Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

La Solitaire du Figaro - Near photo finish in leg 4

by Artemis Offshore Academy on 25 Aug 2011
Phil Sharp - La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 Artemis Offshore Academy www.artemisonline.co.uk
La Solitaire du Figaro's fourth leg is coming to a close with Phil Sharp crossing the finish line a mere ten minutes behind the first ‘Rookie’ and only twenty-four minutes and twenty-two seconds behind Jeremie Beyou.

An incredible finish to the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro! Jeremie Beyou (BPI) won leg four by just 12 seconds, with Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011), Fabien Delehaye (Port de Caen Ouistream) and Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) all finishing within 38 seconds of Beyou after 430 miles and 72 hours of intense racing.

The British Artemis Offshore Academy sailors also had a close finish with Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) finishing in 20th only 24 minutes behind Beyou, Conrad Humphreys (DMS) in 30th, 13 minutes behind Sharp, Sam Goodchild in 33rd , only two minutes behind Humphreys, and Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) in 36th position, 14 minutes behind Goodchild.

Crowds lined the dock for the final finish of the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro cheering their sailing heroes home. For Frechman Beyou, this is his thirteenth time in the race, and it has not been unlucky for him. He has dominated the race wining three out of the four legs, and winning the race overall for the second time since 2005.

Sharp was aiming for the top ‘Rookie’ prize for the final leg and very nearly claimed it, but as the fleet converged on the finish line two other Rookie’s beat him to the line. With such a close finish between the fleet after three days of racing, the excitement for the Rookie’s was plain to see: 'The finish was the most exciting finish I’ve ever experienced,' reported Sharp. 'The closest offshore racing you’ll ever see - three days of sailing and then you get 20 boats finishing within minutes!' Sharp finished just ten minutes behind the first ‘Rookie’ and 24 minutes and 22 seconds behind Beyou.

For the four British sailors the final leg got off to a flying start with the youngest skipper of the fleet, 21-year old Goodchild (Artemis) in second position going into the first evening:

'It was a very hard leg, mentally and physically,' said Goodchild. 'It started well, the first 24 hours were good but then I got myself stuck in a hole and watched everyone sail past. I didn’t realise I was second at the beginning… I now need to finish in second not just start in second!'

Leg four was predominantly a tactical coastal race from Les Sables d’Olonne through the testing Ile d’Yeu, and navigating round Brittany Point before they faced the difficult passage of the Raz de Sein against the tide. Throughout the race the skippers faced ever-changing conditions with light and fickle winds through to heavy squalls:

'This particular leg was very coastal, there was plenty of opportunity to sneak in and out of rocks and take slightly different options around Guernsey but at the major landmarks we all came back together,' explained Humphreys.

'It didn’t matter if you went offshore or close inshore, as soon as you had to pass the next turning point we all converged.'

For King, as with many of the skippers the thrill of one design racing where the winner will not be known until the very last seconds is clear to see:

'The last couple of hours have been the best sailing we’ve had all race,' said King. 'It was so close, we were changing positions all the time. I think I’m just going to go off and sleep for a couple of days!'

The solo offshore skippers have now refuelled and are catching up on some sleep. The rest of the week will involve a Leg Four prizegiving on Friday, the Overall prizegiving and dinner on Saturday at La Halle à Marée. On Sunday the 44 skippers will bid farewell to Dieppe and the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro, with a Parade of Sail along the beach in front of the crowds.

A look back of the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro in the eyes of the four British sailors will be published in the coming days including latest photos and video with their own personal account on the experience and learnings from this classic French solo race.

Solitaire du Figaro Leg four results:

1st - Jeremie Beyou (BPI) 72h 37’ 01' at 12:49:01 CET
20th - Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) + 24’ 22'
30th – Conrad Humphreys (DMS) + 37’ 27'
33rd – Sam Goodchild (Artemis) + 39’ 57'
36th Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) + 51’ 50'

Solitaire du Figaro Leg four Rookie results:

1st - Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee) 72h 51’ 34'
?3rd - Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) + 09’ 49'
7th - Conrad Humphreys (DMS) + 22’ 54'
8th - Sam Goodchild (Artemis) + 25’ 24'

Overall 2011 Solitaire du Figaro results:

?1st - Jeremei Beyou (BPI) 257h 08 ‘41'
18th - Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) + 02h 42’ 51'
31st – Conrad Humphreys (DMS) + 06h 14’ 57'
34th - Sam Goodchild (Artemis) + 09h 36’ 33'
37th - Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) + 11h 12’ 42'

Artemis Offshore Academy website
La Solitaire du Figaro website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring AC72Ancasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

La Solitaire du Figaro - Jérémie Beyou dominates
La Solitaire du Figaro - Jérémie Beyou dominates by winning three out of four legs La Solitaire du Figaro - Jérémie Beyou dominates by winning three out of four legs, a year that was marked by the extremely diverse weather conditions and unconventionally primarily coastal courses. 47 sailors set off on the 1,647-mile course, 43 finished and the Vendée based rookie sailor, Morgan Lagravière impressed all winning the rookie ranking and coming in seventh overall.
Posted on 27 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro King is crowned
La Solitaire du Figaro sailor Jérémie Beyou has crossed the finish before anyone else to win the fourth and final leg La Solitaire du Figaro sailor Jérémie Beyou has crossed the finish before anyone else to win the fourth and final leg from Les Sables d’Olonne to Dieppe. By finishing in Dieppe ahead of the rest of the fleet and scoring his third consecutive victory, the BPI skipper was crowned overall winner of the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro, an edition he dominated from the outset.
Posted on 25 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro - A fight to the finish
La Solitaire du Figaro’s 44 skippers competing in the final leg had a very complicated second night at sea La Solitaire du Figaro’s 44 skippers competing in the final leg had a very complicated second night at sea, the finish line in Dieppe is approaching but they still will have to deal with the tricky last part of the course. The winner will be crowned tomorrow, but who will that be? Hard to say 100 miles from the finish.
Posted on 24 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro - Beyou leads in decisive leg
La Solitaire du Figaro’s fourth leg is currently underway and at the halfway mark, Jeremie Beyou and crew are in front La Solitaire du Figaro’s fourth leg is currently underway and at the halfway mark, Jeremie Beyou and crew are out in front. With little to no margin for error, Beyou and crew sail hard towards the finish line with competitors nipping at their heels. While the front of the fleet is tacking upwind towards the Four Channel to round the Brittany Point, the skipper of BPI is reported to have
Posted on 23 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro fourth and final leg underway
La Solitaire du Figaro fourth leg started at 12:12 precisely today, Sunday 21st August from Les Sables d’Olonne. La Solitaire du Figaro fourth leg started at 12:12 precisely today, Sunday 21st August from Les Sables d’Olonne. Among several dozens of spectator boats, under a bright blue, sunny sky and in perfect flat sea conditions the 46 skippers set off for the 437 mile long final leg to Dieppe, where this year’s champions will be crowned.
Posted on 22 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro leg 4 preview
La Solitaire du Figaro - Preparations are underway for the start of the fourth and decisive leg to Dieppe La Solitaire du Figaro - Preparations are underway for the start of the fourth and decisive leg to Dieppe. The 46 skippers will undoubtedly play their best cards over the 430-mile long course, because nothing is for certain and the outcome could well be a surprising one. Race leader Jéremie Beyou (BPI) seems to be securely on top, with his solid 34 minutes plus lead on second placed Fabien Del
Posted on 21 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro leg 3 overall
La Solitaire du Figaro - It’s not just another day in the office in sunny and unusually hot Les Sables d’Olonne. La Solitaire du Figaro - It’s not just another day in the office in sunny and unusually hot Les Sables d’Olonne. Shore crews are busy preparing the boats, skipper’s recover, relax, chat to each other and discuss the latest weather forecasts ahead of Sunday’s start. The public visit the race village, stroll along the pontoon to take pictures and kids ask their favourite skippers for autographs
Posted on 20 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro - Jérémie Beyou on BPI wins leg 3
La Solitaire du Figaro - By crossing the line on Wednesday August 17th at 8:39, Jérémie Beyou on BPI wins leg three La Solitaire du Figaro - By crossing the line on Wednesday August 17th at 8:39, Jérémie Beyou on BPI wins the third leg of the race, his second victory in a row. Fabien Delahaye on Port de Caen Ouistreham follows a mere four minutes later and Erwan Tabarly wins a final tacking duel with Thierry Chabagny to get on the third place on the podium.
Posted on 18 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro Leg 3 - It's not over yet
La Solitaire du Figaro - The 46 boat strong fleet has been progressing in light sea breeze along the Brittany coast. La Solitaire du Figaro - The 46 boat strong fleet has been progressing in light sea breeze along the Brittany coast. French skipper Jérémie Beyou is still leading, but everything could still happen on the last hundred miles to the finish. Will it be café and croissant for the finish? Since over 50 hours, the 46 solo skippers have been playing the tough game of choosing the best route
Posted on 17 Aug 2011
La Solitaire du Figaro - Jérémie Beyou takes the lead in leg 3
La Solitaire du Figaro - Jérémie Beyou (BPI) takes the lead on the third leg La Solitaire du Figaro - Brilliant routeing and excellent speed in the Irish Sea and… Jérémie Beyou (BPI) takes the lead on the third leg of the Solitaire du Figaro. The fleet passed Wolf Rock early afternoon and has now to tackle with the complicated Channel crossing and the even more delicate approach to Brittany.
Posted on 16 Aug 2011