippers will set sail on the longest 630-nautical mile Leg 2 to Roscoff in northern Brittany. In a first for the Figaro fleet, this marathon stage will take the skippers along the stunning Irish coast and through the unpredictable, and at times dangerous, Irish sea before rounding the Isle of Man. A long descent along the rugged western Welsh coast, followed by a passage between Land's End and the Scilly Isles, before a crossing of the English Channel towards Roscoff will conclude what is sure to be a gruelling leg.
From Roscoff, the fleet will stay in the familiar waters of Brittany where they will tackle a 450 nautical mile coastal course that will require them to use all of their technical and tactical prowess in the strong tidal currents, before returning to Roscoff on Wednesday 19th June.
To end the 2019 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, the increasingly exhausted fleet have a double Channel crossing to contend with. At 500 nautical miles, the final leg will see the competitors leave Roscoff on Saturday 22nd June to head across the channel towards Land’s End via a starboard rounding of the south cardinal navigation mark off Portsall. From there, they will have to negotiate the difficult conditions along the south coast of England before skirting the Isle of Wight, and crossing back into French waters through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. With fast depleting energy, the skippers will need to keep their wits about them as they head to a mark off Barfleur, before the final sprint into the Normandy fishing port of Dieppe.
The skippers are expected to arrive in Dieppe on Wednesday 26th June, with a non-points scoring postlogue race planned for Saturday 29th June allowing the public to see the new Figaro Bénéteau 3’s in action before the official prize giving where the winner of the 2019 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro will be crowned.
As many as 40 Figaro skippers are expected to compete in this 50th anniversary edition, including former winners alongside a plethora of young talent. At 2,130 nm, the 2019 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro course is one of the longest in race history and it will take everything in the skippers’ solo offshore arsenal to get them to the finish line.
With just over five months to go until the build-up begins in Nantes, the skippers will be using this valuable time to take delivery and train on their new Figaro Bénéteau 3’s. A full skippers line-up will be revealed in April.
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro 2019 Schedule
May 27th: Arrival of the fleet in Nantes, France
June 2nd, Leg 1 start: Nantes, France – Kinsale, Ireland (via Fastnet Rock) – 500nm
June 9th, Leg 2 start: Kinsale, Ireland – Roscoff, France (via the Isle of Man) – 360nm
June 16th, Leg 3 start: Roscoff, France – Roscoff, France - 450nm
June 22nd, Leg 4 start: Roscoff, France – Dieppe, France – 460nm
June 26th: Anticipated arrival of first boats in Dieppe
June 29th: Postlogue and awards ceremony in Dieppe
#lectures- An illustrated lecture Sailing in the Fast Lane- What’s Next? by Tom Dolan is to be held next week, Thursday 10 January (20:00) at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Ringsend, Dublin.
Admission fee of €5 (in aid of Sailing into Wellness).
Tom Dolan’s intense 2018 season, competing over an 8,000 miles racing circuit, culminated in the Solitaire du Figaro. This racing competition is widely considered as the highest level there is in singlehanded offshore sailing. Despite being his first Figaro season, Tom was on the podium in December at the Paris International Boat Show for his third place award in the Rookie sector.
Tom Dolan is here to tell us how it went, warts and all, and illustrating it with his revealing videos.
2018 had it all: Strong winds, intense moments, big waves and big upsets. He will also reveal his plan for the Solitaire du Figaro 2019 with his new boat, the revolutionary Beneteau Figaro 3, and his longer term dreams. These include racing round the world and representing Ireland in the 2024 Olympics.
Tom’s success as a solo competitive sailor hasn’t blinded him to his Glenans training based on a love of the sea and the power of teamwork on a sailing boat to bring about the best in everybody. Hence his desire to support the work of Sailing into Wellness. Its co-founders, Colin Healy and James Lyons, will speak before Tom about how their sailing programme helps people in their recovery from poor mental health and addiction.
Colin Healy is an expert by experience. During his personal battle with addiction and depression, he found sailing to have a substantial therapeutic value. James Lyons is one of Ireland’s most experienced sail training professionals.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Team France's top man had his right foot "partially severed" when he was run over by the rudder of his foiling catamaran during training in Brittany in late November.
However, after successful surgery Cammas was assured he would not lose the use of his foot as the arteries and nerves were unaffected.
“Now I can spend more time onshore working with the designers and engineers on the new boat,” he said after having his cast removed last week.
It's thought that Cammas could be back on board in time for the resumption of the America's Cup World Series in Oman on 27-28 February.
The Royal Gazette has more on the story HERE.
#fullirsh – David Kenefick's bid for Figaro success as a rookie is underway in Paluillac, France this afternoon after month's of preparation brought the solo Irish sailor to the start line at noon today.
This morning shore teams gave the final touches to the boats and checking each and every detail on board. Earlier the skippers attended the usual pre-start weather briefing led by Météo Consult expert Cyrille Duchesne and gathered for the traditional group photo shooting.
Photos from yesterday's prologue race in the heart of Bordeaux show a relaxed David Kenefick at the helm of Full Irish, organised and focused above all the Cork sailor is now relieved just to be getting on with the job.
The original plan yesterday was to have all 41 boats race about 3 miles up the narrow river but due to a flood up the river several miles away, a dam was needed to be opened which caused a load of trees and some were over 30 feet long to flow down the river. It was to risky to send all the skippers out to race as they could hit a large log and do some damage.
So at 2pm the organisers made a decision to allow the skippers to take as many crew as they wanted to safely sail the race. It was not a race thought but a spectacle for the 25/30k people who lined the 2.3mile shore line on both sides of the river. They staggered the starts in boats of 4, until all 41 boats sailed up the river to the finish.
David's Dad Neil is in France and (pictured below) sailed the race yesterday with David yesterday.
#NAVAL VISITS - The first foreign naval visitors to Dublin Port in 2012 will be the French Navy, as five of an eight-strong class of school-training ships from Brest are due to dock on Friday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The octet belong to the Léopard class though the namesake leadship, Léopard (A 748) and Jaguar (A 750) will not be forming as part of the visiting flotilla.
Those that will be making the weekend port of call, berthing at Sir John Rogersons Quay will be Panthère (A 749) and Lynx (A 751) both commissioned in 1982 and the remaining quartet Guépard (A 752); Chacal (A 753); Tigre (A 754) and Lion (A 755) which entered service the following year. For a photo of the latter vessel and one of her sisters the Chacal click HERE.
Each of the 44 tonnes vessel's measure 17.5m long and have a beam of 6.40m and drawing a draft of 2.40m. To read more on the class characteristics click HERE.
The class follow in the wake of the last French Naval vessel to enter Dublin Bay, PSP Cormoran (P677). The OPV provided guard-ship duties when accompanying the Solitaire du Figaro race fleet during the stopover to Dun Laoghaire Harbour last August, as previously reported on Afloat.ie
The 447 tonnes OPV provides communication liaison and assistance should the forty six sailors require during the arduous race including SAR. As such the vessel can deploy a rapid response high speed RIB-craft from an internal dock-well located at the stern.
Otherwise the RIB is used to board fishing vessels as part of fishery monitoring duties and patrolling France's Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles (370 km). She is a Flamant class OPV and was built in 1997 by the Cherbourg based shipyard Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie. The 54m/177-ft craft is equipped with two 12.7mm machine guns.
As Dun Laoghaire is the only international port of call during the four-leg stages of the 1,695 nautical miles (3,390kms) the hosting of the Irish harbour is a welcomed boost to the sailing community and the local economy. Leading off the Carlisle Pier are pontoons where the one-design boats are moored and opposite is the East Pier jetty berth where the PSP Cormoran is docked.
Also at the East Pier is a festival market which is part of the Festival des Bateaux. The three-day festival ends tomorrow and was organised by the race-hosts the National Yacht Club, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. For further festival details click HERE.
The presence of a foreign naval visitor to the harbour was more commonplace particularly during festivals held in the 1980's. In addition to the French, navies from Belgium, The Netherlands were regular festival participants.
- National Yacht Club
- Solitaire du Figaro
- Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company
- Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
- Dun Laoghaire Harbour
- French Navy
- Festival des Bateaux
- Dun Laoghaire Harbour News
- Naval Visits
- PSP Cormoran
- Dun Laoghaire East Pier
- Dun Laoghaire pierheads
- Dun LaoghaireSables d'Lonne
- Dun Laoghaire Festivals
Dublin Bay it set to burst alive with 'joie de vivre' during the only foreign stopover in the world-famous Solitaire du Figaro yacht race.
Dun Laoghaire will be the only international stop in the race, considered the unofficial world offshore solo championship, between 11 and 14 August.
To celebrate the visit of the iconic 3,390km race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (dlrcoco), the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have joined forces to create the Festival des Bateaux.
The harbour will be a magnificent tapestry of colour as the boats arrive for this international event. Dun Laoghaire will be resplendent with fireworks, music and the sights, sounds, foods and ‘joie de vivre’ of France.
How Dun Laoghaire will look in August
Fireworks will light up the sky at 10pm on Friday 12 August. There will also be a festival village with public access to visiting boats, a colourful and authentic French market and exhibition, a festival stage at Harbour Plaza and activities throughout Dun Laoghaire, not to mention a spectacular farewell as the boats depart early on Sunday 14 August.
Meanwhile, plans to berth the 45 or so competitors expected are well underway, according to the National Yacht Club.
Funding was secured between dlrcoco and Fáilte Ireland, and the tender for the supply and delivery of 18x11.5m pontoons and associated service bollards was won by McNiven Marine, Irish agents for Ronautica Marine.
The gangway contract was secured by Tynes Gangway, and the last contract for the installation and de-commissioning of the infrastructure is currently underway.
The first night at sea of Leg 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro proved to be as demanding as expected, with the skippers fighting against high winds, cold weather, drizzling rain, fog and, especially, a very fastidious swell. Several blown spinnakers but the whole fleet is fastly sailing towards Ireland. After keeping the lead for more than 24 hours, Thomas Rouxel, has to lave first place to Armel Le Cleac'h. Yet, nothing is carved in stone as the first 26 boats are only 5 miles apart at 150 miles from the finish. Last night's Channel crossing from Portsal to Wolf Rock was wet and bumpy for the 44 skippers racing in the 41st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro. "Several skippers reported damages and breakages" said Jacques Caraes form the Race Management catamaran following the fleet's progress in the Celtic Sea. The big waves got the best of at least a dozen spinnakers.
Surely annoying but probably not so relevant for the rest of the race to Ireland because, in theory, the skippers will not need them to sail to Fastnet Rock and their final destination, Kinsale. The damage on Armel Tripon's Gedimat looks more serious, her hull pierced following a collision after the start in Brest. "On starboard tack there is a leak" reports Tripon, at the same time reassuring that the situation seems to be under control and keeps his spirits high. No doubt that shore teams, sail makers, riggers and builders will be busy over next week in Kinsale. For the sailors' joy the long, uncomfortable reaching in high winds up to 25 knots, grey and wet conditions came to an end early in the morning when the leaders rounded the Wolf Rock lighthouse and entered the Celtic sea. The first skipper to reach midpoint to the finish was a consistent Thomas Rouxel (Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne). The fleet later had to deal with a sudden 90° wind shift, provoked by the quick passage of a front, he wind from south westerly became north easterly. Sure enough there will be more of such variations to negotiate before seeing the famous Fastnet Rock, as confirmed by Meteo France's weather expert Sylvain Mondon: "the wind shifty and unstable, coming from the northern sector". No big news there, since before leaving Brest all the skippers declared that they very particularly wary of the Celtic Sea and its tactical tricks.
The tricky sea and hard tactical choices don't seem to be a major problem for Armel Le Cleach (Britair) who is reported to have got in the lead once again, overtaking Thomas Rouxel (Credit Mutuel de Bretagne) and preceding also Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls) in third.
Yet the skippers are sailing in a very compact group, only 4.5 miles separate the leader from the 26th placed, Italian Pietro D'Alì (I.NOVA.3). Yet, another brilliant performance to register from Portuguese Francisco Lobato (ROFF/TEMPO-TEAM), who's been in the leading pack since the start and now lies in 12th position only two miles behind Le Cleac'h and first in the newcomers special ranking. Franco/German Isabelle Joschke (Synergie) is 25th, Swiss Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) is 35th and Jonny Malbon (Artemis) is in 42th at ten miles from the top. As per the latest computer simulations the ETA for the leaders at the Fastnet could be tomorrow between 9 and 12 GMT while the leaders could be crossing the finish line at Old Head of Kinsale. Quotes from the skippers:Corentin Douguet (E.Leclerc Mobile)"The wind shifted by 90° all of a sudden, it nearly got me by surprise. I had to tack quickly and now we are on port. We were heading to target on starboard before and we are doing in now on the opposite tack! We are approaching the Fastnet faster than expected, We've been busy since the start, no waiting game and it should be like that to the Rock, a tight schedule. It's windy but the swell is more annoying, rough and the autopilot is not working 1005 in these conditions. You must steer.
Typical August day in the Celtic sea. I't getting better, the visibility is improving, until a hour ago you can't see anything. Still, I like to be here." Armel Le Cléac'h (Brit Air)"After Brittany Point, a long tack and after rounding Wolf Rock there was a huge wind shift, more than 100°, from SW to NE, the breeze is coming from everywhere... The night was all right, I was happy to have left Brest in a good position, I was afraid of getting stuck somehow in the gulf. The sea is confused, we have a long stretch upwind tacking to the Fastnet, it won't be easy to find the best track to Kinsale. I keep my fingers crossed." Yann Eliès (Generali Europ Assistance)"A front just passed, the wind shifted abruptly but the rain has stopped and it's good after a whole night spent under, literally, buckets of water! You couldn't see much out there. I tried to go West and a cargo ship made a u turn just in front of me, I was obliged to take down the spinnaker. I lost some ground, even if I'm always in the top pack. There are still options to be made: a ridge, wind shifts, all the upwind part to the Irish coast that's going to be fun..."
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