Please select your home edition
Super Spars 728x90 - The Mast for You

Ireland's Tom Dolan out to make history in Mini-Transat La Boulangère

by Will Carson 28 Sep 2017 08:05 BST 1 October 2017
Tom Dolan set for the Mini-Transat La Boulangère © Christophe Breschi

Solo sailor Tom Dolan will aim to make history by becoming the first Irishman ever to finish on the podium of the iconic Mini Transat race, which begins on Sunday, October 1st.

Dolan goes into the epic 4,000 nautical miler among the favourites in the Série class for production boats following a string of impressive results over the 2017 Mini 6.50 season.

The 30-year-old from Kells, County Meath, finished on the podium in three of the season's six races, and only narrowly missed out on a top-three spot in the most recent Transgascogne by a whisker.

Dolan, who relocated from Ireland to the Breton port of Concarneau, to pursue his Mini Transat dream, is now eagerly awaiting the start of the first leg of the race from La Rochelle to Gran Canaria in Canary Islands.

The 1,350 nautical mile leg should take around a week, and is followed by a longer 2,700 nautical mile stage across the Atlantic to Le Marin in Martinique, lasting around two weeks.

It is not the first time Dolan has taken on the race, which is considered one of sailing's toughest and a proving ground for offshore racing talent.

In the last edition of the race in 2015 he finished a respectable 22nd in what was his Mini Transat debut.

Two years on Dolan is back with a new goal – to finish on the podium. It is a feat no Irish sailor has ever achieved.

"I did this race two years ago and back then I didn't know what it would be like to sail solo across the Atlantic," said Dolan, who the French media have nicknamed 'l'Irlandais Volant' – the Flying Irishman.

"The advantage I have this time is that I know now, so that trepidation is far less. It's a different feeling this time round.

"My goal is undoubtedly to finish on the podium, something no Irish sailor has ever done in a solo transatlantic race of any class. To do that would mean the world to me."

Dolan, racing his boat, will go up against 56 other competitors in the Série class, with French sailors Clarisse Crémer (TBS) and Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile henry) among his hottest competition.

"Everything is ready now, I just can't wait to get started," Dolan added. "The build-up to a race is one of the hardest bits to deal with – I hate the waiting.

"I'm looking forward to getting going, and getting a few hours under my belt alone to get into the zone.

"I've spent two years working towards this one race – now I need to go out there and do it."

Related Articles

2018 season is underway for Team Arkema
Multi50 Arkema has been clocking up nautical miles Two great opportunities to validate the technical choices and gauge themselves to keep on making progress six months away from the Route du Rhum race. As for the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3, Raphaël Lutard has already taken part in two races Posted on 3 May
New developments for Team Arkema Lalou Multi
Preparing for an exciting year in 2018 Optimizing the Multi50 and the Mini 6.50 boats, redrawing the sporting organization of the racing team, eyeing victory in the Route du Rhum race for Lalou Roucayrol, arrival of a new skipper at the helm of the Mini. Posted on 21 Mar
Marlow's Inspirational Women in Sailing
Celebrated on International Women's Day This international Women's Day, Marlow Ropes celebrates the success of the many inspirational women in sailing from around the world that it is proud to work with and support as official supplier. Posted on 8 Mar
Tom Dolan in the running
For prestigious Irish Sailor of the Year award The nomination comes after Dolan, from Kells, County Meath, finished sixth overall in the iconic Mini Transat race, a 4,000-mile epic across the Atlantic alone in 21ft boats. Posted on 9 Dec 2017
Entries open for Drheam Cup - Destination Cotentin
Qualifier for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe The race will be held from Thursday 19 to Sunday 29 July 2018, leaving from La Trinité-sur-Mer and arriving in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. One of the courses will be a qualifier for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. Posted on 5 Dec 2017
Ireland's Dolan sails into history books
With top Mini Transat result Solo sailor Tom Dolan has recorded Ireland's best ever result in the iconic Mini Transat race, finishing 6th in the 4,000-mile epic across the Atlantic. Posted on 25 Nov 2017
Mini-Transat La Boulangère Leg 2 day 15
Make way for the young Amidst all the fanfare of the finish, the race continues... Indeed, there have been a succession of arrivals in the port of Le Marin, but for the overwhelming majority of the racers, there are still some days to go. Posted on 15 Nov 2017
Mini-Transat La Boulangère Leg 2 day 13
Vedran Kabalin's boat has dismasted Things are complicated for Vedran Kabalin (Eloa Island of Osinj), who has managed to contact Race Management to alert them to the fact that his boat has dismasted. Posted on 13 Nov 2017
Mini-Transat La Boulangère Leg 2 day 12
A friend indeed Whilst the fleet carves out a route between the latest squalls in what is a very shifty trade wind, each of the skippers has his or her own method of keeping up morale and making the most of this adventure, right the way to the finish. Posted on 12 Nov 2017
Mini-Transat La Boulangère Leg 2 day 11
No lasting armistice out on the ocean... 99 years ago, the armistice of 11 November 1918 heralded the end of the First World War. This Saturday, on this its anniversary on the great Atlantic chessboard, by way of a nod to history. Posted on 11 Nov 2017