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Tom Dolan Ready for Tuesday's Solo Maître CoQ Race

29th April 2024
Irish solo skipper Tom Dolan will compete out of Les Sables d’Olonne in the Solo Maître CoQ
 Irish solo skipper Tom Dolan (IRL 08)will compete out of Les Sables d’Olonne in the Solo Maître CoQ Credit: Vincent Olivaud

From Tuesday until Saturday Irish solo skipper Tom Dolan will compete out of Les Sables d’Olonne in the Solo Maître CoQ, the second of five events counting for the 2024 French Elite Offshore Racing Championship.

“The crewed transatlantic race was a great experience for me. It was really re-energizing. It was a real breath of fresh air, but here I am, super happy to be back on my own boat now, even if it seems very small to me!” grins Dolan.

Racing starts Tuesday at 1100hrs local time out of the famous Vendée marina.

“I’m ready, even though my legs are still a little weak after so much time on the boat. Conditions look fairly calm for the first two days, but with a lot to play for. It promises to be interesting,” says Dolan.

There are two coastal courses of around twenty miles Thursday’s 390-mile offshore race on the Bay of Biscay.

“My objective is to make good starts especially as it looks set to be light and there is a lot to be lost over these first two races. And there does seem to be a risk of the racing being a bit follow my leader with few strategic options.” Says Dolan who finished sixth overall last year.

“The idea is obviously to be able to do better this year,” he concludes.

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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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