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West Gains Overnight, Quiroga Keeps Ahead, Costa in Sixth

Published on 15/09/2021

With 270 nautical miles to go to the final finish line of this 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro, Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019), the overall leader on the General Classification, has a lead of just under a mile and had managed to play a strong percentage game on a middle course down a very demanding, shifty run downwind, passing the latitude of Lands End in the small hours of the morning. There have been good gains to a group to the west and south, in stronger more settled pressure. Among those has been Pep Costa (Cybele Vacances-Team Play to B). The 22 year old Catalan rookie was most west and is now up to sixth on the leaderboard. Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) could do little to protect against the gains on his west and is 13th this morning, 6.3 miles behind leader Quiroga. The N’ly breeze is between seven and 15kts with shifts in direction up to 30 degrees, meaning it has been a long night with no opportunities for rest, there is a misty drizzle and a big swell.

Pep Costa (CybelleVacances - Team Play to be), sixth,: “This race is intense with a lot of wind shifts. I have gone well after the Fastnet, I’m happy with my position. The boat is going fast but I have to be on deck all the time working with constant trimming and little adjustments, refining. There is a good group around me, I am very happy, I have worked well, worked hard since the start. I don’t want to drop my rhythm though I’m tired. I’m not sure what to expect as we get towards the tip of Brittany. I still don’t see the meteo situation very clearly, maybe there will be a northwesterly wind. I’m looking forward to the 9am weather forecast to see more clearly. “

Erwan Le Draoulec (Skipper Macif 2020), third, ” I’m a bit tired. Even if we were to manage to get a lot of rest, I still feel tired, I have to take many naps. The nights are a bit tough, we hang in there. I’m happy to be in the good little group even though in the transitions I have a hard time keeping up with the top three. The wind swings around in force and direction. These are fairly technical conditions in the end, it keeps you on it all the time. If you doze off you are woken by the spinnaker collapsing. But we had a brilliant day yesterday! This kind of day can last forever: the boat slides downwind, you have time for yourself and to enjoy these magical moments. The night was very dark, however. We hope that it we keep this northerly wind, and that it remains stable. I hope that it will hold in force to continue to move forward. I am in line with Pierre Quiroga and spent the day yesterday alongside Bretagne CMB Performance (Tom Laperche). There are three four good guys in the circuit like Région Normandie, Groupe Gilbert and Breizh Cola, and also two youngsters like me who sail well like Pep Costa and Alexis Thomas. We know that Xavier Macaire and Tom Dolan, slightly to the east go fast too. I’m in good company and that is nice! “

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