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Roberts finishes 10th overall in La Solitaire du Figaro

by Maria Stanley 21 Sep 14:10 BST
51st La Solitaire du Figaro © ARR and Thomas Deregnieaux

Alan Roberts (30), Hampshire sailor, finishes 10th overall in the 51st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro,- after Leg 4 was abandoned by the Race Committee at sunset on Saturday, 19th September due to the lack of wind. Roberts maintained his ranking after Leg 3, which started from Dunkirk on Saturday 12th September and finished in Saint Nazaire, France on Wednesday, 16th September.

Roberts moved up to 10th place from 19th by the end of Leg 3 which proved to be his final finishing place which saw 44 lead changes during a relentless leg, Roberts was pleased with his leg 3 performance "I am happy with that result, I found I had good speed and found myself working my way through the fleet really well. So I am happy. The weather was always very unsure for the end of the race and so based on the scenarios we saw developing you had to be able to adapt."

Leg 3 started in 20 knots in the bay of Dunkirk but quickly turned into a light wind epic. With multiple shutdowns constantly reshuffling the fleet as they battled with weed, sea fog and the notorious tidal races, first the Raz Blanchard - the Alderney Race - and then the Raz de Sein - between the Isle de Sein and the tip of Brittany all in very inconsistent breeze. Roberts proved himself in these tricky conditions, continually making gains and giving it everything "For me, it was a classic Figaro leg. It was pleasurable, punishing, rewarding. It was everything you could want it to be. I gave it my all and I am literally broken right now. I did not sleep since Jersey and was so, so tired. I had one little five minutes nap and I woke up so disorientated I did not know where I was, who I was, what I was doing. It took me 40 minutes to come to my senses. I had to narrate to myself who I was and what I was doing."

The Final leg of the 51st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro was to start at 1930hrs local time on Saturday, 19th September for a 24hour sprint, starting and finishing in Saint Nazaire, France but the conditions were such it was with reluctance that the Race Committee cancelled leaving the overall leader after Leg 3 Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) a popular winner.

After the cancellation of Leg 4 Roberts said "I'm pretty happy, a top ten is always a great result in the Solitaire so I'm chuffed with that. I know I can do better, I know I can be better so I'm going to come back, stronger and harder having learnt lots this race. I showed I can do it in the last couple of legs working my way through the fleet and in the Solo Concarneau."

After some rest and recuperation Roberts will be planning his campaign for La Solitiare du Fiagro 2021, building on everything he has learnt this year.

The overall leader after Leg 3 is Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) 10day, 1hour, 26mins, 46sec followed by Leg 3 winner Frederic Duthil (Technique Voile - Cabinet Bourhis Generali) in 10 days, 1hour, 37mins, 29sec. In third overall is Tom Laperche (Bretagne CMB Espoir) at 10 days, 2hours, 27mins, 53sec. In tenth overall is Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) with a time of 10days, 3hours, 37mins, 56sec.

For more on Alan Roberts' journey in La Solitaire visit website, Facebook, Twitter& Instagram.

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