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Solo Guy Cotten The Perfect Dress Rehearsal For Tom Dolan

3rd August 2022

Tom Dolan, the Irish solo offshore sailor, will start the 400 miles Solo Guy Cotten race on Thursday with high hopes of repeating or bettering his fifth place result in this final ‘dress rehearsal’ race before La Solitaire du Figaro which starts in less than three weeks time.

The offshore race starts from and finishes back in Concarneau the Breton sailing town that Dolan has called home for more than ten years. He will start the race fully rested and refreshed after a ten day cycling holiday which has been followed by two days of fine tuning and preparations in readiness for what looks like a tough, breezy race similar to what it was last year.

All thirty four solo skippers who will take on this year’s three stage La Solitaire du Figaro are set to take part in the Solo Guy Cotten and so it represents the perfect last check in before the annual pinnacle annual solo offshore event which starts from Nantes on Sunday 21st August.

“It was really windy last year and it looks like it might be windy again. I seem to like that and do well, so here is hoping.” Said the skipper of Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan on the eve of racing, “I am nice and rested, more so than I ever remember and so I am looking forwards to this race. It will be a good final test of the systems and the sails before La Solitaire.”

“The objective is to finish as high as possible but the standard is very high. It may look the case that because some of the big names have moved on then it leaves things more open but that is just not the case, there are ten or so skippers who might win this race and indeed La Solitaire and I have as good a chance as any.”

Dolan feels he has learned a lot from this season’s two handed races sailing with Brit Alan Roberts, not least the Sardinha Cup to Portugal and back where the Irish-Anglo duo were usually in the top three or four on both outward and return legs of a very light winds race.

“I learned a lot from Alan in terms of starting well and fast and most especially about staying calm at sea when things are not going your way. He is very cool and calm and patient always waiting for the next opportunity.” Dolan concludes.

The course is likely to be northwards or southwards out of Concarneau between 350 and 400 miles. Racing starts at 3 pm local time and the race can be followed on here

Published in Tom Dolan, Figaro
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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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