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Stage 2 Eleventh for Smurfit Kappa’s Tom Dolan Sees Irish Skipper Lying 11th Overall on La Solitaire du Figaro

9th September 2020
Dolan is now only 12 minutes outside the top five as the 35 solo skippers seek to maximise their rest and recovery before Sunday’s restart Dolan is now only 12 minutes outside the top five as the 35 solo skippers seek to maximise their rest and recovery before Sunday’s restart Credit: Figaro

Finishing 11th into Dunkirk, France on the 404 miles second stage of La Solitaire du Figaro this evening Ireland’s Tom Dolan has maintained the level of consistency which he was seeking when he left Saint Brieuc on Sunday morning.

As Afloat reported earlier, adding to his tenth on the 624 miles first stage, around Fastnet and back, the skipper of Smurfit Kappa now lies in an excellent 11th overall, one hour and 11 minutes behind leader Armel Le Cléac’h who won the second stage.

On a tightly packed leaderboard, Dolan is now only 12 minutes outside the top five as the 35 solo skippers seek to maximise their rest and recovery before Sunday’s restart for the 504 nautical miles stage to Saint Nazaire at the entrance to the Loire estuary.

“I seem to be going quite well. I am definitely staying much cooler and focused on the race course and getting away from the starts a bit better. To be honest, I am a bit surprised how well it is going, but in saying that I have worked hard and am doing more in terms of preparation. I feel more confident in what I am doing.” Acknowledged a visibly tired Dolan on the finishers dock in Dunkirk,

“What I planned to do I really pretty much did, I had in my notes to stay north of the fleet on the way back across the Channel and ended up to the south which lost me a few places but overall I am pretty happy with how it went. I am a lot more patient. The more I do this the more I realise that everybody makes mistakes on this race. And this race so far is so very close there is nothing really in it.” Dolan reported, “Now I really need to make sure I get as much sleep as I can for the next stage.”

Published in Tom Dolan, Figaro
Andi Robertson

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Andi Robertson

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Andi Robertson is an international sailing journalist based in Scotland

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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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