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Tom Dolan Holding Fourth in Two-Handed Mini-Fastnet (Tracker Here!)

19th June 2017
The Sunday morning start for the Mini Fastnet fleet at Douarnenez. An upper limit of 70 had been set on entries, but during the final prep days, the numbers were shaken down to 62 boats The Sunday morning start for the Mini Fastnet fleet at Douarnenez. An upper limit of 70 had been set on entries, but during the final prep days, the numbers were shaken down to 62 boats

Ireland’s Tom Dolan currently lies fourth in class as the 62–strong fleet in the 600-mile Mini-Fastnet from Douarnenez in western Brittany goes into its first night, crossing the English Channel to the first mark at the Wolf Rock writes W M Nixon. After that, they pass close close to Land’s End on a routing which keeps the little boats clear of shipping separation zones.

mini fastnet course2The course for the Mini Fastnet has to take account of shipping zones

It’s a two–handed event, and sailing with Dolan on Cellestab.com (IRL 910) is longtime shipmate Francois Jambou. Once again Ian Lipinsky with the ultimate prototype Griffon is the overall leader, but with the breeze mostly from the easterly sector, most of the fleet have been making good progress.

However, once Land’s End has been passed, an obligatory leg northward may see some windward work, while the weather in the days ahead could see much flukier conditions develop. But for now, sailing conditions are wellnigh ideal, and IRL 910 was making 8.2 knots in fourth place as midnight approached.

Published in Tom Dolan
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Tom Dolan, Solo Offshore Sailor

Even when County Meath solo sailor Tom Dolan had been down the numbers in the early stages of the four-stage 2,000 mile 2020 Figaro Race, Dolan and his boat were soon eating their way up through the fleet in any situation which demanded difficult tactical decisions.

His fifth overall at the finish – the highest-placed non-French sailor and winner of the Vivi Cup – had him right among the international elite in one of 2020's few major events.

The 33-year-old who has lived in Concarneau, Brittany since 2009 but grew up on a farm in rural County Meath came into the gruelling four-stage race aiming to get into the top half of the fleet and to underline his potential to Irish sailing administrators considering the selection process for the 2024 Olympic Mixed Double Offshore category which comes in for the Paris games.

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