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Solitaire du Figaro - Le cocktail dieppois


'Yann Elies, skipper du Figaro Groupe Queguiner, vainqueur de la Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire'    © Alexis Courcoux    Click Here to view large photo

C'est une première depuis l'adoption du monotype Figaro-Bénéteau : Yann Eliès remporte pour la deuxième fois consécutive La Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire. Le Briochain avait réussi à sauver sa troisième étape malgré la casse de son étai de mât, puis a donné le rythme de cette ultime manche avec Adrien Hardy, vainqueur à Dieppe. Mais son dauphin au classement général est la véritable révélation de l'année : Xavier Macaire a donné tellement du fil à retordre à ses concurrents qu'il devance de trois minutes et quelques secondes Morgan Lagravière, moins incisif sur ce final musclé!

Pour briller sur cette 44ème édition de La Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire, il fallait doser les ingrédients : un bon fond de préparation, une timbale de motivation, une louche de sérénité, un zeste de réussite, une grosse pincée d'opportunisme, un filet de résistance. Le tout bien secoué dans le shaker du cap Ortegal puis de la Manche pour obtenir un suc aux trois saveurs : Yann Eliès (Groupe Quéguiner - Leucémie Espoir) le fruit mûr aux quatorze participations, Xavier Macaire (Skipper Hérault) le goût pimenté de la Méditerranée, Morgan Lagravière (Vendée) la fragrance des jeunes pousses. Quelques amertumes aussi pour certains habitués aux places d'honneur, des astringences œnologiques entre Bordeaux et Porto, des fraîcheurs âpres le long des côtes anglaises, des salinités excessives entre Yeu et Sein, entre Fairway et Antifer…

A Roscoff baigné par les saveurs iodées des grandes marées à venir (90 de coefficient pour l'arrivée à Dieppe samedi soir), Frédéric Duthil (Sepalumic) semblait inébranlable : avec une demie heure d'avance sur Morgan Lagravière et Yann Eliès, cette ultime Manche n'avait pas de quoi inquiéter. Surtout que l'ex-planchiste aux dix participations avait déjà brillé dans des conditions aussi musclées que celles annoncées. Du médium pour déborder Ouessant, du petit temps pour rallier la Chaussée de Sein, encore du médium pour embouquer le chenal du Four puis pour traverser la Manche, et du « lourd » pour effectuer les 300 derniers milles entre Wolf Rock et l'arrivée…

Pas au goût de tout le monde puisque Vincent Biarnes (Prati'Bûches) devait jeter l'éponge dès l'île de Batz suite à la rupture de son étai (câble qui retient le mât sur l'avant), puis le « bleu » Joan Ahrweiller (Région Basse Normandie) sur vit de mulet rompu et Yannig Livory (Thermacote France) sur souci médical. Et Claire Pruvot (Port de Caen Ouistreham) et Jean-Paul Mouren (SNEF) n'étaient pas à la fête quand ils durent refouler la marée montante au large de Ouessant : décrochage immédiat ! Puis ce fut Didier Bouillard (Jéhol) qui revenait au port suite à des problèmes récurrents de pilote automatique.

Car à l'ourlet de la Manche, le reste de la flotte était encore au contact avec moins de huit milles de différentiel. Mais c'est lorsqu'il a fallu capeler le ciré au passage de Wolf Rock, que les « loups » se sont réveillés : le trio Macaire-Eliès-Hardy était le premier à envoyer le spinnaker et à débouler sur une mer en formation et dans un vent de plus en plus tonique.

Tenir la toile était le leitmotiv de tous, mais tous n'avaient pas la même vision du décor ! Trop prudents pour ne pas risquer de casser ou trop impressionnés par ce vent à décorner les bœufs, dans une nuit noire et sous une chape de pluie de plus en plus dense, certains solitaires ont perdu le fil qu'il devenait impossible de rembobiner puisque la dépression atlantique devait balayer tout le plan d'eau jusqu'à Dieppe.

Et cela fraîchissait tellement que Damien Guillou (La Solidarité Mutualiste) en perdait son mât et rejoignait un abri anglais, puis Paul Meilhat (Skipper Macif 2011) voyait sa tête de mât se désolidariser. Et pendant ce temps, le « club des cinq » allumait avec des vitesses de pointe supérieures à 18 nœuds ! Eliès, Hardy, Macaire, Richomme et Lagravière donnaient un tempo digne des tambours du Bronx alors que derrière, la meute tentait de raccrocher la rame avec Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) en chef de bande. Car les prétendants au podium commençaient à compter les points : Frédéric Duthil semblait déjà en ballottage à plus de dix milles des leaders alors que Star Point n'avait pas encore été paré…

La première place au classement général devait donc se jouer au sein du trio Lagravière-Eliès-Macaire puisque leurs deux compatriotes de cette échappée, Yoann Richomme (DLBC) et Adrien Hardy (Agir recouvrement) concédaient beaucoup trop de temps pour espérer les inquiéter au classement général cumulé. Et les deux solitaires les plus impressionnants dans cette baston qui prenait de plus en plus de coffre, étaient Adrien Hardy et Xavier Macaire.

Le Méditerranéen passait d'ailleurs en tête la bouée de Fairway à l'entrée du chenal de l'île de Wight avec deux milles d'avance sur Adrien Hardy et Yann Eliès, Morgan Lagravière ayant décroché dans la baie de Plymouth. Le solitaire méditerranéen étant handicapé par son ballast tribord percé au départ à Roscoff, sa marge fondait sur le long bord de vent de travers en direction d'Antifer car Adrien voulait en finir sur une note positive (et une deuxième victoire d'étape après celle de 2010) tandis que Yann voulait préserver sa place de leader potentiel au classement général.

Morgan Lagraviere, skipper du Figaro Vendee, 3eme de la Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire -  © Alexis Courcoux   Click Here to view large photo
Aux abords de la Normandie, Adrien Hardy ne lâchait pas le morceau malgré un nouveau bord de spinnaker particulièrement tonique avec 25-30 nœuds d'Ouest et des rafales à 40 nœuds sous les falaises… Yann Eliès avait Solitaire gagnée en suivant ce nouveau proconsul dieppois tandis que Xavier Macaire conservait la marge nécessaire pour devancer Morgan Lagravière sur le podium final!

Car Frédéric Duthil pointait à la 19ème place avec près de deux heures de retard sur le vainqueur de cette 4ème étape… Cette contre performance le faisait sérieusement rétrograder puisque Yoann Richomme, quatrième à Dieppe terminait aussi 4ème au classement général et que Jérémie Beyou, ayant effectué un fort joli retour dans la brise au portant, glissait à la sixième place dans le port normand et à la 5ème de La Solitaire du Figaro!

Cette 44ème édition reflète le cocktail explosif que constitue ce mélange d'anciens vainqueurs, de vieux briscards, de coureurs émergents, de révélations et de « bleus » qui ont connu des conditions très différentes sur ces quatre étapes équilibrées en terme de distance à parcourir, mais très différentes par leur conditions météorologiques.

Sur ce parcours « sudiste » et original avec deux nouvelles escales (Bordeaux et Porto), trois portions de golfe de Gascogne, deux traversées de la Manche, du vent fort à la pointe espagnole (1ère étape), entre les îles bretonnes (3ème étape) et en Manche (4ème étape), des calmes (1ère, 2ème, 3ème et 4ème), du près, du travers et du spinnaker, il fallait donc être non seulement polyvalent et inspiré, mais aussi dur au mal et toujours motivé même dans la difficulté.

C'est incontestablement la force du vainqueur Yann Eliès qui réalise le premier doublé d'affilée de l'histoire de La Solitaire du Figaro depuis l'adoption du monotype Figaro-Bénéteau. La force aussi du surprenant Xavier Macaire qui n'a pas été loin de créer la surprise à Dieppe. Pour tous les autres solitaires, la diversité de ces quatre manches a généré des hauts et des bas et sur cette ondulation, Morgan Lagravière est celui qui en a limité le plus l'amplitude.

Car certains ont pris des « bleus » : le résultat en demi-teinte, mitigé, voire décevant va certainement provoquer un choc post-traumatique pour Nicolas Lunven (Generali), Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012), Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert), Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat), Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls) ! D'autres vieux briscards ont a contrario pu se rasséréner quand à leur niveau face à l'intensité de cette édition : Jérémie Beyou, Michel Desjoyeaux (TBS), Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire).

Des « émergents » viennent aussi renouveler le haut du tableau à l'image de Yoann Richomme, d'Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva), d'Anthony Marchand (Bretagne-Crédit Mutuel Performance), de Damien Guillou... D'autres jeunes talents commencent à prendre la mesure du challenge comme Julien Villion (Seixo Habitat), Corentin Horeau (Bretagne-Crédit Mutuel Espoir) ou Simon Troël (Les Recycleurs bretons).

Enfin, les « bleus », les « novices », les « bizuths », les « jeunes pousses » consacrent un Britannique ce qui est encourageant pour la structure anglaise mise en place par Artemis avec le concours du CEM (Centre d'Entraînement de Méditerranée). Jackson Bouttell (Artemis 77) termine à la 21ème place après un parcours régulier : 23ème à Porto, 19ème à Gijon, 28ème à Roscoff et 21ème à Dieppe. Et son avance sur son dauphin est révélatrice de sa domination : le Français Benoît Hochart (Adocis-IB Remarketing) est à plus de quatre heures et l'Irlandais David Kenefick (Full Irish) à près de cinq heures et quart…

La Solitaire website


by Marie Le Berrigaud Perochon

  

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2:45 PM Sun 23 Jun 2013GMT


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2013 La Solitaire du Figaro

Related News Stories:

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
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