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Tom Dolan Seventh in First Race of the Solo Maitre Coq

23rd March 2021
Figaro Beneteau 3 sailor Tom Dolan took seventh from 29 in the first race of the 2021 Solo Maitre Coq Regatta
Figaro Beneteau 3 sailor Tom Dolan took seventh from 29 in the first race of the 2021 Solo Maitre Coq Regatta

Tom Dolan finished seventh and just seven minutes and five seconds behind Alan Roberts, the winner of the first inshore race of the 2021 Solo Maitre Coq.

Dolan is racing in the foiling Figaro Beneteau 3 class of 29 entries. Conditions for the first race at Port Olona, Les Sables d'Olonne were unstable with variations in force and direction.

The National Yacht Club said afterwards that he managed to stick to his strategy and 'to be in the right place at the right time'. 

The Solo Maître CoQ, the first event of the five that form the French Elite Offshore Racing Championship. starts with short, inshore races Monday and Tuesday, a lay day Wednesday before a 340 nautical miles offshore race from Thursday to Saturday.

“The goal this week is to dust off the cobwebs and validate what we have been doing. The main pinnacles are the Transat Concarneau Saint Barths in May and La Solitaire du Figaro August-September, so, although I want a good result here – as much because this has been a bit of a ‘black cat event (ed note, in France the black cat is seen as unlucky) – it is not a dealbreaker,” Dolan asserts.

“I feel like I have had a good balance through the winter and spring and am really ready to go racing now. I have done the work I wanted to do and in training I have been going well so I am quite confident, but, hey let’s wait and see!”

Racing continues this morning with a second inshore race starting at 11am.

Check out his pre-race vid below

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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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