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Meath Sailor Tom Dolan Slowly Works His Way Up Figaro Rankings

4th September 2018
The Figaro Solo Race took the fleet close through some rocky and tide-riven parts of the West Brittany coast yesterday The Figaro Solo Race took the fleet close through some rocky and tide-riven parts of the West Brittany coast yesterday

Tom Dolan, the Meath sailor racing Smurfit Kappa in his first Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, has been slowly working his way up the rankings of the 36-strong fleet as they run across the Bay of Biscay in nor’easters in the second stage from Saint Brieuc in Northern Brittany to Ria de Muros in Northwest Spain writes W M Nixon. Having at one stage been back towards 30th after taking the less favoured western option between Ushant and Brittany, Dolan has got himself back into the hunt with good sailing through the second night at mid-fleet, getting up to 23rd.

The northeast winds are expected to persist, but the tightly-packed positions at the front have changed again with Sebastian Simon, Eric Peron and Scotland's Figaro veteran Alan Roberts doing well out of favouring the eastern side of the leading group, with Simon in such good form that he is 2.4 miles ahead of Peron in second and 4.4 ahead of third-placed Roberts in Seacat Services.

Last night’s early leader Anthony Marchand is now back in 7th, 6.2 miles astray on Sebastien Simon, as the leaders begin to shape their positions for arrival off the coast of Northwest Spain – Sebastien Simon is now only 185 miles from the finish, and half of that will be semi-coastal or coastal sailing off Spain’s Finisterre coast.

Joan Mulloy of Mayo, racing Taste the Atlantic, was inevitably last after the delay caused by her broken main halyard at the start. But she has been sailing well, currently making 11.6 knots and at the moment looking good to overtake Damiena Cloarec to take over 32nd place.

Race tracker here

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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