Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

Excellent final leg fifth place for Dolan and Foxall on Smurfit Kappa

by Tom Dolan Racing 14 Apr 09:55 BST
Fifth place for Dolan and Foxall on Smurfit Kappa - Figaro Sardinha Cup © Tom Dolan Racing

After minor frustrations marred the first two legs of the Sardinha Cup, Ireland's Tom Dolan and Damian Foxall on Smurfit Kappa finished the first offshore series for the new Figaro Benetau 3 class on a high note, securing an excellent fifth place on the 280 nautical miles third and final stage.

"That is more like the result we felt we were capable of. On the first two legs we were sailing fast and generally going in the right direction. But this was a leg when most things went right." smiled Foxall on the dock this morning in Saint-Gilles Croix-De-Vie on the French Vendée coast, the host port of the event and 'home' to boatbuilders Beneteau.

After their 13th place in the shorter, opening Vendée Warm Up leg, then 20th on the first long offshore stage and their fifth on this leg - which was shortened this morning from the scheduled 320 miles to 280 miles - the Smurfit Kappa pair finish 13th overall

From a 'mediocre' start from Saint-Gilles-Crox-De-Vie on Thursday afternoon, the flying Irish duo hit their stride in breezes to 20 knots and proved fast on the 130 nautical miles downwind to a turning mark off Arcachon, south of Bordeaux. They were well inside the top ten of the 32 boat fleet at the southernmost turn.

Yesterday, Friday, Dolan and Foxall gained places on the ensuing upwind stage when there was little wind and the key was working the wind shift created as the sea breeze came in close to the land.

At one point they were up to fourth but a slight hiccup -dropping the spinnaker in to the foil - cost them momentarily in the very close racing. Then the sensible choice was to consolidate and cover the fleet to secure the top 5.

"I'm happy with that." Dolan grinned, "It was disappointing not to hold on to good early positions on the first two stages, but this is more of a correct result in terms of how we have been sailing."

"We definitely had good speed again on the run and made our gybes at the right time. I have good sails from Technique Voiles, a smaller French loft, and with the big spinnaker in particular we seemeed to be able to sail a little lower and stay fast." Dolan added.

Foxall, a veteran of ten round the world races whose first experience back with the Figaro class this was after a 20 years hiatus, added:

"Tom has been putting in the time and has good potential going forwards from here. It is a new boat, the Figaro Beneteau 3, and it will be a lot harder to sail solo, but this a great way to start the season for him."

"I really came in with no expectations at all." the round the world sailor from County Kerry admitted, "But in many ways it is like riding a bike, the reflexes come back automatically and you get boat going fast. Once we found the buttons to do that we seemed to be able to do that. He has good sails and has put in a lot of work with the Lorient training group."

Foxall moves on to his next major project now. Asked if his experience with the new Figaro and his ebullient compatriot Dolan might tempt him to return to the Figaro in which he cut his solo and short-handed teeth some 20 years ago, Foxall said: "I suppose it is 'never say never', but for sure it is great, great racing. It felt very familiar and it was nice to be in that comfort zone."

Won overall by three times La Solitaire champion Yann Eliès sailing with French-based British co-skipper Samantha Davies, the Sardinha Cup has been a useful first event for the fleet and for Dolan who now starts his solo training looking towards the season's pinnacle, June's La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro.

Related Articles

La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 3
Where there is a Will, is there a way? With 40 nautical miles still to sail to the Owers turning mark off Portsmouth at 1500hrs BST this afternoon, racing within a gradually fading southwesterly breeze, it has been a long, laborious day fighting in the main pack. Posted on 24 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 3 update
Transition zone is frustration zone If the first night of Stage 4, the last leg of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, proved enjoyable and productive, a welcome express passage under big spinnaker across the Channel to Wolf Rock at speeds of up to 20 knots. Posted on 24 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 2
Normal service resumed in the Channel Just over 24 hours after the start of the fourth and final stage of what has been a La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro marked by unusually big time deltas and many pre-race favourites languishing, it finally seems to be back to business as usual. Posted on 23 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 2 update
Loison leads & Harris eighth approaching Wolf Rock Since leaving Roscoff Sunday afternoon in light breeze, the 47 solo skippers racing the 500-mile final stage of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro have finally enjoyed a reasonably swift Posted on 23 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 1
Yann Eliès leads off from Roscoff Three times overall La Solitaire winner Yann Eliès (St Michel) may, by conventional logic, have lost his chance of a fourth title as he lies 16th overall in the 2019 rankings, more than seven and a half hours behind the leader, but he made the best start. Posted on 22 Jun
3 skippers still in competition for VIVI Trophy
Looking to the 500 mile leg to Dieppe in La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro The race within a race, similar to the Rookie trophy for first timers, is judged the same way as the overall classification, that is to say on cumulative elapsed time over the event's four legs. Posted on 21 Jun
Tom Dolan's leg 3 in La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
8th into Roscoff but faces jury hearing Irish solo skipper Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) started Stage 3 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro looking for a top ten finish as he sought to restore confidence in himself after two disappointing opening legs. Posted on 20 Jun
Alan Roberts top international skipper after Leg 3
The hardest leg of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro so far I was pretty sure this was shaping up to be the hardest leg so far I mean they've all been hard legs so far but it was.' Posted on 20 Jun
Marchand wins La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Stage 3
As attention turns to the overall rankings A final surge from Anthony Marchand early this morning has seen the skipper of Groupe Royer-Populaire Secours claim victory in Stage 3 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro after taking the lead with just 47 miles to go on the 400-nautical mile leg. Posted on 19 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 3 day 4 update
Marchand on a slow march to Stage 3 victory in Morlaix With less than 15 nautical miles to the finish line on the Bay of Morlaix, Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire) is trying to hold off the one rival, Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola-Equi Thé) who may yet stand between him and a very hard earned Posted on 19 Jun