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Tom Dolan in Third Place Eyes Final Leg Win in La Solitaire Du Figaro

16th September 2021
Tom Dolan is in third place and vying for a stage four win this lunchtime in the closing stages of the 2021 La Solitaire Du Figaro
Tom Dolan is in third place and vying for a stage four win this lunchtime in the closing stages of the 2021 La Solitaire Du Figaro

Having led the fleet round the Fastnet rock, Ireland's solo sailor Tom Dolan is in third place and vying for a stage four win this lunchtime in the closing stages of the 2021 La Solitaire Du Figaro off Saint Nazaire, France.

The leadership of the decisive Stage 4 was in the balance as the top group passed 82 nautical miles offshore of the NW tip of Brittany heading for the final finish line in Saint Nazaire on the Loire-Atlantic coast.

But while it has been Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019) -overall leader on the General Classification - and French former 470 Olympian Pierre Leboucher (Guyot Environnement-Ruban Rose) - who have been sharing the lead on what should be the penultimate day of racing, the last 24 hours into the finish line look set to encounter very light winds which could well mean the pack compresses and reshuffles.

A big high pressure ridge is set to become established in the west of the Bay of Biscay but even the various weather modelling software systems cannot agree on its evolution tomorrow. The skippers' weather files they left the dock with on Sunday are now well out of date and they are entirely reliant on the very basic synopsis and forecasts relayed to them from Race Direction, their interpretation of them and what they can see happening on the water.

Top ten, leg 4,09/16/2021 

1. Pierre Leboucher - GUYOT environment - Pink Ribbon, 9.4
2. Xavier Macaire - SNEF GROUP, 9.5
3. Tom Dolan - Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan, 9.4
4. Pierre Quiroga - Skipper Macif 2019, 9.8
5. Tom Laperche - Brittany - CMB Performance, 9.3
6. Fabien Delahaye - Gilbert Group, 9.2
7. Tanguy Le Turquais - Queguiner - Innoveo, 9.2
8. Gildas Mahe - Breizh Cola, 9.2
9. Erwan Le Draoulec - Skipper Macif 2020, 9.2
10. Pep Costa - CYBELE VACANCES - TEAM PLAY TO B, 9.5

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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