Published on 04/08/2020
OceansLab skipper Phil Sharp will be one of 35 solo skippers to contest in this notoriously competitive race challenged by shipping lanes, sandbanks, rocks and tidal currents.
Achieving a good result in this race class, aboard a Figaro 3 (32 ft) one-design boat, means little sleep and close finishes with just minutes, sometime seconds apart.
“The Solitaire is without a doubt the most competitive solo offshore race. The high standard of sailors in this one-design boat means that you have to push yourself right to your limits to try and secure even the smallest of advantage”, Sharp commented.
The intensity of the racing is widely recognised and reported by French national heroes and Vendée Globe winners Michel Desjoyeaux and Alain Gautier as the hardest race in the world.
This will be Sharp’s second entry after racing aboard a Figaro 2 in the 2011 edition, where he finished as 3rd rookie on an adjusted 18th position overall.
“I am both apprehensive and excited returning to this demanding and tactical event. Looking back on my experience nine years ago, minimising errors under good sleep management will be key. With four coastal stages and a couple of rest days in-between, it is much harder to find a rhythm than an Atlantic race, and the compounded fatigue increases with every stage,” added Sharp.
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