Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine 2021 April UK Offers - LEADERBOARD

Ireland's Tom Dolan lies 9th and is in the match at 'half-time' in the Solo Maître CoQ

by Tom Dolan Racing 25 Mar 10:15 GMT
Ireland's Tom Dolan © Tom Dolan Racing

The annual Solo Maître CoQ, the traditional curtain raiser for the Figaro season, has never gone very well for the Irish racer Tom Dolan but the skipper of Smurfit Kappa has this time made a strong start to the early season Vendée based race series and after the two inshore races lies in ninth place in the 29 strong fleet of Figaro Beneteau 3s.

On Monday and Tuesday's inshore courses which were raced in tactical conditions between Les Sables d'Olonne, Bourgenay and Brem-sur-Mer, Dolan was seventh on Monday and 13th on Tuesday. After the lay-day Wednesday the fleet takes on a 340 miles coastal offshore course out of Les Sables d'Olonne between the islands of Belle-Ile, Ile de Ré and the Ile de Yeu.

"I'm pretty happy with these first two days of racing. Although it was complicated, the weather worked out as I thought it would and it was quite clear to me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and it all happened pretty much as I had expected." Said Tom Dolan today in Les Sables d'Olonne, "In the end I made the right sail choices at the right time went the right way and actually did some great manoeuvres which was gratifying after all the boat-for-boat training we did recently."

And while he was pleased with the first race's opening seventh place, he was nearly as happy to have kept his head on the second race and recovered after a bad start.

"I had a catastrophic start and that put my mental game to the sword but I managed to stay calm and follow my initial game plan without blowing up, " explains the skipper of Smurfit Kappa. "Coming away with the 13th in the end was not too bad."

Taking full advantage of the lay day to prep and rest before the first long race of the season, Dolan previews the course: "It's going to be full on and complex. On the first section it might be a bit swings and roundabouts with light winds and currents. By the Birvideaux light (at the Bay of Quiberon) it should be a bit tougher with strong wind and seas before becoming again very random near the end of the course depending on how the timings are. I think the elastic band will extend and compress a whole bunch of times. So you have to be right on it, in the group from the start to finish, and with your eyes open and not miss a thing, especially over the first few miles on the Ile de Ré side. The positive thing is that this range of conditions and course will allow us to validate a whole lot of things, " concludes the Irish sailor who is pitching to finish in the Top 10 of the offshore which has a coefficient of 3 towards the overall standings.

The offshore starts 1300hrs Thursday and should finish lunchtime Saturday.

Related Articles

Costa and Harris 8th in Sardinha Cup
Brutally cold 775 nautical mile offshore on Cybèle Vacances-Team Play to B International duo Pep Costa of Spain and England's Will Harris finished fifth in the Sardinha Cup's brutally cold 775 nautical miles offshore race for the Figaro Beneteau 3 class to take eighth overall in the 21 strong fleet Posted on 19 Apr
Pep Costa and Will Harris start Sardhina Cup
On Cybele Vacations-Team Play to Be Taking on his first ever race in the Figaro Beneteau class over the coming days, 21 year old Barcelona skipper Pip Costa has partnered with the experienced British Will Harris, 26, as co-skipper for the Sardinha Cup Posted on 7 Apr
Tom Dolan retires from Solo Maître CoQ
Offshore race ankle injury sees him forced out of the race An ankle injury sustained midway through the 340 nautical miles long offshore race curtailed Irish solo sailor's Tom Dolan's chances of a top 10 overall finish in the first solo race of the French Figaro season, the Solo Maître Coq. Posted on 29 Mar
Silver for Alan Roberts in the Solo Maître Coq
The opening racing of the 2021 Figaro 2021 season Alan Roberts finishes second in the first 2021 Figaro race, the Solo Maître Coq, starting and finishing in the Bay Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Posted on 27 Mar
World capital of single-handed ocean racing
Les Sables d'Olonne is now preparing to welcome you for the next great adventures Port Olona, with its high-quality infrastructures, the infamous channel that so many great sailors have sailed through, the South-facing bay and the Atlantic ocean landing its waves to the expansive beach... Posted on 24 Mar
Figaro 3 arriving in Australia
Just in time for racing on Pittwater and coastal waters Due mid-March 2021, the first of the Figaro 3 will reach Australian shores just in time for racing on Pittwater and coastal waters. This is a fantastic thoroughbred racing boat developed by Beneteau for the Figaro 3 offshore racing program. Posted on 18 Mar
La Solitaire du Figaro 2021 course revealed
Four legs and a route spanning nearly 2,500 miles Boasting four legs and a route spanning nearly 2,500 miles, which alternates between offshore roller-coaster rides and high-voltage coastal skirmishes, the Solitaire du Figaro 2021 is taking things to a whole new level as it unveils an ambitious course. Posted on 11 Mar
Tom Dolan named Irish Sailor of the Year 2020
County Meath's Dolan is delighted with the recognition. Ireland's leading solo offshore racer Tom Dolan was recognised for his exceptional 2020 season, during which he finished in an unprecedented fifth place in La Solitaire du Figaro, when he was named Irish Sailor of the Year. Posted on 15 Feb
Double Handed Round Ireland Record Broken
Iarracht Maigeanta Round Ireland record attempt a success All-female sailing team breaks double-handed sailing record in circumnavigation of Ireland Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt set off to circumnavigate Ireland on the morning of Tuesday 14 October and finished just before 3am on Saturday 17 October. Posted on 6 Nov 2020
OnCourse - Episode 7: Figaro Special
The proving ground for so many offshore rock stars in the making Ahead of the biggest solo race of them all we take a look at the recent Solitaire du Figaro, the proving ground for so many offshore rock stars in the making. We look at this year's race plus, we talk to some of the offshore legends at last year's Figaro. Posted on 14 Oct 2020