Please select your home edition
Craftinsure 2012
Product Feature
Zhik's new Isotak X Ocean Jacket
Zhik's new Isotak X Ocean Jacket
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

Alan Roberts is top international skipper after Leg 3 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro

by Maria Stanley 20 Jun 08:35 BST
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro © Alexis Courcoux

"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."

Overcoming tidal gates, rocks and copious amounts of seaweed Alan Roberts takes poll position for the VIVI Trophy as top international, non French Sailor lying 14th in the overall rankings after completing Leg 3, Roscoff to Roscoff, of the La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro

The leg was dominated by three sailors, Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire), Gildas Mahé (Breizhe Cola-Equithé) and Alexis Loison (Region Normandie) who made their break off the north eastern tip of Alderney and the Channel Islands, getting through a key tidal gate which closed behind them leaving the rest of the fleet behind fighting a running tide, Roberts is aware this is all part of the fun of off shore racing, "The guys getting away at Alderney, that's just part of the game isn't it, it happens and when it happens to you it smells of roses and when it doesn't and everyone comes into the back of you it smells the opposite."

Following the escape by the trio the rest of the fleet split North and South around the DST zone, Roberts's decision to go North was made for him as he was unable to anchor in the rushing tide, "The way I made the decision was I tried to get to the land to anchor up and I couldn't get there so I knew the wind was going to go around to the North, North East so to keep moving in that direction it kind of made sense to get there and try and get into the new breeze before the people who were anchored otherwise I was going to be in Cherbourg so I took the option to go North and I found out in the radio 'vacation' that we'd paid pretty dear, it's neither here nor there I think it could have come out either way, I don't know what happened to the guys in the South but they could easily have stayed there with no wind and it could have been a different story."

On the pontoon Roberts is exhausted but in good spirits having left his frustrations out on the water, "At the end of this leg in particular, probably here on the pontoon it's exhaustion that you're seeing because I think that the frustration has already come out in the last 24 hours that we've been at sea, you know we had quite a long time to come to reality of what happened, I don't know how it affects the top of the leader board, how it affects the leader board at all with the first guys getting away and the second split getting away. It's frustrating when you loose half a mile, when you loose 15 miles, it's very frustrating when you loose 80 miles you've got to laugh.''

There is little time to recover before the final 500nm leg departs at 1600 local time on Saturday 22 June from Roscoff to Dieppe, France.

The overall leader is Yoann Richomme on 10days 5hrs 58mins 34secs followed by leg 3 winner Gildhas Mahé on 10days 7hrs 24mins 48sec and Alexis Loison sits in third on 10days 8hrs 20mins 46secs.

For more updates follow Alan Roberts on his journey in La Solitaire....visit our website; find us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter; see us on Instagram

Related Articles

The Figaro circuit: The final necessary step?
Do you really have to be an Figaro expert before IMOCA? The 50th Solitaire Urgo-Le Figaro finished last Wednesday after a fourth and final leg won by Eric Péron, which confirmed Yoann Richomme's overall first place. Posted on 2 Jul
Number Crunching
A look at the 50th anniversary of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro The landmark edition of the 50th La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, which finished on Wednesday 27 June in Dieppe, covered more than 2000 miles over the four stages. Even more than usual it was a war of attrition. Posted on 28 Jun
Richomme wins La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
Fourth place in final stage is enough to win overall by 1 hour Crossing the finish line of the final Stage of the 50th anniversary La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro this afternoon in fourth place, after 500 miles from Roscoff to Dieppe via Wolf Rock and Owers, Yoann Richomme completed an impressive overall victory. Posted on 26 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 5 update
Sprint to the Grand Final finish line The final hours of Stage 4, the Grand Final, are delivering a sprint finish worthy of the first La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro to be sailed in the new Beneteau Figaro 3. Posted on 26 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 4
Last night nerves for the fleet? With an accumulated overall lead time of one hour and 11 minutes, and just 85 miles left to sail to the finish of the final leg on Stage 4 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, overall leader Yoann Richomme might reflect on the warnings of 'The Godfather'. Posted on 25 Jun
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Leg 4 day 4 update
Overhauled at Owers: Isle of Wight option pays for Peron and Richomme The passage of the Owers buoy in the middle of last night delivered yet another upset on the 50th La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro as hard won leads were washed away under a massive dark cloud and heavy rain. Posted on 25 Jun
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