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Slo Mo Thriller to Saint Nazaire

Published on 16/09/2020

The final miles of Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro have all the tension of a Netflix psychological thriller, all played out this morning in continuing very, very light winds. The one sure outcome is that there will be a winner, but at 25 miles to the line there is no logical way of predicting who that will be. Level with Belle Ile and Ile de Houat there appears to be three strategies in play, maybe working inshore to find the thermal enhancement closer to the Baie de Quiberon, staying offshore in the gradient and/or seabreeze or sailing the middle, rhumb line course.

Long time leader Yann Eliès has gone for the direct route and is back up to third, Alexis Loison leads a posse working inshore which now includes Sam Goodchild who is down to 16th right now, while going fast outside Belle Ile is Fred Duthil who has, remarkably, risen from 32nd and 12 miles behind the leaders, to catch up to tenth, just 1.3 miles behind.

This stage has been all about skippers bouncing back, recovering many miles as the winds died ahead or the leaders run into tidal current. Such are the extremes of La Solitaire du Figaro.

Alan Roberts is judged to be leader early this afternoon but at boat speeds of two knots and one mile separating the top ten, anything can happen.

“The progress through the night was very decent,” said Francis Le Goff Race Director this morning, “And we might expect a finish by mid-afternoon, as expected.”

Le Goff sounds ambitious considering the calms were not predicted by any of the weather models, though there does seem to be more breeze offshore.

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