Please select your home edition
Edition
WASZP2021 - WASZP_X - LEADERBOARD

Tom Dolan on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan finishes fifth in Solo Concarneau Trophée Guy Cotten

by Tom Dolan Racing 25 Jul 05:58 BST 22-24 July 2021
Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) finish 5th in the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro in 2020 © Alexis Courcoux

Ireland's Tom Dolan proved his preparation for next month's La Solitaire du Figaro is on course when he finished a very tough, testing Solo Concarneau Trophée Guy Cotten race in fifth place from 33 starters.

Exhausted after sleeping for just one snatched hour between Thursday afternoon's start and crossing the finish line back in Concarneau at 15:44hrs local French time this Saturday afternoon, Dolan was quietly content that his only solo race so far this season - and the last before La Solitaire - went well and most of all that his carefully planned strategy paid off.

"My face is burning with the constant barrage of seawater over these last 36 hours, it has been quite an extraordinary race." Smiled 37 year old Dolan from County Meath, "In Ireland we are maybe used to getting four seasons in one day but this race had everything from no wind to 35 knots, burning sunshine to thunder and lightning and heavy hailstones and no visibility. So it was a difficult race to stay on top of and so it feels good to come away with a result."

Smurfit Kappa- Kignspan skipper Dolan and French ace Gildas Mahé - who sailed together on the Transat en Double race earlier this season - sought the weather strategy advice from Marcel van Triest, one of the world's leading racing meteo experts and his ideas paid off.

"Basically we broke away to the east to stay to the north of a weather trough for as long as possible and that paid for us. At about six hours before the finish I started to feel confident I could make a good result when the wind changed as I expected it to and I was able to see the fleet under me." Dolan reported.

Smurfit Kappa-Kingpsan was sixth at the Birvideaux mark early in the course and eighth at the most southerly turn. "These are kind of arbitrary positions because one minute you can be third and the next 11th the fleet is so close and the angles changing all the time on a race like that. And so I really did not watch where the others were, I sailed my own race according to what I could see on the water and in the clouds. Really I tried not to focus on the others at all and that works for me." Tom Dolan concluded, "But for sure I made the right sail choices at the right time and seem to be fast enough."

Fifth place in this fleet matches Dolan's career best fifth on last year's La Solitaire du Figaro.

Related Articles

Pierre Quiroga wins 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro
Finishing in Saint Nazaire on Thursday night Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019) won the longest and toughest La Solitaire du Figaro of recent years, his ninth place on the fourth, final stage, finishing into Saint Nazaire on the French Loire Atlantic coast on Thursday night. Posted on 17 Sep
Dolan third on Stage 4 of La Solitaire du Figaro
Ending the 52nd edition of the race on a high note Ireland's leading solo offshore sailor Tom Dolan finished the 52nd edition of La Solitaire du Figaro on a high note when he crossed the finish line of Stage 4 into Saint Nazaire in third place, the first La Solitaire stage podium of his career. Posted on 17 Sep
52nd La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 4 day 5
Outcome hangs in the balance, Quiroga v Macaire General classification leader Pierre Quiroga has been fighting hard in light, very unsettled breezes to preserve his overall margin of 1 hour and 53 minutes as he comes under increasing pressure from second placed Xavier Macaire. Posted on 16 Sep
52nd La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 4 day 4
'It ain't over 'til it's over', calms might present final, conclusive hurdle The leadership of the decisive Stage 4 of the 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro was in the balance as the top group passed 82 nautical miles offshore of the NW tip of Brittany heading for the final finish line in Saint Nazaire on the Loire-Atlantic coast. Posted on 15 Sep
52nd La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 4 day 3
Leader Delpech goes solo, Dolan and Macaire hold firm but Quiroga is poised French rookie Jules Delpech (ORCOM) is the breakaway leader of the fourth stage of the 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro, taking a lone, solo route more than 25 miles to the east of the main body of the fleet. Posted on 14 Sep
Tom Dolan leads La Solitaire du Figaro
Irish skipper is leading towards the Fastnet Rock The Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan is leading the 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro fleet towards the Fastnet Rock with high hopes that he will be able to stay in front and lead the 34 boat fleet round the iconic lighthouse around midnight local time tonight Posted on 14 Sep
52nd La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 4 day 2
Green green grass of home drawing Dolan first towards Fastnet Irish skipper Tom Dolan leads Stage 4 of La Solitaire du Figaro towards the Fastnet Rock and the waters where he did his first real offshore sailing as a sailing instructor out of Baltimore more than a dozen years ago. Posted on 13 Sep
Dolan starts final stage of La Solitaire du Figaro
Placing his faith in a slightly different, more westerly strategy Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan was placing his faith in a slightly different, more westerly strategy as he left Morlaix Bay in north Brittany this afternoon at the start of a mammoth 685 miles final stage of La Solitaire du Figaro. Posted on 12 Sep
52nd La Solitaire du Figaro Stage 4 underway
One final Fastnet Ultra Marathon to decide the winner Corentin Horeau (Mutuelle Bleue pour l'Institut Curie) led the fleet out of Morlaix Bay this afternoon at the start of one of the longest legs in the recent history of the French annual multi stage solo offshore race. Posted on 12 Sep
Dolan disappointed with 19th into Roscoff
The end of a tough 624 miles Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro The disappointment was etched into Tom Dolan's tired face as he docked Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan into Roscoff this afternoon at the end of a tough 624 miles Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro. Posted on 10 Sep