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Displaying items by tag: Tom Dolan

Tom Dolan, who last November became the highest-placed Irish sailor ever in the gruelling Mini-Transat, will be giving club talks in Dublin and Dun Laoghaire next week of his adventures writes W M Nixon. It’s quite a story, the remarkable tale of how a farm boy from County Meath, with no sailing background, found himself competing successfully at the highest international level offshore in a particularly demanding class.

He will be talking not just about the 2017 Mini Transat, but of his equally important plans for 2018 and beyond. He has now moved up to the Figaro 2 class, and this week he won his first Figaro race in a training session at Lorient in Brittany

The details of the talks are:

National Yacht Club

4,000 miles Solo from La Rochelle to Martinique; The Story of the Mini-Transat 2017

Tuesday 13th February at NYC at 2000hrs.

No charge and donation of €5 per person to RNLI.

Booking needed at NYC ( 01 280-5725 or email [email protected] ), and details on nyc.ie

Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club

4,000 miles Solo from La Rochelle to Martinique; The Story of the Mini-Transat 2017

Thursday 15th February at PYBC at 2000hrs.

No charge and donation of €5 per person to RNLI.

No Booking needed at PY& BC, details at www.poolbegmarina.ie

Published in Solo Sailing

On Thursday January 25th, at 19:30hrs, Mayo Sailing Club will be hosting a public presentation in the Westport Coast Hotel’s Atlantic Suite by Mini-Transat sailor Tom Dolan, and the admission of just €2 includes tea, coffee and biscuits.

Originating on a farm near Kells, Co Meath, Tom Dolan had no background in sailing. He was never part of a yacht club, never went on sailing holidays and didn't get lessons as a child. When his father spotted an old wooden dinghy in Buy & Sell, the two of them set about fixing it up, and he first set sail on the local lake at the age of 10.

Since then, Tom has built up a very impressive Sailing CV. He has French, Irish and British qualifications and made his first crossing of the Atlantic at just 21 years of age. In 2016, he won the Mini en Mai and the Trophée MAP, becoming the first Irish person to win a race in France. In June, Tom podiumed at the Mini-Fastnet Race, despite having been fouled by a fishing net. That same month, he was second in the 500 Mini-en-Mai Race.

His latest achievement was coming in 6th in the Mini Transat 2017, Ireland’s best ever result in the race. This is a 4,000 mile race across the Atlantic where participants spend almost two months at sea, alone on a 21ft boat. The Mini Transat is considered by many to be one of the most extreme events in sailing considering the distance covered and the small size of the boats.

It promises to be an exciting as well as entertaining and informative evening as Tom talks about his entry into the sailing world, how the Mini Transat went, and provides an insight into his future adventures.

Published in Solo Sailing
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Even as the huge fleet of cruisers and racers - including Eamon Crosbie’s Discovery 56 Pamela from Dun Laoghaire - are into the third day of their Transatlantic crossing in the ARC 2017 from Gran Canaria to St Lucia, on the other side of the ocean at St Marin in Martinique, the number-crunchers for the Mini-Transat La Boulangere 2017 are putting the last touches to their official statement of the overall final results writes W M Nixon.

These will emerge from the amalgamation of the official times of Legs 1 – from La Rochelle in France to Las Palmas in the Canaries, and Leg 2 – from Las Palmas via a gate in the Cape Verde Islands to Martinique. This may sound simple enough, but the tail enders were still tumbling in to St Marin right through the weekend, and with so much at stake with some quite substantial sponsorships involved among the 80 or so finishers, they have to be sure that no infringement of regulations is revealed after they have published results.

However, as an interim move this morning, they published the provisional results for Leg 2, and Ireland’s Tom Dolan is confirmed as fifth, just 48 minutes after third-placed Benoit Sineau. The brief official statement is as follows:

Mini Transat 

Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) crossed the finish line in the second stage of the Mini Transat La Boulangère on Thursday, November 16th at 2h50'15 '' (French time). His race time on this 2nd stage is 14 days, 12 hours, 42 minutes, 15 seconds at an average speed of 8.43 knots.

There has been a flood of finishers over the past few days, and these are the top ten finishers in the Proto and Series fleets for the second leg from Las Palma to Le Marin:
PROTO:
1. Ian Lipinski

2. Jorg Riechers

3. Simon Koster

4. Andrea Fornaro

5. Keni Piperol

6. Quentin Vlamynck

7. Camille Taque

8. Aurelien Poisson

9. Arthur Leopold Leger

10. Frederic Guerin

SERIES:


1. Erwan Le Draoulec

2. Clarisse Cremer
3. Benoit Sineau

4. Tanquy Bouroullec

5. Thomas Dolan

6. Pierre Chedeville

7. Valentin Gautier

8. Germain Kerleveo

9. Yannick Le Clech

10. Cedric Faron

Meanwhile, here are thoughts on his race from Production Boat Winner Erwan le Draoulec which give us some idea of what is involved:

“I brought a book with me, but I never thought to read it. I helmed, I ate, I slept, I answered the calls of nature, a real animal life. It was a nightmare.

The boat was soaked the whole time. I never dumped any sails, I just went up forward to reinforce my bowsprit. To get to sleep when I was under autopilot, I put on my headphones with some audio books and I listened again to the whole of Harry Potter. It was the only way of preventing stress whilst the boat was powering along at 18 knots, sometimes under autopilot, but I never eased off the pace.

It was only in the last two days where I dropped the large spinnaker in the squalls. I said to myself that it would be too silly to break everything so close to the goal. Prior to that though I really attacked hard. I knew I was risking a dismasting, but my line of thinking was that I was only twenty years old and that I’d have the opportunity to do another Mini-Transat. I didn’t make the most of it, I didn’t enjoy it. I’d like to the cross the Atlantic again, but gently so as to make the most of it.”

chedeville draoulec dolan2Comrades and rivals – Pierre Chedeville, Erwan Le Draoulec and Tom Dolan

Published in Solo Sailing

Ireland’s lone sailor Tom Dolan has been celebrating his fifth place with friends and fellow contenders in Martinique at the conclusion of the Transoceanic 2,750-mile Leg 2 of the Mini-Transat 2017 writes W M Nixon. After an improving performance which saw him finish nearly five hours ahead of longtime friend/rival Pierre Chedeviile in 15 days of intense racing, the finish raised the tension even higher, as second-placed Clarisse Cremer was shown as being stopped short of the finish, while Dolan was closing up from astern on second-placed Benoi Sineau and third-placed Tanguy Bouroullec.

The apparent stoppage of Cremer soon proved to be a computer glitch, but when she did cross the line, it was all of eleven hours astern of the “boy wonder” winner, 20-year-old Erwan Le Draoulac. Two and a half hours later, Sineau, Bouroullec and Dolan arrived within the space of 48 minutes, and the vid captures the mood and the moment as these tiny boats and dedicated skippers achieve their goal.

Tracker here 

Published in Solo Sailing
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In a final twist to the Mini-Transat 2017 saga this afternoon at Le Marin in Martinique, Ireland’s Tom Dolan came within 21 minutes of grabbing a podium place writes W M Nixon.

After Erwan Le Draoulec’s clear win this morning, a complete setback approaching the finish stymied second-placed Clarisse Cremer, and the three pursuing boats – Benoit Sineau, Tanguy Bouroullec, and Tom Dolan – swept by to finish with 48 minutes between them, Dolan filling fourth place overall. Meanwhile Cremer is still shown in the tracker as being 1.5 NM from the finish, and registering 0 knots, so we await further detail on what has happened.

But the fact that Dolan is now safely in turns attention to the combined overall total times for Legs 1 and 2, which is how the final placings are determined.

At 12th in Leg 1, Dolan was within striking distance of all ahead of him except Leg 1 winner Valentin Gautier, who was seven hours clear. But Gautier is still 41.7 miles from the finish of Leg 2, and making just 6.8 knots, with a chance of further speed loss as he comes in under the land. Much will hinge on how things pan out over the next six hours.

Published in Solo Sailing
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With Production Class winner Erwan Le Draoulec finished early this morning in the Mini-Transat 2017 with a very clear lead, Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan’s many supporters at home and abroad maintain a slim hope that he might yet scrape through to a podium finish writes W M Nixon.

He has had a good night’s racing in fifth place, and has closed up to just two miles astern of Tanguy Boroullec in fourth and five miles behind Benoit Sineau in third, while Sineau still has 37.2 to race to the finish at Le Marin on Martinique.

However, Clarisse Cremer lying second well ahead has only 17 miles to go and is making 9.3 knots in a steady breeze, as is Sineau. But the two boats astern of him – Bouroullec and Dolan - are slightly slower at 8.9 for Bouroullec and 8.7 for Dolan.

Doubtless these speeds will pick up as they begin to enjoy the fresher breeze ahead. Yet with such even matching of speeds, the chances of position changes at this late stage are receding. But we live in hope. And with 25 miles clear back to sixth-placed Pierre Chedeville, Tom Dolan is at least reasonably sure of a fifth.

Tracker here 

Published in Solo Sailing
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Fortunes have waxed and waned as the 80 little boats in the Mini Transat Boulangere close towards the finish of the 2,000 mile transoceanic leg from Las Palmas in the Canaries - via a mandatory gate in the Cape Verde Islands - to St Marin in Martinique in the Caribbean writes W M Nixon.

Bowling along in the fluctuating east to northeast tradewinds, as expected the Prototype Division’s Ian Lipinski with the scow-bowed Griffon.fr has led the fleet overall to the line. He finished yesterday, and Proto runner-up Jorg Riechers is only slowly approaching the line in locally very light airs for his finish this morning.

It’s a result which gives Lipinski a remarkable double, as he won the Production Class in the previous staging of this biennial classic two years ago – it’s the first time in the 40 year history of the event that the double has been achieved.

mini transat dolan2Tom Dolan, Ireland’s second-ever entrant in the Mini-Transat (Enda O Coineen was the first a long time ago), is facing a battle for fourth or perhaps third place in the Production Class in the final 200 miles of the Mini-Transat

In this year’s Production Class, Ireland’s Tom Dolan has found himself entering the concluding two hundred miles in a four-way battle for the final position in the quartet which will fill the second, third, fourth and fifth places. However, “four way battle” is only a relative term imposed by the considerable distance being raced. This morning, twenty miles separate Clarisse Cremer in second from Dolan in fifth, as they have respectively 89.7 and 109.7 miles to the leader Erwan le Draoulec, who is in turn 145 miles from the finish.

Dolan has a good chance of improving to fourth as he is only 4 miles astern of Benoit Sineau currently in fourth, and the Irish sailor has marginally improved his position during the past four hours. But options for making major tactical gains are closing off as the finish is neared and the fleet’s tracks get closer together.

At the front of the Production fleet where the leaders are racing the Pogo 3, wunderkind Erwan Le Draoulec – he’s aged just 20 – is in a world of his own with those 145 miles still to sail. With nearly 90 miles clear of second-placed Cremer, his current speed of 7.7 knots is currently maintaining his lead. That said, as Jorg Riechers has been learning the hard way in recent hours, actually getting to the finish line off a Caribbean Island can sometimes be difficult for the final few miles. But nevertheless Le Draoulec has every reason for confidence.

Tracker here

Published in Solo Sailing

Ireland’s Tom Dolan held on to third place over the weekend as the Mini-Transat Production Class leaders closed into the final third of the Transoceanic leg, with the northeast tradewinds providing difficult sailing in increasingly volatile conditions writes W M Nixon.

But with different areas of the ocean temporarily experiencing better winds, his ranking this morning by been displaced by Tanguy Bouroullec well to the south, and currently logging 11.0 knots to put him up to third, while Benoit Sineau is lying fourth in a position slightly to the north of Dolan, and sailing at 9.0 knots.

Dolan himself is currently on just 8.5, but all are within striking distance of each other in terms of placings, and all have closed slightly on second-placed Clarisse Cremer. But the “Enfant Terrible” of the Mini-Transat Production fleet, 20-year Erwan Le Draoulec, sails serenely at 10 knots on well clear of everyone, and all of 90 miles ahead of Cremer – and he has just 511 miles to go.

Further ahead, Proto-type leader Ian Lipinski in the “super-scow” Griffon.fr is now in a race of his own. With only 268 miles to sail, he has the finish at St Marin in Martinique in striking distance, sailing at 11.7 knots with 90 miles in hand on second-placed Jorg Riechers in Lillienthal.

Race Tracker here

Published in Solo Sailing
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Tom Dolan has been having a good week in the Mini-Transat as he consolidates his position among the leading five writes W M Nixon. This morning, he’s in third place, having gained from his closest challenger Pierre Chedeville making what proved to be an unrewarding diversion to the southwards earlier in the week as the fleet tacks to lee in the prevailing east to northeast winds.

A fairly consistent favourable wind pattern has built up round the lower flank of the large Azores High Pressure System centred well to the north as the little boats put the turning gate at the Cape Verde Islands far astern. This has resulted in steady though not spectacular speeds as the large fleet make westing. That said, it tells us much about the calibre of the current range of Proto and Production boats in this, the 40th Anniversary Mini-Transat, that “steady though not spectacular speeds” have seen the Production boats around the 8 to 11 knot level, while the Prototypes, led by Ian Lipinski’s Griffon.fr, have been logging mostly 9 to 12 knots.

Lipinski yesterday went through the thousand-miles-to-go stage to the finish at Martinique as he continues to stride out at the front of the fleet, which has generally followed his strategy of searching for the firmer winds indicated to the north of the direct Cape Verde-Martinique route.

Clear in the lead in the Production Class is 20-year-old Erwan le Draoulec, currently on port gybe and closing again southwestwards towards the baseline at a speed of 9.8 knots. The overall placings – inevitably something of a guesstimate in a tacking-to-lee situation like this – show Le Draoulec as 49.8 miles ahead of second-placed Clarisse Cremer who is at 8.7 knots, while more or less directly astern and also now on port is Tom Dolan, making a better 10.8 knots, but he’s 96 miles behind Le Draoulec.

However, he currently has an indicated distance cushion of 11 miles between himself and closest contender, 4th placed Benoit Sineau, while his challenger early in the week, Pierre Chedeville, is fifth and indicated as 34 miles behind Dolan. So we can allow ourselves to feel reasonably assured that Tom Dolan is lying third as he races on towards the weekend, with the significant passing of the thousand-miles-to-the-finish marker being the next item on the agenda for the Meath sailor and his Production Class rivals. Leader Le Draoulac now has only 112 miles to go to this key psychological staging post.

 Race tracker here

Published in Solo Sailing
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Ireland’s solo sailor Tom Dolan has been finding form and much-improved placings among the leaders in the Mini-Transat 2017 as the front runners approach the mandatory course gate, the channel between Santo Antao and Sao Vicente, the most westerly islands of the Cape Verde archipelago writes W M Nixon.

Since Wednesday’s start from Las Palmas in the Canaries, Dolan has seen his position in the 55-trong fleet steadily rising. His strategy of being among the first to get determinedly over to the stronger northeast winds closer to the African coast provided a zero to hero scenario, as he was briefly 54th, but was soon moving rapidly up through the rankings in classic Dolan style.

At one stage yesterday he was showing as being in fifth, but placings among some sections of the leading group are very closely contested, and this morning he is sixth, closing towards the channel between the islands at 9.7 knots.

However, current leaders Tanguy Bourollec (1st), Erwan le Draoulec (2nd) and Clarisse Cremer (3rd) are likely to go through the Cape Verdes in that order. But with a wind shadow indicated to the leeward of Santo Antao on its southwest side, the decision of how soon to make the turn westward for Martinique in the Caribbean could be a tricky one.

Some boats further down the fleet have already indicated their intention to go into the port of Mindao in the Cape Verdes for essential repairs, and if they take that pit stop option, they’re obliged to stay for 12 hours, making for a real divide in the fleet.

So far, Dolan has given no hint of requiring to do this, but one or two of those who need to make the stop will not reveal it until the last minute. However, for Tom Dolan, the Atlantic crossing itself is ultimately what it’s all about, and he is enthusiastic about the possibilities of making more gains as the fleet begin the 2000-mile “real” Mini-Transat from San Antao for St Marin in Martinique.

As a rookie in the 2015 race, Tom Dolan was a respectable 22nd in the Production Boat Class with fleet numbers comparable to this year. But with his new Pogo 3 IRL 910 racing this 2017 event, he is expecting much better of himself, and currently things are looking good.

Race tracker here

Published in Solo Sailing
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Page 7 of 13

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. 

Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
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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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