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Tom Dolan & Gildas Mahé Lying Fourth on Transat en Double

20th May 2021
Tom Dolan (left), racing with the French co-skipper Gildas Mahé lies in fourth place on the Transat en Double
Tom Dolan (left), racing with the French co-skipper Gildas Mahé lies in fourth place on the Transat en Double

Ireland’s Tom Dolan, racing with the French co-skipper Gildas Mahé on Breizh Cola, lies in fourth place on the Transat en Double Concarneau Saint Barthélemy as the fleet heads west across the Atlantic after passing the Canary Islands rounding mark in fifth early on Monday morning. Mahe and Dolan are less than two miles behind the leaders Alexis Loison and Guillaume Pirouelle.

Racing at around 11 knots of boatspeed in a moderated NE’ly tradewinds there is nothing between the top group of boats.

Dolan reported today, “It feels great to be at the top of the fleet, there is a great match going on and it's really stimulating. Even though we're crossing the Atlantic it's still a Figaro race in terms of sheer intensity, and so constant contact with other boats makes it all the better.  Our team work together is great, we got a right kicking at La Palma this morning, we sailed into the headland to exploit the acceleration zone and shift and ended up in 40+ knots of winds. We didn't break anything though and it did allow us to get a bit of a boost to get south. There are a lot of keys to achieving high average downwind speeds, it’s a never-ending compromise between sailing deep and high for speed, and now we have these foils that make it so much easier to accelerate. You can quickly lose the run of things and end up sailing a lot of distance over the water.”

Published in Tom Dolan
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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