Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: La Solitaire du Figaro

#fullrish – The La Solitaire du Figaro fleet which includes  sole Irish entry David Kenefick's 'Full Irish' has been racing hard for 33 hours now and although it hasn't been hard physically it has been a drain on the mental side as the leaders stretched out nicely ahead of the back markers since leaving Plymouth writes Marcus Hutchinson.

The start, originally scheduled for 18:30 had to be delayed due to the dropping sea breeze and the tardy return of the gradient wind.

David made a great start at the pin end again but rounded the top mark in the pack. In the failing light the second short upwind leg in Plymouth Sound gave the first real tactical choice and David leapt at it taking the left hand side of the course out of the tide and with several other boats rounded the last upwind mark in the top ten.

The long leg across from Prawle Point to The Lizard in the Northerly gave the fleet the chance to decide how close to the Lizard they would sail as they headed West. Too close, inspite of a favourable tide, would mean sailing into the wind shadow of this high point, too far South and there would be a lot of extra distance sailed. In the end the Southerly option paid handsomely and unfortunately for David he missed out on this and dropped back into the mid-20s again.

The Scilly Isles and the TSS around them were the next obstacle and spinnakers were dropped around the lonely islands before the fleet headed out across the Irish Sea.

The leaders pulled further ahead for most of Sunday but as the first boats got half way across the wind started to drop in front and the rest of the fleet caught up.

At first light on Monday on approaching the Irish coast pretty much the whole fleet was in sight of each other.

First around the Stags Buoy was Yann Elies at 07:00 and a simple broad reach for the 15 miles down to the Fastnet Rock followed. David's dad and brother along with photographer Bob Bateman came out to see him and get some shots. Hopefully these will make it back to Afloat quickly to go with this story.

The Fastnet marks the halfway point for this leg and the first boats around are likely to stretch out again as the reach back to France in a slowly building breeze.

ETA at the finish in Roscoff is currently Wednesday morning.

Published in Figaro

#lasolitaire2014 – Leg Two of the 2014 Solitaire du Figaro is upon us. We are currently in balmy Plymouth with incredible weather about to be given the race briefing for the next leg. 535 miles from here to our very own Fastnet Rock and back to Roscoff. Exciting for me as any leg is but especially because we are going to be close to home for me. I sailed around the Fastnet Rock in the Fastnet Race last year with Olaf Sorensen but that was two-handed. This of course is different. 39 boats in the fleet, all of us on our own and all of us fighting for places in the most important race of our year.
So what's it going to be like? Well all of us are enjoying major summer weather which inevitably means not too much wind. It's going to take a long time. Although we will have reaching and spinnaker conditions for most of the way out and back it isn't going to be physical, it will be mental. There are a few obstacles on the way some of them real and some of them virtual. We have to respect the Traffic Separation Zones of which there are three large areas to the West and South of Lands End, at the Fastnet Rock and North of Ushant. If we stray into there areas it is instant disqualification. But we can only see them on our navigation charts and computer screens. There are no lines on the water!
We will start in Plymouth with an hour long inshore element around the buoys in Plymouth Sound before heading out to the West. The start is at 18:30 on Saturday, just as the local sea breeze is dropping off and the gradient is re-establishing itself from the other direction. So eventually Northerly going North East 10-15 knots all the way to Ireland.
I'm pretty sure the wind will drop considerably as we approach the Rock as it is almost coincident with the centre of the high pressure you are enjoying this weekend and next week. We will have to be careful as there will be light winds and transitions from gradient to sea breeze as we approach the Irish coast. We will make landfall somewhere between Castletownsend and Loch Hyne as we have to round The Stags South Cardinal buoy before making our way to the Rock. The reason for this little detour is to keep us safely away from the Traffic Separation Zone just to the South of the lighthouse. There may not be any wind and plenty of strong current flowing which might take us into the TSS, and that would mean instant disqualification. No messing. So if you around on Monday morning in that part of the world look out for the boat with the tricolor and the shamrock on the mainsail...
The way back to Roscoff from the Fastnet is the best part of 300 miles in a straight line. That's a long way in a straight line and the further we go the windier it will get which basically means those who are infront will go faster earlier. It will turn into a beat at the end in quite a bit of breeze and we should arrive in Roscoff sometime on Wednesday.

Published in Figaro

#lasolitaire2014 – Royal Cork's David Kenefick has completed his first leg of the 2014 La Solitiare du Figaro, arriving into the British port of Plymouth yesterday. Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva) won his first ever leg of La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cashemire this afternoon as he crossed the line in Plymouth at 14:53:50. This is the Frenchman's second win in the city - he was victorious in last year's Fastnet race, sailing double-handed with his Dad. Loison's decision to stay East of the fleet as they raced from Roscoff to Plymouth paid off. When the wind died he had a better angle for the approach to Plymouth Sound.

Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) won the battle of the solo skippers who had opted for the direct route under tight spinnaker. He crossed the line 7 minutes after Loison and two minutes ahead of Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq). Beyou is chasing a third Solitaire win this year.

23 year old Sam Matson (Artemis 21) arrived in Plymouth at 15:52:39 in 12th place. An impressive result for the Plymouth University graduate in his first ever Solitaire leg. Matson finished as top British sailor and top of the 'bizuth' or rookie class for first time entrants.

This first leg saw the 38 solo sailors make three channel crossings over the 484 mile leg. Keeping the boat and themselves going was difficult at times.

This is the first time the race has ever been to Plymouth's Sutton Harbour and the first time in 11 years that it's been to the UK. The sailors were greeted with blue skies and a warm welcome. Time now for them to catch-up on some sleep before the start of Leg 2 on Saturday evening.

Order of arrival in Plymouth
1. Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva) Arrived at 14:53:50
2. Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) 15:01:17
3. Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) 15:03:32
4. Charlie Dalin (Normandy Elite Team) 15:06:06
5. Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux) 15:08:24
6. Gildas Morwan (Cercle Vert) 15:09:34
7. Paul Meilhat (SMA) 15:10:26
8. Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) 15:15:18

Order of arrival of British / Irish Sailors

12. Sam Matson (Artemis 21) 15:52:39
22. Henry Bomby (Red) 16:43:34
25. Jack Bouttell (GAC Pindar) 17:16:00
26. Alan Roberts (Artemis 23) 17:24:10
27. Rich Mason (Artemis 77) 17:31:33
28. David Kenefick (Full Irish) 17:31:41
31. Sam Goodchild (Team Plymouth) 17:35:28
32. Nick Cherry (Redshift) 17:41:57
37. Ed Hill (Macmillan Cancer Support) 16 miles to go.

Published in Figaro

#FULL IRISH – Irish offshore singlehander David Kenefick is underway again on his second edition of the 2014 Solitaire du Figaro. The Royal Cork Helmsman is racing on the first leg and sends this report exclusively to readers: 

"This leg is going to be between three and four days long. It will be tricky the weather at the start is fairly variable, potential thunderstorms, squalls and periods of no breeze at all. The gradient from the North East will then take us North across the Channel to Owers, near Selsey Bill, and we should get there around 03:00 on Monday morning. From here we turn West and tackle some downwind sailing with foul tide initially before the wind swings round to the South West some time late on Monday or early Tuesday. At the time we should be South of Portland Bill. Monday will be the most important part of the race as we mange these significant transitions. The wind shift to the South West, if it shifts that far, should take us comfortably on one tack down to Wolf Rock off Lands End. Then we tack around the lighthouse and fetch on starboard across to Roscoff in France before turning north for the final and long light downwind run back to Plymouth and the finish."

On the length of the leg and sleeping:
"The longest time I've been at sea alone so far was four and half days, the first leg last year. This one will be something similar. I'm planning on four days food and drink with some reserve and I have to anticipate the length of the leg when planning my sleep patterns. There will be times to sleep and times when you really must be awake and alert to the changing situations. The time to sleep wont necessarily fall at the moment that I'm ready to sleep and of course I'll want to sleep at the most critical times... All part of the fun!"

On his second Figaro:
"This year I'm much better prepared, which is normal its my second year. I've had time to rest and consider the weather situation this week and my boat is well prepared. Last year I was very nervous before the start. Don't get me wrong I'm still nervous now its only normal before you embark on something like this, but its better than last year and it's a different kind of worry. The second time around everything is very different."

On getting going:
"I'm really looking forward to getting going as its now been a month since I left my base in Lorient, we've been on the road since then at different events all heading towards this one so its really time we got going. Its my birthday on Monday, my second birthday at sea during the Figaro. I'm still the youngest competitor in the race, I'll be turning 23 at sea on Monday somewhere off the Isle of Wight!"s

Published in Figaro

#fullirsh – David Kenefick finished the Solo Concarneau in 22nd place just before six pm yesterday evening.

After a valuable two days at sea, where the Royal Cork skipper was as high as 15th in the 32–boat fleet at the midway stage, the conclusion from the 'Full Irish' campaign is that the 340–mile offshore has been 'a great training race with a bit of everything in it'. There was a strong wind upwinds in the dark, headlands, short tacking, windy reaching, downwind VMG, transitions from gradient to sea breeze and back.

Saturday morning saw the Figaro fleet of the Solo Concarneau ahead of schedule as the last long leg North from Ile d'Yeu turns out to be a fairly fast two-sail reach. Kenefick rounded the Ile d'Yeu in the small hours and had been hanging in with some of his Lorient-based training partners on the way North.

You can see the results here.

Published in Figaro

#figaro – Cork solo sailor David Kenefick was in Paris last weekend to collect his prize for the Championship of France Solo Offshore Racing - one of the most prestigious sailing events in France.

The 22-year-old Royal Cork Yacht Club sailor débuted at the La Solitaire du Figaro in June, the world-renowned race which comprises of four legs of approximately 400-500 miles of single handed sailing. David finished the 2013 session when he became the first non-French person to win the rookie division of the Championship of France of solo offshore racing.

He said: "It's amazing to be the first rookie after a very hard and stressful year. It has given me great encouragement for 2014. The Figaro race was extremely tough but I stuck at it, chipped away all year and learned a lot. Not just about how to do better in this very tough fleet but also about the mistakes I made earlier in the year and how I was going to improve from them. Straight after the Figaro I had some of my sails recut and I've found it has made a difference. I've also been working on trying to secure new sponsors, not only a title sponsor, but small partners and sponsors to join me on board Full Irish for 2014. I have now committed myself to do next year's La Solitare du Figaro and am already fully immersed in my 2014 program. I will move to France in January and begin training on board Full Irish before competing in the Solo Maitre CoQ in April. In May, I will use the Solo Concarneau as one of my last warm up events before the famous La Solitaire du Figaro in June, which is going to be very tough."

Last Weekend the course for the 45th edition for the La Solitaire du Figaro was announced with a total distance of 2014 miles, and looks to be one of the toughest courses of the history of the race. There will be no Irish stop over as was previously hoped for.

The first leg will be from Deauville to Plymouth via the Isle of Wight, Wolf Rock and a laid buoy off Roscoff, before the finish in Plymouth. The first leg alone has three channel crossings - no easy task for a full crew, never mind one person racing alone.

Leg 2 takes the fleet from Plymouth around the Fastnet Rock before finishing in Roscoff.

Leg 3 will be from Roscoff to an unnamed port in the Vendee region. Most of this leg will be raced in inshore waters going south along the French coast, before heading out into the middle of the Bay of Biscay to a buoy before then heading to the finish line.

Leg 4 starts from the Vendee region and takes the fleet back North along the West coast of France, before heading across the English channel leaving Wolf Rock to Port, before sailing down the Channel to the Needles Fairway buoy just off the Isle of Weight, then taking the fleet back across the English channel for the sixth time to the finish in Cherbourg.

Published in Figaro

#figaro – The French La Solitaire du Figaro race will visit Plymouth for the first time in June dashing hopes that the race might return to Ireland.

In spite of an innovative new course including a departure from Bordeaux and a Portuguese stage there will be no Irish leg of the 45th edition of the race and instead the race calls to Britain for the first time in its history.

This year Irish youngster David Kenefick won the Rookie of the year prize and there were hopes that his intended continuation in the circuit might bring the race to Ireland as it previously did in 2012.

The 2,014-mile race is one of the main training grounds for the Vendee Globe race, and this will be the first time it has included a British leg.

Sutton Harbour will host some 45 of the world's top sailors, including local sailor Sam Goodchild. The 24-year-old achieved the best British result since 1975, finishing in 11th place this year.

Around 45 sailors, all on identical 33ft boats will arrive in Sutton Harbour at the end of Leg 1 on Wednesday, June 11.

Spectators will see close-fought inshore racing in Plymouth Sound before the fleets departs on its second leg on Saturday, June 14.

The stopovers were announced at the official Solitaire launch in Paris on Thursday. 

More than 30,000 visitors are expected to be lured to Plymouth next summer when the city hosts one of sailing's grand prix events.

Published in Figaro

#figaro – David Kenefick finished the fourth and final leg of the 2013 Solitaire Figaro in Dieppe in the small hours of this morning. Forty-one skippers started this solo race and 2000 miles over the four legs visiting three countries. The Figaro is scored on cumulative elapsed time over all four legs. For the second year in a row the race has been won by Yann Elies. Xavier Macaire was second 25 minutes behind, and in third place was Morgan Lagraviere a further seven minutes back. David finished the race in 28th place, some 12 hours and 14 minutes behind the leader and third of the seven Rookies. This last leg was without question the hardest with strong winds for the last 36 hours seeing one complete dismasting and five other retirements.

Now in its 44th year and following Damian Foxall, Marcus Hutchinson and Paul O'Riain, 22–year–old David has become the fourth and youngest-ever Irish skipper to finish this legendary race.

Shortly after finishing in Dieppe David had the following things to say in a bleary, punch drunk state of fatigue:

On Leg 4. "This leg was really good. It had a lot that we hadn't in the previous legs. Unfortunately, I found myself struggling for speed, which I've done all month. I have crawled my way back into it. It was hard but great."

"I started crawling back into it at Ushant. We had to go rock hopping in the dark and in the mist. My laptop was not working at the time. I had to use my iPad to navigate between a few rocks. That was the scariest part of the race for me, sailing between rocks and hearing breaking water all around me, with almost zero visibility."

On gaining 10-11 places overnight on Friday. "From Wolf Rock to Needles Fairway buoy last night was pretty amazing. I set the small kite with one reef – it was crazy. I was just waiting for something to break. I knew that I'd break myself before the boat broke as so many people have told me. These boats are tough, fast and amazingly stable to sail downwind in a big breeze. I was waiting for the rig to break, but it stayed up. I hoisted at 0200 and just drove all night long. The boat was underneath the water the whole time. I've never done anything like that before, fully powered up all night long. I was terrified that I was going to lose control, and I certainly didn't trust the pilot to do a better job. But next time we got the rankings on the VHF I had gained a lot of places. Through hard work comes gain!!! The most wind I saw on this leg was 38 knots. But sometimes you couldn't see the instruments, and sometimes you didn't want to see them!!!"

On broaching and losing it. "A few times I lost control. But I just let the kicker go, bore off and she was away again. Having two rudders is a joy. It makes it so much easier to push hard safely. I was one of the first to hoist after Wolf Rock in the bunch I was with. I hoisted the moment I'd cleared the Wolf Rock and with it I gained 11 places. Coming into the Needles, we had about 30 knots but then the breeze died and re-built up to 30 knots and unfortunately I did a violent Chinese gybe."

"The strop on my boom that holds the mainsheet on snapped. I managed to gybe back, but my mainsail was lose. I knew I had to drop the kite at the same time to be in a position to safely fix the mainsheet back onto the boom. I dropped the kite but then the kite went flying back out of the hatch. Then my jib sheets came out of the blocks, no figure of eight, so I was trying to chase three sails at the same time!!!!

That was coming into the Needles. I got the two spinnaker sheets and tied those around the boom like on a Superyacht. I made up a new strop for the boom because I knew I'd need the spinnaker sheets again later. Eventually, everything was back under control."

On overall feelings about the Figaro Race. "It was an amazing leg and the whole month has been amazing. If you had said to me last year that I'd be at the finish of the Solitaire, I don't think I would have believed you."

On what's next. "Part of me is now hooked on this race but part of me is a bit frustrated. Unfortunately, the mind has a tendency to forget the hard parts. I'll wait a few weeks and see what I think about it. I am a bit upset. I thought I'd enjoy it a bit more. I have had a difficult month. The night before the start in Bordeaux we had to change the forestay as we found a crack. I'm glad we did. Two forestays have failed in this race, and three rigs have failed. I have had no technical issues at all other than wear and tear and my computer going down from time to time. But this is a sailboat and if you can't sail without a computer you shouldn't be out there. With everything that I have learnt over the last month and the experience I have gained I'd love to be starting this race tomorrow. I'm ready to be a rookie now, but I'm no longer a first timer!"

Published in Figaro

#fullrish – Well Leg 3 didn't go as well as David Kenefick would have liked. He has had a tendancy to treat 200-mile long legs like the first beat of a windward leeward and want to immediately tack to clear his air if he is in dirty air. The problem is that that usually means leaving the fleet and even compromising the side of the course that you want to be on which in a boat speed race, which the Figaro often is, means losing valuable distance and then being on the back foot for the rest of the race.

Leg 3 from Gijon to Roscoff was to be sailed in two parts, the first a 200-mile section across the bay of Biscay to round the Island of Yeu off the Vendée coast, and the second another 240 miles up the French coast through the Raz de Sein around the tip of Brittany and along to Roscoff.
The first part was sailed under a complex ridge of high pressure straddling the whole Bay and the second in the influence of the South Westerly winds to the North of the ridge and an approaching front and depression. The ridge should have been slow and tedious to cross with long periods of light and no wind with skippers watching their barometers to know whether they were to the North or South of the ridge axis. In fact it all turned out differently and the switch from SE to W winds came very quickly and with more pressure the race stayed quick all the way to the finish.
On the wrong side of the fleet David suffered and then had to hang in there knowing that there were going to be no strategic opportunities later and that it would be all about speed and staying awake to drive the boat hard in the freshening conditions. To cut a long story short David finished early on Sunday morning in Roscoff quite far down the rankings and about 6 hours behind the leg winner Morgan Lagraviere. However, other Rookies also had a tough time and one of the favourites Claire Pruvot had to retire from the leg with a broken spreader. The time penalty means that David has moved up a place to third place amongst the seven first timers, and hour and ten minutes off second place and four and a quarter hours off the lead.

The fleet has had four days in Roscoff, a fascinating new port has been built here recently and as we normally just get off the ferry and head for the motorway when passing through we have all had the chance to discover this enchanting small town and the environs. David's partner in this adventure the Comptoir Irlandais, held a drinks reception for him and their guests on Tuesday night in the race village and hopefully the relationship that is being built will lead to further adventures later this year and next. This is after all a commercial proposition and David's success and his boat's coverage here with its Comptoir Irlandais branding on it is promoting the sale of Irish products in the company's 42 shops the length and breadth of the country.

So enough of Leg 3 now its time for the fourth and final leg of this year's race. Roscoff, outside Ushant, via the Chausee de Sein, through the Chenal du Four and up to Wolf Rock, along the South Coast of England to the Needles Fairway, across to a buoy off the port of Antifer near Le Havre and then up the coast to Dieppe and the finish. Five hundred and twenty miles of coastal, cross-channel, tidal, rockhopping and weather driven racing lies ahead. The start is Thursday at 13:00 local and will be in a medium North Westerly breeze. The North Brittany coast is rocky and when the tide is against, you need to get in amongst them to find some shelter and when the tide turns find it inshore first. Outside Ushant and downwind to the navigation mark at the Western extremity of the Sein archipelago will be highly boatspeed dependent. The return North through the Chanel du Four will again be hugely dependent on the state of the tide and again the chances are that the rich will get richer as the leaders get through before the tide turns foul for the followers.

The leg North from here to the Wolf Rock off the Cornish coast is probably going to be upwind and will sort out the men and women from the boys and girls. What's more there is the chance of a tidal gate here with the east going flood tide heading up the Channel ready to whisk away the leaders and give them another advantage. The wind should be piping up strongly at this stage on Friday evening and the fleet will be set for some high speed downwind sailing overnight and into Saturday as the legendary headlands of The Lizard, Start Point, Portland Bill and Anvil Point are ticked off. The Needles Fairway buoy will be a right turn for the fleet into a freshening SSW breeze meaning a wet 100-mile jib reach slog back to the French side of the Channel and a landfall buoy off the oil tanker harbour of Antifer near Le Havre. The final 50-odd miles will again see spinnakers blossom and a high speed chase continue to the conclusion of this year's event.

There isn't much upwind sailing, there are several tidal gates, it will be fresh for at least half of the course and there wont be too many opportunities to sleep. This will be physically the toughest of the four legs of this year's race and we expect to see the leaders finishing in Dieppe in the small hours of Sunday morning. Spare a thought for them all over the next few days!!!

Published in Figaro

#fullirish – Royal Cork's David Kenefick was 18th in the second leg of the Figaro Race that concluded this morning. Overall this puts the sole Irish sailor 30th overall in the 41-boat professional fleet. Full results breakdown below.

Vendée Globe competitor and two time Solitaire winner Armel Le Cleac'h takes home the Leg 2 win, with second skipper Morgan Lagraviere just 59 seconds behind. Light and unpredictable conditions made for an incredibly close end to the Leg – after 298 miles of racing, the first 15 boats finished within one hour of the winner Armel.

Four British skippers finish within the top 20 boats – Sam Goodchild maintains the best of British title, finishing 11th after Leg 2 and Academy Rookie Jack Bouttell delivers another sterling performance as third Rookie to hold on to his overall lead by five minutes in the Rookie division,

On the evening of Monday 10th June, the short and tactical 298-mile Leg 2 of the Solitaire du Figaro, from Porto (Portugal) to Gijon (Spain) concluded. After a final close contact drag race to the finish line, at 15:21:43 BST Armel Le Cleac'h won Leg 2 of the Solitaire du Figaro, with Morgan Lagraviere crossing the line in second just 59 seconds behind him and the next 13 skippers finishing within an hour of the two leaders after just over 51 hours of racing. Leg 2 of the 1,938 mile race saw mixed results for the Artemis Offshore Academy, with a delighted Sam Goodchild (Shelterbox-Disaster Relief) finishing the race in 11th, Nick Cherry (Magma Structures) in 14th, Jack Bouttell (Artemis 77) in 19th and third Rookie and Henry Bomby (RockFish) in 20th to see four British skippers inside the top 20, followed by a very disappointed Ed Hill in 38th. For current leading British skipper Sam, his cumulative times for leg 1 and 2 put the 23-year-old 9th in the overall Solitaire du Figaro rankings.
"I feel much happier with this Leg," said a chuffed Sam on the dock, finishing the Leg after 2 days, 3 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds at sea. "Even though I finished 8th after Leg 1, I feel that on this Leg I sailed myself into 11th as opposed to getting lucky and ending up in the top 10, so I'm much happier with that result."
After leaving Porto, the light and wholly unpredictable winds off the Spanish Coast soon left weather reports redundant, with the skippers instead having to take each shift as it came, adding to the frustration and tactical nature of the Leg: "I finished Leg 2 with another good result, but I never knew what was going on with the wind," reported Magma Structures skipper Nick after finishing Leg 2 in 14th. "From a few hours into the race I decided to just throw the weather forecast out of the window, as nothing was playing out as it should have, so I just tried to stay with the middle of the fleet, sometimes dropping back, sometimes moving forward, but managing to finish just at the right time." See Nick's post race interview here.
"It was very difficult to know what the wind was doing, I had no idea most of the time," Jack added. "I was trying to take into account what Nico (Coach) had told us, but it played out very differently, so it was a bit of luck, and making the most of stable winds to sleep. It was a tricky Leg, standard Figaro and very frustrating." Jack was the third British skipper to finish in Gijon in 19th, also claiming third in the Rookie class just six minutes and six seconds behind winning Rookie Claire Pruvot, with Jack keeping hold of his overall Solitaire du Figaro Rookie division lead by just over five minutes. See Jack's post race interview and onboard footage here.
After a poor start and hanging on in the thirties for the first half of the race, Academy Graduate Henry pulled it out of the bag to climb 13 places over the final day of racing to finish 20th, making Henry the fourth Brit to finish within the top 20 boats at the end of Leg 2: "I made some silly mistakes in my in navigation and I lost a lot of time on that, but this is still my best result in the Solitaire so I'm not too unhappy, just frustrated because I know I could have done a lot better and didn't." Despite claiming his best Solitaire du Figaro result to date, at the end of Leg two the RockFish skipper was faced with bad news after finishing last behind Sam Goodchild, Alexis Loison, Fabien Delahaye and Claire Pruvot – his housemates: "I think I'm the last in the house and for the second time Claire beat me. We did a little internal competition and I think next year, it's going to be me who'll be doing the dishes..."
Ed was the final Academy skipper to arrive back on the docks at 09:33BST as Leg 2 turned into a nightmare for this aspiring skipper. After taking a risky turn west in search of breeze on the approach to Cape Finisterre, Ed was left chasing the fleet before managing to climb three places to finish 38th in the final hours of racing: "I ended up sailing 6 miles behind everyone else and on my own for two days, which was pretty horrible. Fortunately, I caught up with the guys at the back but it's still a terrible result. I'm pretty gutted. I wanted to not lose the Solitaire in a Leg and that is what's happened, meaning all of my hopes of doing well as a Rookie have been dashed." Ed's combined results from Leg 1 and 2 leave him 34th overall with two Legs left to sail. He will now have to find the motivation for the remaining two legs, and perhaps with the pressure off Ed will sail more freely but it is an experience that will, undoubtedly, knock his confidence and demonstrates what a cruel mistress the Solitaire can be. See Ed's dockside interview here.
With two Legs down, Sam is still in the running to win the Patton Hark Regatta Watch as part of the Patton Challenge, despite some pre-race fighting talk from his rivals: "I'm in second behind Sam, but there's four boats behind who'll be keen to win the watch off me," boasted Nick. "I definitely want to win it, it's a good prize and I want to beat the other guys for sure."
Follow the progress of Nick, Sam, Ed, Jack and Henry during the Solitaire du Figaro and Patton Challenge via the Artemis Offshore Academy website. Keep up to date with the latest Solitaire du Figaro news via Facebook and Twitter.
The Patton Challenge Rankings after Leg 1 and 2
Position/Skipper/Boat name/Leg 1/Leg 2/Total points
1. Sam Goodchild/Shelterbox-Disaster Relief/1/1/2
2. Nick Cherry/Magma Structures/2/2/4
3. Jack Bouttell/Artemis 77/3/4/7
4. David Kenefick/Full Irish/6/3/9
5. Ed Hill/Artemis 37/4/6/10
6.Henry Bomby/5/5/10

Solitaire du Figaro Leg 2 results:
Position/Skipper/Boat name/Time at sea
1. Armel Le Cleac'h/BANQUE POPULAIRE/2d, 3h, 11', 43"
2. Morgan Lagraviere/VENDEE/2d, 3h, 12', 42"
3. Anthony Marchand/BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUAL PERFORMANCE/2d, 3h, 16', 12"
4. Jeremie Beyou/MAITRE COQ/2d, 3h, 16', 56"
5. Yann Elies/GROUPS QUEGUINER – LEUKEMIA HOPE/2d, 3h, 19', 45'
6. Yoann Richmomme/DLBC/2d, 3h, 23', 29"
7. Damien Guillou/SOLIDARITY MUTUALISTE/2d, 3h, 27', 5"
8. Nicolas Lunven/GENERALI/2d, 3h, 28", 41"
9. Fabien Delahaye/SKIPPER MACIF 2012/2d, 3h, 30', 32"
10. Frédéric Duthil/SEPULMIC/2d, 3h, 32', 47"
11. Sam Goodchild/SHELTERBOX – DISASTER RELIEF/2d, 3h, 42', 12"
12. Paul Meilhat/SKIPPER MACIF 2011/2d, 3h, 43', 34"
13. Michel Desjoyeaux/TBS/2d, 3h, 43', 43"
14. Nick Cherry/MAGMA STRUCTURES/2d, 3h, 45', 36"
15. Alexis Loison/FIVA GROUPS/2d, 3h, 46', 10"
16. Claire Pruvot/PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM/2d, 4h, 2', 30" – 1st Rookie
17. Xavier Macaire/SKIPPER L'HERAULT/2d, 4h, 4', 33"
18. David Kenefick/FULL IRISH/2d, 4h, 7', 53"/Rookie
19. Jack Bouttell/ARTEMIS 77/2d, 4h, 8', 24"/Rookie
20. Henry Bomby/ROCKFISH/2d, 4h, 29' 50"
21. Corentin Horeau/BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR/2d, 4h, 30', 52"
22. Matthieu Girolet/LAFONT PRESSSE/2d, 4h, 32', 45"
23. Benoit Hochart/ADOCIS/IB REMARKETING/2d, 4h, 41', 6"/Rookie
24. Jean Paul Mouren/GROUPE SNEF/2d, 4h, 54', 21"
25. Jean-Pierre Nicol/BERNARD CONTROLS/2d, 4h, 58', 6"
26. Thierry Chabagny/GEDIMAT/2d, 5h, 3', 25"
27. Gildas Morvan/Cercle Vert/2d, 5h, 16', 48"
28. Nicolas Jossier/IN EXTENSO ACCOUNTANTS/2d, 5h, 25', 22"
29. Adrien Hardy/AGIR RECOUVREMENT/2d, 5h, 34', 42"
30. Julien Villion/SEXIO HABITAT/2d, 5h, 35', 38"
31. Thomas Ruyant/DESTINATION DUNKERQUE/2d, 5h, 39', 30"
32. Frédéric Rivet/DFDS SEAWAYS/2d, 6h, 11', 36"
33. Simon Troel/LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS/2d, 6h, 16', 27"/Rookie
34. Vincent Biarnes/PRATIBUCHES/2d, 6h, 19', 24"
35. Yannig Livory/THERMACOTE FRANCE/2d, 6h, 27', 15"36. Gilles Le Baud/CARNAC THALASSO & SPA/2d, 9h, 0', 35"
37. Joan Ahrweliller/REGION BASSE NORMANDIE/2d, 9h, 7', 19"/Rookie
38. Ed Hill/ARTEMIS 37/ 2d, 9h, 23', 27"/Rookie
39. Didier Bouillard/JEHOL/2d, 9h, 30', 16"
40. Amaiur Alfaro/REGION AQUITAINE/ATELIERS DE FRANCE/2d, 9h, 35', 45"
41. Louis Maurice Tannyéres/JOANNA/RTR
Solitaire du Figaro rankings overall after Legs 1 and 2:
Position/Skipper/Boatname/Leg 1 time/Leg 2 time/Accumulative time/Time behind leader
1. Yann Elies/GROUPE QUEGUINER – LEUCEMIE ESPOIR/3 days, 3h 3m 26s/2 days, 3h 19m 45s/5 days, 6h 23m 11s
2. Frédéric Duthil/SEPALUMIC/3 days, 3h 47m 30s/2 days, 3h 32m 47s/5 days, 7h 20m 17s/0h 57m 06s
3. Alexis Loison/FIVA GROUPS/3 days, 4h 21m 2s/2 days, 3h 46m 10s/5 days, 8h 7m 12s/1h 44m 01
4. Xavier Macaire/SKIPPER L'HERAULT/3 days, 4h 8m 38s/2 days, 4h 4m 33s/5 days, 8h 13m 11s/1h 50m 00s
5. Morgan Lagravière/VENDEE/3 days, 5h 4m 5s/2 days, 3h 12m 42s/5 days, 8h 16m 47s/1h 53m 36s
6. Armel Le Cléac'h/BANQUE POPULAIRE/3 days, 5h 8m 48s/2 days, 3h 11m 43s/5 days, 8h 20m 31s/1h 57m 20s
7. Yoann Richomme/DLBC/3 days, 4h 59m 35s/2 days, 3h 23m 29s/5 days, 8h 23m 4s/1h 59m 53s
8. Jeremiah Beyou/MAITRE COQK/3 days, 5h 10m 4s/2 days, 3h 16m 56s/5 days, 8h 27m 0s/2h 03m 49s
9. Sam Goodchild/ShelterBox – DISASTER RELIEF/3 days, 4h 49m 29s/2 days, 3h 42m 12s/5 days, 8h 31m 41s/2h 08m 30s
10. Nicolas Lunven/GENERALI/3 days, 5h 3m 3s/2 days, 3h 28m 41s/5 days, 8h 31m 44s/2h 08m 33s
11. Paul Meilhat/SKIPPER MACIF 2011/3 days, 4h 54m 32s/2 days, 3h 43m 34s/5 days, 8h 38m 6s/2h 14m 55s
12. Damien Guillou/SLA SOLIDARITÉ MUTUALISTEE/3 days, 5h 13m 28s/2 days, 3h 27m 5s/5 days, 8h 40m 33s/2h 17m 22s
13. Fabien Delahaye/SKIPPER MACIF 2012/3 days, 5h 13m 42s/2 days, 3h 30m 32s/5 days, 8h 44m 14s/2h 21m 03s
14. Nick Cherry/MAGMA STRUCTURES/3 days, 5h 0m 34s/2 days, 3h 45m 36s/5 days, 8h 46m 10s/2h 22m 59s
15. Jean-Pierre Nicol/BERNARD CONTROLS/3 days, 3h 59m 44s/2 days, 4h 58m 6s/5 days, 8h 57m 50s/2h 34m 39s
16. Michel Desjoyeaux/TBS/3 days, 5h 24m 32s/2 days, 3h 43m 43s/5 days, 9h 8m 15s/2h 45m 04s
17. Thierry Chabagny/GEDIMAT/3 days, 4h 27m 46s 2 days/5h 3m 25s/5 days, 9h 31m 11s/3h 08m 00s
18. Jackson Bouttell/ARTEMIS 77/3 days, 5h 27m 49s/2 days, 4h 8m 24s/5 days, 9h 36m 13s/3h 13m 02s/1ST Rookie
19. Claire Pruvot/PORT DE CAEN Ouistreham/3 days, 5h 38m 45s/2 days, 4h 2m 30s/5 days, 9h 41m 15s/3h 18m 04s/Rookie
20. Gildas Morvan/CERCLE VERT/3 days, 4h 26m 6s/2 days, 5h 16m 48s/5 days, 9h 42m 54s/3h 19m 43s
21. Anthony Marchand/BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE/3 days, 6h 30m 3s/2 days, 3h 16m 12s/5 days, 9h 46m 15s/3h 23m 04s
22. Matthew Girolet/LAFONT RELEASE/3 days, 6h 5m 3s/2 days, 4h 32m 45s/5 days, 10h 37m 48s/4h 14m 37s
23. Nicolas Jossier/IN EXTENSO experts comptables/3 days, 5h 13m 11s/2 days, 5h 25m 22s/5 days, 10h 38m 33s/4h 15m 22s
24. Henry Bomby/ROCKFISH/3 days, 6h 14m 7s/2 days, 4h 29m 50s/5 days, 10h 43m 57s/4h 20m 46s
25. Adrien Hardy/Thomas Ruyant/3 days, 5h 27m 6s/2 days, 5h 34m 42s/5 days, 11h 1m 48s/4h 38m 37s
26. Benedict Hochart/ADOCIS / IB Remarketing/3 days, 6h 25m 8s/2 days, 4h 41m 6s/5 days, 11h 6m 14s/4h 43m 03s/Rookie
27. Frédéric Rivet/DFDS SEAWAYS/3 days, 5h 6m 23s/2 days, 6h 11m 36s/5 days, 11h 17m 59s/4h 54m 48s
28. Thomas RuyanT/DESTINATION DUNKERQUE/3 days, 5h 41m 32s/2 days, 5h 39m 30s/5 days, 11h 21m 2s/4h 57m 51s
29. Vincent Biarnes/PRATI'BÛCHES/3 days, 5h 6m 38s/2 days, 6h 19m 24s/5 days, 11h 26m 2s/5h 02m 51s
30. David Kenefick/FULL IRISH/3 days, 7h 30m 55s/2 days, 4h 7m 53s/5 days, 11h 38m 48s/5h 15m 37s/Rookie
31. Corentin Horeau/BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR/3 days, 7h 9m 17s/2 days, 4h 30m 52s/5 days, 11h 40m 9s/5h 16m 58s
32. Julien Villion/SEIXO HABITAT/3 days, 7h 33m 33s/2 days, 5h 35m 38s/5 days, 13h 9m 11s/6h 46m 00s
33. Yannig Livory/THERMACOTE FRANCE/3 days, 7h 23m 21s/2 days, 6h 27m 15s/5 days, 13h 50m 36s/7h 27m 25s
34. Edmund Hill/ARTEMIS 37/3 days, 6h 9m 17s/2 days, 9h 23m 27s/5 days, 15h 32m 44s/9h 09m 33s/Rookie
35. Didier Bouillard/JEHOL/3 days, 7h 55m 2s/2 days, 9h 30m 16s/5 days, 17h 25m 18s/11h 02m 07s
36. Simon Troel/LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS/3 days, 11h 25m 52s/2 days, 6h 16m 27s/5 days, 17h 42m 19s/11h 19m 08s/Rookie
37. Joan Ahrweiller/REGION BASSE NORMANDIE/3 days, 8h 51m 33s/2 days, 9h 7m 19s/5 days, 17h 58m 52s/11h 35m 41s/Rookie
38. Jean Paul Mouren/GROUPE SNEF/3 days, 13h 31m 15s/2 days, 4h 54m 21s/5 days, 18h 25m 36s/12h 02m 25s
39. Gilles Le Baud/CARNAC THALASSO & SPA/3 days, 9h 40m 18s/2 days, 9h 0m 35s/5 days, 18h 40m 53s/12h 17m 42s
40. Amaiur Alfaro/REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIERS DE FRANCE/3 days, 13h 50m 28s/2 days, 9h 35m 45s/5 days, 23h 26m 13s/17h 03m 02s
41. Louis Maurice Tannyères/JOANNA/3 days, 11h 3m 45s/RTR/3 days, 11h 3m 45s

Published in Figaro
Page 7 of 11

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.

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating