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The short debrief

Updated: May 23

Horeau finished 16th into Kinsale but then was second in Roscoff as the top three finishers established a big time gap which set them up as the final podium finishers. Horeau only just came off second as he sought to close down Stage 2 winner Basile Bourgnon (EDENRED), at 22 years old the youngest skipper in the race. Lois Berrehar (Skipper Macif 2022) – winner of the Transat Paprec with Charlotte Yven – took third and went on to finish third overall, Bourgnon second.

One of the revelations was undoubtedly Beneteau Bizuth Trophy winner Benoît Tuduri (CAPSO – En Cavale). The 29 year old who founded a sailing school near Montpellier took line honours twice but only his Stage 3 win stood. He broke the finish line first into Kinsale but was penalised for a rules infringement. He finished fourth overall and showed the courage of his convictions, making bold choices which led to success.

Irishman Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa – Kingspan) won the first stage (Caen – Kinsale) and went on to win Vivi Trophy – presented by Marcus and Megan Hutchinson as the annual prize for the first non-French skipper on the general classification.

And for the second year in a row Elodie Bonafous (Quéguiner – La Vie en Rose) finished 3rd on the last stage and was seventh on the general classification, one place better than last year. She consistently showed she has the potential to become the first ever female overall winner.

On the other hand there was disappointment for many of the big names, the top seeds, largely caused be being on the wrong side of that Stage 2 finish. Names like Guillaume Pirouelle (Région Normandie) runner up last year a big favorite of the event, or even Alexis Loison (REEL Group), and Dolan, finisihing 16th, 17th and 18th.

“But that is very much the nature of La Solitaire du Figaro. The race was won right there at the finish into Roscoff. I think the third stage very much saved the race. It was short, competitive and fun. There was a good atmosphere in Piriac-sur-Mer somewhere we didn’t know and discovered together. The sailors enjoyed Kinsale and I think always like to go ‘overseas’” said Marcus Hutchinson, long time follower and fan of La Solitaire du Figaro.

“It’s La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec. Whatever the route and the weather conditions, the outcome is always positive due to the skills and commitment of the sailors, which are extraordinary. The fact that they are always battling on the water makes it extremely interesting. This is reflected in each the choices precisely where and when to tack and gybe. They always try little moves which are not necessarily visible on the carto but the match is exciting when you follow it in real time on the water. We witnessed a great match, a great race.”