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'Frustrated' Mid-Fleet Tom Dolan Seeks Strong Offshore Race Finish at the Solo Maître CoQ

1st May 2024
Irish offshore solo sailor Tom Dolan competing in the 2024 Solo Maître CoQ
rish offshore solo sailor Tom Dolan competing in the 2024 Solo Maître CoQ Credit: Vincent Olivaud

Irish offshore solo sailor Tom Dolan is currently sitting in 14th place (results downloadable below as a pdf) from 34 starters at the Solo Maître CoQ Figaro circuit event in France’s Vendée region.

Dolan expressed his 'frustration' after the second race of the event had to be abandoned after six hours of racing due to a drop in breeze.

Despite the setback, Dolan is happy with his performance in the first race, where he 'gained more places than he lost'.

“It’s annoying to have spent so much time fighting it out on the water and to end up with no score to carry forward. That is very frustrating, even in the grater scheme of things if the race only had a coefficient of 1,”

The skipper of Smurfit Kappa – Kingspan is known for his offshore skills and is optimistic about the course set for this year's event, which places the fleet racing in the middle of the Bay of Biscay.

The offshore race component of the event, spanning 390 miles, is set to take place on Thursday, with the race expected to finish between mid-morning and mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Dolan is confident about the race and is looking forward to some challenging upwind conditions.

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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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