Late Night Frustrating Finishes

Published on 13/06/2019

With the breeze off Roscoff shutting down to become very light yesterday evening and through the night, the later finishers on Stage 2 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro struggled against the tide and unfortunately saw big increases in the time differences behind the leaders and some of their rivals.

Alexis Courcous
Alexis Courcous

Such is the uncompromising nature of this race, the combination of missed tides and light winds, means hard earned minutes can very suddenly turn to hours.

Even so this 50th edition of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro sees some of the biggest deltas all the way through the fleet.

For the pack of international solo racers it has proven especially hard to put together two equally strong legs, as it has been for many others among the 47 starters.

Switzerland’s Justine Mettraux (Teamwork) is in ninth overall and leads the quest for the ViVi Trophy with a delta to the leader of 4 hours and 47 minutes. Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) is 12th 5 hours and 43 minutes behind the leader. Briton Will Harris (Hive Energy) lies 21st at +11hrs 1 minute, Conrad Colman, the Kiwi skipper of Ethical Power is 26th at +13hrs 15mins, Alberto Bona the Italian rookie on Sebago is 30th at +15hrs 38 minutes, 38th is Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) +19hrs 7 minutes and Joan Mulloy (Believe in Grace-Businesspost.IE) is 45th at +1day 5hrs

Last night Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) came in just around midnight local time to finish 29th. The Irish sailor was disappointed with his finish. He said he became stuck twice on the first under big clouds with no wind and watched the fleet sail away. He lies 38th overall. After finishing last night.

Tom Dolan IRL (Smurfit Kappa): “ It was a bit difficult from the first night. I got stuck under two different clouds on the first night and I found myself deserted by the fleet, I was pretty much last at Bishop Rock. Then again I got stuck at The Needles with no wind again. And then again at the finish. So, apart from that it was good. I found a pigeon at the Scilly Isles and he came and sat on the boom. He stayed with me even in the strong winds, reaching in 30-35knots, doing 18-19knots. The boat just lifted and sat on the water and it was so nice to have some strong winds for a while. But the race for me has been difficult. It has not been good for me so far. It has been difficult. It can only get better. I look at that way. I’ll nit be taking the pigeon on the next legs.”

Conrad Colman NZL (Ethical Power) arrived in 35th place: “The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is a legendary race and I am starting to understand why. On that stage we passed the coastline of three countries and we had very light, delicate and tactical conditions and also very strong conditions, gusting 40 and sustained 30 knots, and really we had something for everyone. In many ways I enjoyed sailing the boat a lot more on this second leg because we had such a variety of conditions, and it was really a big challenge, a puzzle to try and solve. So that how it was. The result is not so good and it is extremely disappointing for me. I had a decent first leg but I was penalised twice by adverse current, I had to fight the tide to get to the buoy at the end of Brittany and I then had to fight it to get back to the finish. As I was coming down I could see the boats zooming the other way and I knew it would be terrible for me.

For me I came here to sharpen my skills, in my career I missed a step. My whole goal to start with was to sail round the world and I have done that three times, I now really want to hone my skills before doing the Vendée Globe for example. Here is an option to retake the class I missed before re-taking my next exam, I am trying to become a better sailor.”

Joan Mulloy IRL ( In Grace) just beat the time cut off in 38th position: “ It was really hard. It was a very difficult race. Last night was very hard as I had no wind and thought I was not going to finish before the cut off. It was really tough to be three miles from the finish and see it is going to take you 15 hours. It was tough. On the second leg there was a bigger range of conditions. Coming back to France and in to the Channel it feels like the open ocean stages are over. I made the finish by an hour.”


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