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Tom Dolan is September's International "Sailor of the Month"

2nd October 2020
Serious business. Tom Dolan in the process of restructuring his sailing on Smurfit Kappa after good speed but erratic tactics provided frustration in the Figaro Solitaire 2019, a situation he and his support team successfully rectified for 2020's race Serious business. Tom Dolan in the process of restructuring his sailing on Smurfit Kappa after good speed but erratic tactics provided frustration in the Figaro Solitaire 2019, a situation he and his support team successfully rectified for 2020's race

When Meathman Tom Dolan heads off for a solo or double-handed campaign with the Figaro 3 Smurfit Kappa from his French base at Concarneau, the Irish sailing community is with him all the way. But as the truncated 2020 season finally got going, we'd to control our hopes until it became clear whether or not the psychological coaching he'd been working with was paying dividends.

For the 2019 season with the new foiling Figaro 3 had been frustrating in the extreme, as he had the speed, but the tactics and strategy were way off target, and this put him well into the lower half of the fleet. Yet as 2020's main event, the Figaro Solitaire itself through the first three weeks of September, gradually took shape, it was clear that Smurfit Kappa had at least as much speed as before, but now it was in the most beneficial directions.

Even when he'd been down he fleet in the early stages of one of the legs, Tom Dolan and his boat were soon eating their way 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.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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