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Displaying items by tag: Figaro

#fullrish – This time last year I got my hands on the boat I was going to use for the next 12 months. I had wanted to try singlehanded offshore sailing since I could remember and at the ripe old age of 21 all my stars aligned and with help from many sources here I was. Port La Foret, the home of the Figaro class and most of the French offshore champions surrounded me. My boat was freshly launched with a bit of Irish identity plastered on to it. I knew I knew nothing at all but with my team manager Marcus Hutchinson, himself a four year veteran of the discipline, I took my first steps out into the bay with the boat and learnt the basics of how to hoist and drop a big mainsail on your own, who to hoist and retrieve the spinnaker on your own, how to gybe, tack, anticipate the actions required and basically how to make sure things are done in the right order so as to not exhaust myself. Very early on in the piece Marcus explained to me that short handed sailing was just one big exercise in energy management, whether it was ashore with boat preparation and looking after the body, or afloat in competition, knowing when to be a coiled spring and when to move at a slightly more reserved pace.

Twelve months later and where has the time gone. Since those initial ten days with Marcus I took the boat on a truck to the South of France and spent five months training, refining and learning whilst racing other Figaros in La Grande Motte. I met other sailors both French and non-French. The Artemis Offshore Academy boys were down there two. We have become great friends.

My first big event was in March this year. I learnt some difficult lessons. In the first offshore on a cold and windy leg I destroyed my mainsail, through no fault of my own. But the lesson was that it was my fault because there is no one to blame but the man in charge and that is me. During one of the inshore races I jagged the right side of the beat and rounded the top mark first. I thought I had won the world cup, but of course more experienced sailors got past me before the finish. I did it again in the last offshore leg of that event only to suffer terribly from tiredness and poor decision making to finish where I belonged, down the pan. But if I had won out of the bag I would never have learnt.

We moved the whole show to the Atlantic in April and two events followed, the Solo Arrimer and the Solo Concarneau in May. Lots of boats, suddenly the fleet was complete with all the really good guys. The first event was a 300-mile race up and down the French West coast. It started out really light in a huge sea. I started well and tacked to the right of the course with my all time hero – Michel Desjoyeaux. The short term made us look like the champion that he already was, but then the wind shifted back and we were both nearly a mile behind at the first windward mark. I then had to sail around the course in cold, wet, dark and at times up to 40 knot winds, to complete the course. A hard lesson to learn. Don't follow your hero, because there are champions everywhere on this course and I am not one of them. Mich of course pulled back all the way to the top ten, I limped home with just a couple of boats behind me, exhausted, dismayed and not really understanding what had happened! But that is where my coaching crew were there for. Until you do it you don't know. My coaches Nico Berenger and Marcus sat me and the other Artemis Offshore Academy lads down and we went through the race step by step. What were the key moments, what had the leaders done, why had they done it, what was the timing, when had they rested, how much had they eaten, how had it looked. There were always so many things to learn it was always overwhelming and it would have been easy to get disheartened but we just concentrated on what each race's three most important lessons were, across the whole group, and then applied them to our own preparation for the next race.

The pace kept getting quicker. Logistically it got harder and more demanding as we worked our way towards the start of the main race of the year the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro. We did as much as we could in the time available, always conscious that it would be easy to burn out early in the season and not get the most out of the opportunity in the big race.

The start of the Solitaire du Figaro was in Bordeaux, 70 miles up a very tidal river estuary. Logistically extremely complicated. Our little team of boats now numbered six and we pooled resources for shore side functions such as accommodation, shore crew and sail purchasing. We couldn't have done it any other way. The economies of scale made it financially possible to compete. But I hadn't appreciated the slog of the race week build-up. Right Downtown in a big city, huge amounts of media and public engagements for all skippers, weather and navigation to prepare and then all the boat and food considerations too. Again our shore team just removed everything from us allowing us to all concentrate on what would make our lives easiest, allowing us to have big siestas in the lead up so that our bodies were already into a disrupted sleep pattern before we started.

Just before the start sponsorship was secured which was a great help but came with the added complication of fulfillment. The most significant of these sponsors was the Comptoir Irlandais, a network of 50 shops scattered across France that sell Irish products only - from whiskeys to Barry's Tea, to woolens, to Tayto Crisps, to smoked salmon.... In a small way, the name of my boat Full Irish, had attracted them to me and I was now helping Irish exports to France by driving publicity to the shops and their products through the branding on my boat in this highly mediatized racing environment.

The start of the big race brought a huge number of guests, family and media, they all wanted a piece of me, they were all there for me. I hadn't appreciated how much it would take out of me. I was nervous for the start as the build up was huge and all I wanted to do was get going to the biggest sailing challenge of my life.

I started in the huge pack, tactically it was really complicated getting out of the river. Hundreds of spectator boats, helicopters, strong tide, a beat, shallow water, a big tactical decision early in the race... But in the back of my head I remembered my coaches' words. Just get out of the river, don't take risks, take your time and enjoy the experience, there would be 400 more miles to do things and have opportunities later on. What great advice that was. There were many other Rookies in the race. The favourite by far Simon Troel, went aground on a sandbank a couple of hours into the race and had to wait a full eleven hours before he could get off. Game over for him. I got out of the river unscathed apart from a little bump with something that wasn't on any chart!

The rest of the race to Porto, to Gijon, to Roscoff and to Dieppe, a total of 2000 miles of sleep deprevation, knocks, confusion, strong winds, light winds, fog, rain, rocks, tides, dramas and elation, I have written about already. I arrived in Dieppe at the end of June 3rd Rookie and 28th overall. I had completed the course, the youngest to do it that year – I had in fact turned 22 somewhere half way across the Bay of Biscay to shrieks of Happy Birthday to you/Bonne Aniversaire on the official race VHF Channel. Although on your own you are never alone. With 36 boats in the fleet for the most part you are always in site of at least a quarter of the fleet visually, half the fleet on AIS and just about everyone by VHF.

keneficksolo

David Kenefick ducks a competitor in the Generali Solo. Photo: Alexis Courcoux

When I got to Dieppe I was destroyed. I had been warned about this period. I had become the fourth Irishman to complete the course over the race's 44-year history and was in a drunken haze and daze of extreme fatigue. I needed a break. I needed to reflect. I got the boat to Cowes, out of the water onto its cradle and went home to gather my thoughts. But this was the best time. Day by day I started to recover and realized I had achieved something. Worse was to come, as the days went by I realized this was the most amazing thing ever in the sailing world and the euphoria just wouldn't go away.

In the end we devised the second half of the season quickly. It was early July there were three big events left in the calendar, two of them two-handed (Fastnet and Tour of Brittany) and the last the Generali-Med which as the name suggests is in the Med.

When I was ready we started getting organized for the Fastnet Race which I sailed with Kinsale Dragon sailor Olaf Sorrensen. Then I did the Tour de Bretagne with Jeanne Gregoire, a very experienced Figaro racer, she had had more than her share of podium results over the previous few years. The goal was to really learn the Brittany coast and learn some tricks from an experienced sailor in a racing environment. Her part of the deal was to learn some English, but in reality it was another way for me to learn a bit more French.

In the background Marcus conjured up a deal for me to offset some of my costs for competing in the Med in September and as soon as I had completed the two handed race with Jeanne I was travelling South with my racing sails to prepare a borrowed boat for the Generali-Med.

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David Kenefick at the helm of Full Irish in his first successful year on the Pro Circuit. Photo: Brian Carlin

There were fewer boats in this event, for obvious cost and logistical reasons. It meant that the middle of the fleet from a standard point of view was removed. So at one end we had the top 12 boats competing for the season prizes and then the rookies and locals to the Med who hadn't raced anywhere else that year. The Med is different. No tide for sure but everything else about it is different. The wind doesn't behave as we Atlantic seaboard people understand, but it is still a boat race. This event was a mix of long offshore legs, not unlike the Solitaire, and two days of inshore racing at each of the stopovers. The balance of points meant that the combined value of all inshore races, amounting to 12 in the end, was worth the same as just one of the offshore legs.

I have just finished that event in 12th place from 17 starters. I was the best 2013 Rookie in this event and combined with my Solitaire du Figaro Rookie result I am the best newcomer in 2013. There is a reason the Rookie prize is there. No one comes into this scene and performs at the top in their first year. It can't be done and I now know why. If you had asked me about it 12 months ago I wouldn't have understood its value. Today I totally do and that is why I am more than excited about next year. I have five big priorities I want to work on for next year and I want to go out and do it all again and use the knowledge and experience from this year. It's a big challenge and the lessons I'm learning will be more than valuable for my whole life be it in sailing or any other activity.

Thanks for all your support, I'll keep you posted as we go forward.

Home next week for a long rest and to start preparing next years budget for sponsorship proposals.

DK

 

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#fullirish – Royal Cork's David Kenefick is among 17 Figaro Benetau sailors in the Generali Solo 2013 left Cavalaire-sur-Mer on Sunday heading for Barcelona. A few miles after the start the race organisers announced a modification of the original route (435 miles) due to light winds over a large part of the stage. Currently the solo Irish sailor is placed 15th. Event website here.

The wind dropped in the middle of night. This morning Adrien Hardy (Recovery Act) is still ahead of Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) and Yoann Richomme (DLBC).

Since the passage of Cape Sicie at sunset, sailors nonetheless gained some miles, a little more than expected. The head of the fleet is now 140 miles distant from Barcelona. They crossed that night back and now continue on their way.. slowly pushed this morning at 5 o'clock by one knot of wind. The only good point is that with a wind shift they can now sail a direct course.

Top five at 5 AM local time:

1. Agir Recouvrement (Adrien Hardy)
2. Skipper Macif 2012 (Fabien Delahaye)
3. DLBC (Yoann Richomme)
4. Skipper Herault (Xavier Macaire)
5. Generali (Nicolas Lunven)

Generali Solo is a race in stages taking place in the Mediterranean Sea on Figaro Beneteau 2.

First stage: Cavalaire-Sur-Mer to Barcelona
Second: Barcelona to Beaulie Sur Mer (Departure September 25)
Third: Beaulieu-Sur-Mer to Sete, (Departure October 2)

Generali Solo is the final round of Solo Championship Elite de course au Large and has a coefficient of 4 in the overall standings. Provisional classification of the championship (top five)

1. DLBC, Yoann Richomme, 57 points
2. Cercle Verte, Gildas Morvan, 88
3. Skipper MACIF 2012. Fabien Delahaye, 89
4. Groupe Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies, 95
5. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance, Anthony Marchand, 103

Published in Figaro

#fullirish – Cork Figaro single–hander David Kenefick is13th overall in a 23–boat fleet in the first leg of the Tour de Bretagne ala Voile that began today in Western France. The race is a double-handed race with inshore and offshore components. Kenefick is sailing with Jeanne Gregoire, an experienced French sailor that has completed nine La Solitaire du Figaro with her best result been a fifth overall.
23 Figaro's on the start with most of the fleet from La Solitaire competing, including some past America's cup skippers, multiple past winners of the Solitaire du Figaro Olympic medalists and match racing world champions.

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#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 – Rookie figaro sailor David Kenefick told readers in his Afloat blog about a 'little collision' just after the start on Leg 1 in the Gironde Estuary, team manager Marcus Hutchinson was witness to it.

At the time the assumption was he hit the soft mud on the river bed but on lifting The 'Full Irish' a couple of hours ago to inspect the damage, it turns out the keel bulb was perfect, but mid way up the keel there is one hell of a dint. See our photo above.

The good news is that the team say the damage is cosmetic and there is no corresponding hull damage. All it requires is a filler and gelcoat. She's almost fixed and back to full health. Phew!

Question now, What did he hit...??

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#fullirish – We are 45 hours into the first leg and the fleet are about eight hours ahead of the initial routeing calculations writes David Kenefick team manager Marcus Hutchinson. The fleet of 41 Figaros has been enjoying great sailing pretty much since the left the Gironde Estuary on Sunday night when the set their spinnakers. The wind has slowly swung around to the East as the High Pressure zone has moved North and they find themselves on the South side of the cemtre. As can be seen from the tracker on the official website the fleet started to think about gybing yesterday afternoon/evening and line themselves up for the approach to the North West tip of Spain. The wind freshened dramatically through the night as the isobars between a small depression just around the corner off the West coast of Spain and the bottom of the High squeezed it all together. The fleet have been enjoying some high speed downwind sailing in 30/35 knots of wind and from the reports from the race course it would appear that there have been quite a few broaches and spinnakers bursts. They also had a fairly big fishing fleet to deal with too!

The leaders have kept good pace but most significantly have had a long term view about tackling this depression mentioned earlier as they start to turn the corner. Mich Desjoyeaux has opted for a more Northerly and offshore route around the outside and will likely extend further his lead. Anyone who stays offshore will gain over the next few hours.

Further back down the fleet we find that the Rookies are having a tough time and not surprisingly many of them have gravitated towards their fellow rookie competitors to be able to judge their performance. Performance is not just about going fast now. The sailors are all into their third day and will certainly be tired and know that they have another 24 hours at least left to sail. Performance is going to be about being sufficiently sharp to make the right decisions with regard to timing for their gybe South and quite how far extra to sail to get around the top of Spain.

Young David Kenefick may have been stacking in a lot of sleep yesterday in anticipation of the two days still ahead of him as he frequently moved from one side of the fleet to the other side having initially been in the middle then heading out on his own to the South before later yesterday evening re-crossing behind the fleet again. The reality is that he would appear to be sailing at top speed. Although the rankings show him in 35 place at 10:00 this morning - the ranking during the race is a simple calculation of distance as the crow flies around the various headlands to the finish. The fleet is sailing near a big corner and the quickest route is going to be over a longer distance which is why many of the boats currently ranked closer to the finish and 'ahead' of David are going to drop in behind him later on. Currently David is probably in 30th position, surrounded by Claire Pruvot and Jackson Bouttell, the latter we have heard has blown out his big spinnaker and will suffer in the lighter winds expected later.

Eta in Porto is still for tomorrow Wednesday night, the first boats are currently about 10 hours ahead of schedule.

Keep up to date by checking the official website in English lasolitaire.com/en and the on the events excellent race tracker.

Published in Figaro

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! David Kenefick has dreamt of being a word-class sailor all his life. From an early age David and his family cruised around Ireland, France, Spain and the Mediterranean. With his father, brother and sister being much accomplished sailors, David had always hoped that one day he could replicate their feats. As a champion Optimist sailor David leapt onboard anything that floated and had a sail, when school and life permitted. However, David strived for more. He looked to find a class that he would not only enjoy but also one that would challenge him.
Shorthanded sailing always appealed to David; but family friend and two-time Figaro sailor Marcus Hutchinson had the answer! Marcus explained to him that Figaro was better organised, more mediatized and a lot more straight forward and rewarding. David developed his skills on board one of the Artemis Offshore Academy (AOA) Figaros in the UK and shortly after enrolled in the Centre d'Entrainment Mediteranee (CEM), where his passion for the sport blossomed under the tutelege of Nico Berenger. David and three other AOA rookies joined Xavier Maquaire and Mathieu Girolet to complete the CEM group that compete in competitions throughout Europe.
In April 2013 Dubarry of Ireland agreed to sponsor David and his exploits. Sailing is a sport that ties closely with the Dubarry brand's aspirational values. The opportunity to support an Irish sailor competing on a world scale was something that Dubarry felt they could not let pass them by. "Hailing from County Cork and challenging for honours worldwide, we felt that David was a great personality to support and promote our brand. David has shown that sailing is his first-love and that success in the sport is of huge importance to him. His ambitions to compete against the best in the world in his field are shared by the Dubarry brand and we are delighted to be in a position to support David's efforts", commented Dubarry of Ireland Marketing Director, Michael Walsh.
Dubarry enjoys a rich sailing heritage, born out of their location on the west coast of Ireland and many years of listening to the needs of sailors since their foundation seventy-six years ago in 1937. Their collection boasts a range of sailing footwear, containing both boots and deck-shoes, that is second to none. Admirals, Lahinch, Atlantic and Menorca are some of Dubarry's most popular deck-shoes, but it is in boot-making that they have really flourished. Dubarry were awarded the much-coveted license to use GORE-TEX® technologies, making all of their boots waterproof and fully breathable. This is supplemented by Dubarry's own award-winning NonSlip-NonMarking™ sole and DrySoft-DryFast™ leathers which assures the customer receives a top-quality product. In 2009, with collaboration with the Green Dragon Volvo Ocean Race crew, Dubarry created the new Crosshaven boot. With its unique integral gaiter, GORE-TEX® liner and special Dubarry 'D-Chassis' system, it became the boot of choice for the world's best including the crews of Team Telefonica and Abu Dhabi Racing in the 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race.

Published in Figaro

David Kenefick sailing FULL IRISH finished the 30-boat Solo Concarneau in 15th place and second Rookie late yesterday evening. He now has just three weks to the start of the Solitaire du Figaro in Bordeaux and will now travel home to Cork for some R&R. We caught up with him shortly after he finished to hear how the race went.

"I've now finished my third race and I now know a lot more about what this kind of racing is."
"I was often in the front bunch but lost a little on the run, which put me on the back foot needing to do more to stay in the right places and not being able to pace myself with the leading boats. But I made the right call after Chausée de Sein and stayed further west in more pressure than the leading boats in shore and got back into the race there. This was satisfying. There was a certain amount of risk management coming into play there, something I learnt about in the previous race the Solo Arrimer the hard way and something some of my colleagues learnt more about this time!!!"
"We had three fronts go over us during this race. We had a lot of rain. An important thing here was to be able to know which rain shower was a new front coming over requiring a headsail change and which rain shower was benign. At night it was obviously harder, but I think I got the timing right for most of that gaining a couple of places in the process."
"I was happy with my speed, I was happy to be able to makes gains as well as losses, I was happy with the way I managed the boat."
"I slept four naps in the morning and four in the and the afternoon, eight minutes each. I probably got 90 minutes total during the whole race. I know I nodded off when I was helming a few times. That is horrible. It's dreadful."
"When I was at the lowest point emotionally at 04:00 I had to do something dramatic. More food, sugary things to get you through the darkest part until the dawn comes and suddenly life gets good again!"
"It is about training your mind. Your eyes will close but your mind is still going. Several times when I was awake again I had to go and check that what I'd been thinking about when I was in 'eyes closed' didn't actually happen. For example I think I dreamt that I tacked the boat or that I worked out that I'd filled the wrong ballast tank. Its hard to believe your mind can do that, there is no solution to it other than to understand that this will happen if you don't pace yourself properly. You have to go there to understand it. Its weird waking up when you are at the helm. Its quite amazing what your body and mind can do."
"I know my friend Ed Hill hit the 'red zone' big time in this race and was hallucinating and passing out. It cost him a lot of time and places and spoilt his race. He was doing really well but finished second last in the end. I think we all have to start to understand the priorities of these things and it not just about sailing the perfect first beat but much more about being lucid and fairly sharp after three days and three nights at sea, and for the Figaro, in a position to recover in time for the next leg too."
"I really hope I can do four of these races back to back. My objective here was to get back to the dock and be almost broken. I knew that I have two weeks to recover from this race and I needed to see what I can do when in that state and what it feels like."
"The first leg of the Figaro is probably the toughest. A lot will depend on this leg going well. Its 540-miles long, complicated at the start and its going to be really important to manage myself on the fatigue front on that one as the consequences for the following three legs, if I get it wrong, are big."

SOLO CONCARNEAU Results
1 20h01'50'' MEILHAT Paul SKIPPER MACIF 2011
2 20h14'15'' LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI
3 20h17'13'' LE CLEAC'H Armel BANQUE POPULAIRE
4 20h20'00 ELIES Yann GROUPE QUEGUINER LEUCEMIE ESPOIR
5 20h34'00 VILLION Julien SEIXO HABITAT
6 20h37'50'' RUYANT Thomas DESTINATION DUNKERQUE
7 20h39'15'' MACAIRE Xavier SKIPPER HERAULT
8 20h39'58'' DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
9 20h49'30'' BOMBY Henry Christine
10 20h50'22'' JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
11 CHABAGNY Thierry GEDIMAT
12 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
13 PRUVOT Claire PORT DE CAEN-OUISTREHAM
14 CHERRY Nick ARTEMIS 23
15 KENEFICK David FULL IRISH
16 GOODCHILD Sam SCHELTER BOX DISASTER RELIEF
17 BOUTTEL Jack ARTEMIS 77
18 HOCHARD Benoît IB - MARKETING
19 AHRWEILLER Joan Région BASSE NORMANDIE
20 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS 37
21 Le Baud Gilles Thalasso
(Nine boats retired)

 

Published in Figaro
Tagged under

#kenefick – The night has passed and the fleet has now rounded Ile d'Yeu at the Southern most end of the course and are on the long leg North. The winds are now fresher blowing at 20 knots from the South West. The fleet will be under big spinnaker roaring along. We can see the speeds on AIS are hovering around the 9-10 knots.

The accuracy of the ranking taken this morning as the fleet rounded the island is not as reliable as the one at Birvideaux last night but still nevertheless a good indicator. The general order has been respected although there are a few climbers and droppers. After the second night at sea fatigue is certainly taking its toll. Some of the skippers have dropped down the ranking a bit and the sign of strength is to be able to make places and pick people off towards the end of the race. Overnight the number of boats and the time between David Kenefick and first Rookie Claire Pruvot has dropped and David is now just one place and seven minutes behind her. The published provisional rankings show him in 14th place which is probably accurate to within one place as the AIS on one of the boats we know to be ahead of him hasn't shown up. But it is close and there are four other boats within five minutes of him just behind.

With about 90 miles left to sail the wind is forecast to slowly head them all day and they may well finish this leg on the wind. ETA at the finish line is still late evening today.

1 5H56 MEILHAT Paul SKIPPER MACIF 2011
2 6H02 LE CLEAC'H Armel BANQUE POPULAIRE
3 6H02 ELIES Yann GROUPE QUEGUINER LEUCEMIE ESPOIR
4 6H04 LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI
5 6H13 RUYANT Thomas DESTINATION DUNKERQUE
6 6H12 JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
7 6H12 BOMBY Henry Christine
8 6H13 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
9 6H15 DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
10 6H17 VILLION Julien SEIXO HABITAT
11 6H24 MACAIRE Xavier SKIPPER HERAULT
12 6H28 CHABAGNY Thierry GEDIMAT
13 6H33 PRUVOT Claire PORT DE CAEN-OUISTREHAM
14 6H40 KENEFICK David FULL IRISH
15 6H43 AHRWEILLER Joan Région BASSE NORMANDIE
16 6H43 HOCHARD Benoît IB - MARKETING
17 6H45 BOUTTEL Jack ARTEMIS 77
18 6H45 GOODCHILD Sam SCHELTER BOX DISASTER RELIEF
19 7H02 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS 37
20 7H50 LE BAUD Gilles CARNAC THALASSO & SPA
NON REPERE AIS _CONTACT RADIO CHERRY Nick ARTEMIS 23
NON REPERE AIS BIARNES Vincent PRATI'BUCHES

Published in Figaro
Page 6 of 10

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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