sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Solitaire du Figaro - Hellish final leg for Jean-Pierre Nicol
Solitaire du Figaro - Hellish final leg for Jean-Pierre Nicol


'Jean-Pierre Nicol - Bernard Controls - 2013 Solitaire du Figaro'    Jean Marie Liot ©    Click Here to view large photo

In the final leg of the Solitaire du Figaro, Jean-Pierre Nicol finished in 17th place last night. It was shortly before midnight in Dieppe (2356hrs local time), with Adrien Hardy winning this race and Yann Eliès becoming the overall winner of the event. Bernard Controls finished in 18th place in the overall rankings.

Tired and exhausted, hardly able to stand up… but happy (and rightly so) to have completed this hellish final leg, the skipper of Bernard Controls tells us more….

Jean-Pierre, how would you describe this final race?

'It was a great leg. It was very tactical with the rocks and nasty conditions towards the end. A good leg for the tough Breton sailors, who are used to battling it out like this. Well done to the frontrunners, who set an incredible pace. This was a leg where the leaders were able to extend their lead with conditions favouring those at the front. I don’t know how, but I got stuck with a small group off the tip of Brittany and that’s when they made their getaway. But there’s not just the result to consider, but the way we sailed too: we needed to finish in good condition, both the boat and the sailor and that is already quite an achievement. This is the sort of leg, where the positions don’t worry you too much, as there is always something to do: there were a lot of little tactical plays, and we were busy manoeuvring and steering all the time. You don’t get to choose if you want to keep the boat on track. The advantage is that you don’t start asking yourself whether you need to get some rest: you just have to keep going all the time. It’s crazy. This is the type of leg that we won’t easily forget.'

What do you mean?

Jean Pierre Nicol, skipper du Figaro Bernard Controls -  © Alexis Courcoux   Click Here to view large photo
'It’s not every day that you fight like this. The Channel is always tricky, but when the wind is blowing at forty knots… We’re going to have some great memories, but there were times when we really asked ourselves what we were doing out there. (Laughs) It was very, very wet with the salt getting in your eyes all the time. It’s like a fire hose out on deck with the water coming straight at you. The boat is swamped, the equipment taken to the limit and the skipper too. I am completely worn out after that and looking at the others, I get the impression that I’m not the only one like that.'

The long leg under spinnaker along the English coast must have been particularly crazy?

'Ah yes… If you were out enjoying yourself, you’d simply bring down the sail, hoist the genoa, but as everyone is fighting so hard, you just have to hoist the spinnaker and go for it. It’s amazing: average speeds of 18-20 knots, with peaks of 22 knots regularly reached. I’ve hardly ever sailed as fast as this before on the boat. I love speeding along, and taking advantage of the surf, but sometimes it does feel like you’re close to the edge…'

'Showing our strengths'

What is the atmosphere like on board in these conditions in the dark of night?

'It’s quite crazy. You can’t see what’s going on, you just stare out at your rivals. You can’t see the waves or the gusts. You just try to sail quickly and avoid getting knocked down. When you slam into the waves it is incredibly violent. You don’t know what’s happening up there and it is quite a shock. Imagine driving along at night in bad weather in your car with your foot down and the headlights off… The adrenalin is really pumping and that’s just as well, as it means you don’t experience fear. This leg will remain with me rather like the Bay of Biscay in 2007. Two really big moments.'

Looking at the Solitaire overall, where you made it to the podium in one leg and end up in 18th place overall, how do you feel?

'I’m surprised by what happened in these four legs with some huge time differences, while a few years ago, everyone used to finish within a few minutes of each other. The weather was fairly unpredictable. In the two final legs, it’s amazing to see how much the frontrunners were favoured, as they just benefited from better winds and currents. As for the final result in terms of the numbers, I’m a bit disappointed, as when you finish in third place in Porto with a lead of one hour over a lot of your rivals, you start to think that you can really pull it off. And I did well in the second leg when with Gildas Morvan, we managed to make our getaway… until 20 miles from the finish in Gijon, when something happened that I still don’t really understand. I went from feeling euphoric to coming back to Earth with a bump. But I’m not unhappy with the final leg: once again, the most important thing was bringing the boat and the skipper here safely and I really think I sailed well. The result is simply down to that moment of being becalmed off the tip of Brittany and that was something no one could have foreseen. That’s what sailing is all about and you just have to accept that. In the end, I have finished ahead of a little group including people like Frédéric Duthil, Fabien Delahaye, Nicolas Lunven… so up with some great guys. I have learnt that you must not merely look at the result on paper, but also the way it was achieved. And from that perspective, I believe I have been able to show my strengths.'

JP Nicol website


by Alexandra Fontaine

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111143

4:31 PM Sun 23 Jun 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 La Solitaire du Figaro

Related News Stories:

24 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Le cocktail dieppois
23 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Adrien Hardy premier à Dieppe
23 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Massive attaque!
23 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Competition for overall lead remains wide open
22 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Comme des furieux
22 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Damien Guillou a démâté
22 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - All set for the final showdown
22 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Quatre à quatre
22 Jun 2013  Solitaire du Figaro - Jean-Pierre Nicol sets off on Leg 4
21 Jun 2013  La Solitaire du Figaro - Foul tide for start of Leg 4
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World











































Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall by International Windsurfing Association,












Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature by Richard Gladwell Ssail-World.com/nz,












Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur
World Match Racing Tour: See the Finals replay at the Stena Match Cup
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program
Stena Match Cup Sweden - First blood to Hansen over Canfield + Video
Star World Championship - Americans claim race win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Weather halts action on day 4
Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd wins OneDLL Cup into Den Helder
Clipper Race - Close match racing in closing stages of the OneDLL Cup
Volvo Ocean Race: Spanish play catch-up with under 100 days to go
World Match Racing Tour: Catch the live action at the Stena Match Cup   
Finn Junior Worlds - Battle for the Jorge Bruder Silver Cup   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
British Open Dragon Championship finale at Royal Lymington preview   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Valerie Ghibaudo hits back on day 3   
Star World Championship - Hard fought win on day 4 + Video   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Action-packed match racing + Video   
Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in Portsmouth   
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Registration details   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Polishing up the silver   
Vic-Maui International Yacht Race - First start to lead off busy day   
Anna Tunnicliffe competing at the CrossFit Mid-Atlantics + Video   
18ft Skiff Europeans: Winning days at Lake Garda   
Clipper Race - Choppy conditions as fleet closes in on Den Helder   
Lightning Youth World Championship - Final day   
2014 Star Class World Championship - Day 3   
America's Cup: Dean Barker interviewed on the current state of the Cup   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Delphine Cousin draws first blood   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - On a roll in Marstrand + Video   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT