Published on 21/09/2021
Taking part in La Solitaire du Figaro for the first time, the ebullient Italian-American Francesca Clapcich won the “Suzuki Super Trophy for Fighting Spirit”. Since 2017, this trophy has been awarded to a sailor who has shown a particular level of tenacity over the course of the race. The jury, made up of a journalist from Le Figaro, the race director, the La Solitaire project manager and Suzuki collaborators, met on Saturday and was quick to agree the winner of the trophy for this 52nd edition.
She has an impressive record, a 49er FX world champion title, two participations at the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016 and a round-the-world race aboard the VOR Turn the Tide on Plastic alongside skipper Dee Caffari on the Volvo Ocean Race 2017 - 2018, but Clapcich claimed that La Solitaire du Figaro was the hardest race she had ever taken part in. Despite the difficulties and the level of the challenge she never gave up and usually finished with some kind of smile on her face! During the third stage she was forced to dive under the boat to remove a fishing net wrapped around her keel. The young and talented Clapcich admitted at the end of the stage that it had taken her a little bit of time to make the decision to dive under the boat. It took her longer to warm up afterwards.
After a 26th place in stage 1, a 33rd place in stage 2, a 32nd place in stage 3, she sailed to her besr performance on the last stage, proof of her grit, tenacity and talent. She finished off the 52nd edition with a great 15th place on stage 4. She finished 25th overall on the general classification.
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