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Tom Dolan Finishes Sixth Overall in 2024 Solo Maître Coq

4th May 2024
Ireland’s Tom Dolan is back among the front runners with sixth place overall at Solo Maître Coq, a repeat of last year’s result
Ireland’s Tom Dolan back among the front runners with sixth place overall at Solo Maître Coq, a repeat of last year’s result Credit: Vincent Olivaud

Irish sailor Tom Dolan has once again proven his worth among the best offshore racers in the world with an impressive sixth-place finish in the Solo Maître Coq. The gruelling 390-mile solo offshore race, which finished in Les Sables d'Olonne in France's Vendée region, saw Dolan secure a solid fifth place, thereby cementing his sixth-place overall finish in the event. 

Dolan, skipper of Smurfit Kappa – Kingspan, has shown that he is comfortable racing with the best of the best offshore, matching his sixth-placed overall position from last year's event. Speaking about the race, Dolan said, "It was a great race. There was stuff going on all the time, especially in terms of choice of courses. I really enjoyed it!" 

Tom Dolan - surfing at over 30 knots in the 2024 Solo Maître Coq Race Photo: Vincent OlivaudTom Dolan - surfing in over 30 knots of wind in the 2024 Solo Maître Coq Race Photo: Vincent Olivaud

The 21st Solo Maître CoQ is a race that Dolan has clearly enjoyed, as he reflected on the challenging and thrilling moments during the race. "It was a good race, especially on the section between mark in the middle of the Bay of Biscay and the finish. We had some surfs at over 30 knots, under gennaker. It was really, really hard, especially since the wind was super unstable. We were literally glued to the helm with the sheet in our hands taking waves of ocean in our faces. We certainly had enough salt! But the whole race seemed to flash by!"

Despite giving up a little in the last few miles, Dolan remained proud of his performance and is looking forward to future events. "It feels really good to play in front! The Solo Guy Cotten in mid-March was not very satisfying because I ripped a sail, but I know that as soon as the legs lengthen out a little, I am clearly more at ease," said Dolan, who will now enjoy some well-deserved rest at home in Concarneau following an intense spell that included the Solo Maître Coq and the Niji40 Class40 Transatlantic race.

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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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