Please select your home edition
Edition
Highfield Boats - YY - LEADERBOARD

51st La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 3 - Day 2

by La Solitaire du Figaro 13 Sep 2020 19:23 BST
51st La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 3 - Day 2 © Alexis Courcoux

Racing in very light and variable easterly winds, progress this Sunday afternoon has been as slow for the 33 solo skippers racing on Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro from Dunkirk to Saint Nazaire at the entrance to the Loire estuary.

With the fleet spread almost side-by-side along a north-south line 25 nautical miles long, gains and losses appear mostly temporary. The choice of staying offshore in the stronger ebb current and better breeze seemed to have paid a very welcome dividend for three times winner Yann Eliès (Quéguiner Materiaux-Leucémie Espoir) and Britain's Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) who came back to take the top positions in the middle of the afternoon, but with the fleet racing side by side off Le Havre at 1600hrs this afternoon that gain appeared to evaporate again and there was nothing in it as the fleet race slowly westwards towards the headlands of the Cherbourg peninsula, Barfleur and then Cap de La Hague at some 45 miles ahead of them across the Baie de la Sein.

"This is how we expected this stage to be." Commented Race Director Francis Le Goff this afternoon, "Now the combination of light weather and the tides of the Cotentin (Cherbourg) will now push the sailors to make big choices. The seas are like a lake meantime, but a lake with a lot of seaweed."

Le Goff, who accompanies the fleet on one of the three guardboats, considers there is a good chance for the leaders to still catch the last of the favourable current at Barfleur and the Cap de la Hague on the east of the peninsula but they may then be stopped at the Raz de Blanchard at Alderney, a tidal gate which proved crucial during last year's race.

Meantime the focus is to stay on the pace with the group and try to keep rested and hydrated in the strong sunshine, looking ahead to a long second night at sea which should see the wind shift more to the north-east as the fleet start to escape a sticky ridge of high pressure centred in the east of the Channel.

Roberts and Eliès continue to take the offshore track and may well continue to profit, the French skipper who was third on Stage 2 is looking to back up that decent finish with another top five, whilst the British skipper Roberts is seeking his first top ten finish of a La Solitaire du Figaro on which he was tipped among the top favourites.

Meantime in terms of distance to the next waypoint there are just five nautical miles between first and 30th place but that picture will almost certainly be very different come Monday morning. Patience and focus will be key requirements tonight.

Related Articles

Tom Dolan & Gildas Mahé 8th in Transat en Double
A slightly disappointing outcome following a very close finish Ireland's Tom Dolan and his French co-skipper Gildas Mahé have been coming to terms with a slightly disappointing outcome following a very close finish to the Transat en Double Concarneau to Saint Barthélemy race. Posted on 1 Jun
Tom Dolan & Gildas Mahé lying fourth
In the Transat en Double Concarneau Saint Barthélemy Ireland's Tom Dolan, racing with the French co-skipper Gildas Mahé on Breizh Cola, lies in fourth place on the Transat en Double Concarneau Saint Barthélemy as the fleet heads west across the Atlantic after passing the Canary Islands. Posted on 20 May
Tom Dolan happy with position and course
Lying ninth in the Transat en Double Concarneau - Saint Barthélemy race Racing on Breizh Cola with French ace Gildas Mahé, Ireland's Tom Dolan reported today that he is happy with their positioning on the Transat en Double Concarneau - Saint Barthélemy fleet. Posted on 17 May
Ready, willing and able…(2.0)
Ireland's Tom Dolan set for Transat en Double Concarneau-Saint Barthélemy start Following a postponed start, moved to this Wednesday evening at 1900hrs local time from last Sunday because of stormy conditions on the Bay of Biscay, Irish skipper Tom Dolan and his ace French co-skipper Glldas Mahé were in a buoyant mood. Posted on 12 May
Weather Preview for the La Transat en Double
The Figaro 3s patiently await the passing of the latest in a string of powerful depressions While the crews of the Figaro 3s patiently await the passing of the latest in a string of powerful depressions, they will have their minds focussed ahead on what looks to be a difficult start to the transatlantic race. Posted on 11 May
Hello, my old friend…
So I put the word out... it got heard… and how! So I put the word out back in 52 pick up. At any rate, it got heard… And how! Posted on 9 May
Tom Dolan relief at Transat en Double postponement
Among the 18 duos breathing a collective sigh of relief today in Concarneau, France Irish sailor Tom Dolan is among the 18 duos breathing a collective sigh of relief today in Concarneau, France after Sunday's start of the Transat en Double race to Saint Barthélemy has been postponed because of severe weather forecasted. Posted on 8 May
Australia's first Figaro Beneteau 3 makes debut
The first FB3 in Australia successfully raced with her happy owner onboard After a month of setup and tuning, the first Figaro Beneteau 3 (FB3) in Australia, sold by our dealer in the country, Flagstaff Marine, successfully launched to water with her happy owner onboard. Posted on 6 May
Tom Dolan prepares with French Ace Gildas Mahé
For the Transat En Double Concarneau - Saint-Barthélemy Next weekend Irish racer Tom Dolan will line up at the start of the 3,890 nautical miles Transat En Double Concarneau - Saint-Barthelemy harbouring realistic hopes of finishing on the podium. Posted on 4 May
52 pick up
Somebody only gets you the once. Hopefully… Somebody only gets you the once. Hopefully… Where the playing cards are held between the thumb and index finger, flexed down, and then sprayed out to a jumbled mess on the floor. Posted on 25 Apr