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Tom Dolan ranges between 5th and 11th in Figaro Two–Handed Transatlantic Challenge

1st May 2018
Ireland’s Tom Dolan sorts out a spinnaker repair. Scroll down for video. Ireland’s Tom Dolan sorts out a spinnaker repair. Scroll down for video.

Ireland’s Tom Dolan and France’s Tanguy Bouroullec have seen their fortunes rise and fall and rise again as the fleet in the Figaro two-handed AG2R Mondiale from Concarneau in Brittany to St Barths in the Caribbean puts the obligatory Canary Islands waypoint astern.

They’ve been shaping up to the tactical decision on which side to favour in the long Transatlantic haul, with the Irish-French duo tracking to the left.

The lack of a stopover in the Canaries has meant that sail damage sustained earlier in the race has to be put right on board, and the vid shows Tom taking on the task of sorting the big spinnaker, while Tanguy looks after Smurfit Kappa/Cerfrance’s excellent progress.

We mentioned before the race started that Tom was now so immersed in the French offshore scene that at times he seemed to think in French – now you can see it for yourself. Meanwhile, the word is that on the leaderboard they’ve gone as high as 5th, but have slipped back at times to 11th, though we’re told to expect welcome developments in the next 36 hours.

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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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