sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : La Solitaire du Figaro - Masterful final leg performance
La Solitaire du Figaro - Masterful final leg performance

'Yann Elies, Groupe Queguiner / Journal des entreprises - La Solitaire du Figaro 2012'    A. Courcoux

In his thirteenth attempt at the La Solitaire du Figaro, Yann Eliès (Groupe Queguiner - Le Journal des Entreprises) put in a masterful performance on the final leg to conclusively win the 43rd edition.

The race history already bears the Eliès name – it was 33 years ago that his father Patrick won the race with another dominant performance, leading all four stages of the 1979 edition – but Yann's 2012 victory will only add to the legendary status of this toughest of solo races.

Having won the first stage with an 11-minute advantage over Morgan Lagravière (Vendée), Eliès held the overall lead throughout the race, but was tested hard by a talented trio that included Lagraviere, Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012), and 2009 race victor Nicolas Lunven (Generali), with stage 2 winner Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) putting in another strong challenge.

Morgan Lagravière, Vendee - La Solitaire du Figaro 2012 -  A. Courcoux  

Eliès started the final stage of the race from Saint Gilles Croix de Vie on the back foot, with a mid-fleet position as Lunven and Morvan set the early pace. However he is not a man to give up easily – he self-funded this season's Figaro campaign until a sponsor could be found – and as the fleet departed the Vendée shores he steadily worked his way up into the top 10.

Those 13 years of experience told as he kept with the pace of the leaders throughout the first evening, biding his time until the Glenan archipelago when he was able to make serious gains, moving into the top five by Pointe de Penmarche. Each mark of the course proved an opportunity for Eliès to climb the rankings, taking fourth through the Raz du Sein, then third through Finistere, chasing Delahaye and Lagravière across the Channel.

Around 1.5 miles covered these top five skippers along the English coast, with Eliès stealing the lead as they passed Portland Bill just before midnight last night to show the way around Needles Fairway buoy. As the fleet re-crossed the Channel this morning there was no letup in pressure, with Eliès fending off several challengers including Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls), who had a storming final section of the race. However, by the final 20 miles of racing Eliès had secured a half mile advantage which he converted into a solid win by three minutes, 31 seconds from Morgan Lagravière – making last year's top ‘Bizuth' an impressive second overall with a deficit of 33 minutes from Eliès. Third home in the final stage was Erwan Taberly (Nacarat) with Nicolas Lunven (Generali) fourth, Lunven also gaining third in the race overall.

Erwan Tabarly, Nacarat - La Solitaire du Figaro 2012 -  A. Courcoux  

Amidst the elation, there was also sheer exhaustion – changeable weather conditions, busy shipping lanes and strong breezes making this third and final leg as physically tough as any in a race characterized by fearsome levels of sleep deprivation. Lagravière said he was as happy as the winner, but also cautioned: 'It's been a complicated race, there were ups and downs, good and bad conditions. Now I say that I will never come back on the Solitaire, it's too hard, I don't know if I will have energy enough to do it again.'

First rookie overall was Thomas Norman (Financière de l'Echiquier), despite a strong showing by Julien Villion (Seixo Promotion) who finished ninth in the third stage.

For the three British skippers the third stage also saw the best performance of the race, with Sam Goodchild (Artemis 23) starting the inshore section in third. Goodchild maintained a top 10 position for much of the 486-mile leg, racing among highly experienced French competitors on his second attempt at the race before slipping to 14th in the final few hours. Overall Goodchild finished in 24th, one place ahead of team mate Nick Cherry in 25th (Artemis 77) while the youngest sailor in the fleet, Henry Bomby (Artemis 37) finished in 31st. Portuguese sailor Francisco Lobato (Roff) was 27th, and Kristen Songe Molle (NOR, Kristin For Fulle Sail) 33rd.

Yann Eliès (Groupe Queguiner - Le Journal des Entreprises), Leg 3 and overall winner of La Solitaire du Figaro 2012: 'At last, this was my thirteenth Solitaire! After having been so close to it twice, I'm so happy with this win and how it all went down to the very last stretch. To win you need to be hard on yourself and never give up. The three skippers behind me are the future champions, one has already won it and the other two will surely do one day. They are very, very strong. I needed to be on another planet, on my very own little cloud to beat them.

Since the start I've managed to do what I wanted, it may look simple from the outside, but believe me it's so hard. I've been constantly questioning my choices, taking high risks, working hard because this is what one needs to push the boat. I reckon I've come of age now, it's been so many years that I have raced the Figaro, the tricks, the best trim, the boat handling they come with experience, you don't need to think about them. And after 13 races I guess they are part of me now.

Lucky 13 for Eliès the master -  A. Courcoux  
I've been thinking about my father (who won the race back in 1979), my parents who are in Polynesia and surely are watching this. I've thought about my son Titouan because I won my first leg in 2002 the year he was born here in Cherbourg. I've been pondering all along the race and I came up with a thought: I have to win in Cherbourg.'

Morgan Lagravière (Vendée), second on Leg 3 and second overall: 'I'm happy, exhausted but elated. This is the best result of my whole sailing career, even if it's not really a victory because I finish second. Because I got it through suffering. No matter what they say, La Solitaire is a hard race. And on this kind of legs it's a pain, all those days fighting, enduring… It was like racing on a dinghy but for 50 or 60 hours and I managed to stay in between performance and exhaustion. I'm the happiest man on earth today, maybe even more than Yann!'

Nicolas Lunven (Generali), fourth on Leg 3 and third overall: 'I'm very pleased, because it was not easy with Fabien (Delahaye) and Morgan (Lagravière). Yann had a good margin during this leg, but with the other two it was very, very close. At a certain point I was no longer sure to get on the podium, that's why I am so happy. It's been a tricky leg, the forecast from Météo Consult was right, the wind was variable and shifty. I slept very little, even last night after rounding Fairway, the breeze was so unstable… It's good it's over!'

Thomas Normand (Financière de l'Echiquier), 27th in the third leg and first ‘rookie' overall: 'I have mixed feelings about this win because Julien (Villion) has done a very nice race and I'm a bit frustrated for not having dueled with him. Still, I'm super happy to have reached my goal and to win among the rookies. It's something I've been dreaming about over the last six months of training. I do not properly realize it is for real, I guess it will sink in later. I've heard and read so many things about La Solitaire, the sailors' stories that said it's hard, it's intense, but I didn't expect it to be like this. It's crazy, one has to live it to understand, and this puts Yann's victory and last year's win by Jérémie (Beyou) into a completely different perspective, once one has experienced it. You realize how hard it is to make such a performance. You keep discovering more about yourself day by day during this race, finding your limits are always a bit further than you thought.'

Sam Goodchild (GBR, Artemis 23) 24th overall: 'This was good race, I had a lot of fun. It was very, very hard work as the wind didn't stop changing, it was quite close racing but I generally managed to hang on to the front pack for a bit longer which made it a lot more productive as I learnt a lot more from sailing next to guys who know what they were doing. I am really happy to end the Solitaire du Figaro on a high! The whole leg was great and being with the leaders for the leg was really rewarding as I learnt so much. The low for me is that I have had so little sleep, maybe just two or three hours in the last 72 hours. I got half an hour last night, in two slots of 15 minutes, which is the most I've had since the start. Before though that I hadn't slept for than 10 minutes at a time as it was impossible as the wind hasn't stayed the same for more than five minutes.'

Nick Cherry (GBR, Artemis 77) 25th overall: 'I started as bad as I could have done. When I was rounding the third mark in a big bunch of boats I was halfway through dropping the spinnaker when I accidentally knocked off the autopilot with my leg, so I had to let go of the spinnaker to avoid a collision with another boat. The end result wasn't the best result ever but I enjoyed the leg and took a lot away from it.'

Henry Bomby (GBR, Artemis 37) 31st overall: 'Looking at the end result I think I finished 20 minutes behind the leader, which is fantastic. I was at the back of the pack that finished first, so considering the problems I had at the beginning of the leg and how I dealt with them on this leg compared to the previous leg I have learnt a lot which is really positive. However coming round the Needles Fairway I filled the ballast on the wrong side so I lost a bit doing that. I was aching all over and barely had enough energy to trim sails. I then slept for half an hour and got back into it for the final few hours – I have never found a bit of the race that hard before.'

La Solitaire website


by La Solitaire du Figaro

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=99591

9:04 PM Wed 11 Jul 2012GMT


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







News - USA and the World









420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,










Help clean up the sailing water at Rio - Image Gallery
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT