Please select your home edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

Tom Dolan fifth on Stage 2 of La Solitaire du Figaro

by Tom Dolan Racing 1 Sep 2022 05:55 PDT 1 September 2022
Marcus Hutchinson and Tom Dolan at the arrival of the second leg in Royan, celebrating the Vivi Trophy © Alexis Courcoux

Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan improved on his 12th place on Stage 1 when he crossed the finish line into Royan, France this morning in 5th place on the second stage of La Solitaire du Figaro.

The skipper of Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan should move into the top five of the annual French solo race with just the third and final stage to sail, starting Sunday.

After making a spectacular climb back through the fleet, rising from 19th to 8th in a remarkable display of high speed, big winds downwind sailing on Tuesday, Dolan led the fleet yesterday after making a bold move inshore after Belle Ile of the Vendée coast. At one stage he and three other French skippers, were 20 miles to the east of the main peloton. Finding a little extra breeze whilst their rivals were all but becalmed, Dolan led until the early hours of this morning when French rookie escaped at the front of the main group to cross first this morning.

Dolan wins the Vivi Trophy prize (for best performing non-French sailor) for the leg recalled, "Basically it wasn't planned for me to take that option I just wanted to be upwind of the fleet. I had seen on the files that there was more wind to the north, well I had the impression. During the night, the fleet broke up and I lost everyone a bit. I ended up with 2 or 3 boats, I told myself that I was going to stay on this plan and stay with the North-East wind. Overall the leg was a tough one. In strong winds, I spent 14 hours sitting at the helm, it was a bit hard. But I had anticipated well, I had slept well on the upwind leg. When it came, I had my pockets full of protein bars and bottled water and off we went! It was mental, under small spinnaker, incredible. That was the most intense part, it was awesome! I was a little on edge, I hadn't had a long day at the helm like that since the Mini I think. But it was so cool. Otherwise, it was good. The boat goes so fast that it is super stable. Once planning it goes by itself. There was water everywhere, I took some videos. It was crazy! Luckily things calmed down a bit when you arrived near Eddystone, because there are still a lot of rocks, you arrive at 20 knots, it's pretty hot.... But it calmed down for the maneuver!"

He continued: "I said before the start that this stage would be extremely tough and that turned out to be true. I finished the race (so tired I was) having major hallucinations at the helm. Clearly, I ended up burned out. But during the long leg to reach Jersey, I managed to rest well. I only slept, ate, slept, ate to be ready for the rest and I did well because afterwards I spent 14 hours non-stop at the helm under a small spinnaker."

Dolan and the other 31 solo racers competing on La Solitaire du Figaro now have two and a half days to recover before the final stage starts Sunday 4th of September at midday, a 700 miles race across Biscay to La Coruna (Spain)and back to finish in Saint Nazaire (France).

Related Articles

Tom Dolan's best Solo Maître CoQ yet
Seventh overall for Ireland's leading solo offshore racer Ireland's leading solo offshore racer Tom Dolan laid to rest the ghosts of three past Solo Maître CoQ events when he finished seventh overall from a 30 boat fleet Saturday. Posted on 20 Mar
Tom Dolan pleased to be back racing
As the Solo Maître CoQ finally gets under way After two days delayed on land whilst the Vendée coast was buffeted by gales and big seas, today racing got under way at French solo offshore racing's first event of the 2023 season the Solo Maître CoQ. Posted on 15 Mar
First Solo Maître CoQ race planned for Wednesday
A swell greater than 5 meters currently off Les Sables d'Olonne As expected the weather conditions and more significantly the sea state with a swell greater than 5 meters off Les Sables d'Olonne, required Race Management of the 20th Solo Maître CoQ to give up the idea of a short coastal course Tuesday. Posted on 14 Mar
Irish sailor Tom Dolan staying mentally focused
As programme upset by weather at 2023's first event Solo Maître CoQ plans two short coastal races before Thursday's long offshore. Posted on 13 Mar
Road to Gold Q&A Call with Alan Roberts
Secrets to why Figaro sailors are the Masters of Offshore French Figaro sailors, whether past or present, seem to do very well on the fully-crewed offshore circuit. So what makes them so good? Posted on 11 Mar
A new season begins for Ireland's Tom Dolan
The Irish sailor is relishing the start of the 2023 Figaro Beneteau season A comprehensive sail testing programme completed and longer periods of intensive pre-season training races should mean Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan is well equipped to stake his claim to regular podium places over the course of the Figaro Bénéteau season. Posted on 7 Mar
La Solitaire du Figaro 2023 route announced
Three stage, 1850 miles course for 54th edition Three stage, 1850 miles course for 54th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro includes Kinsale, Ireland. Posted on 7 Mar
BayWa r.e. announces partnership with Sanni Beucke
Setting sail to promote sustainability and equality Professional sailor Susann "Sanni" Beucke, 31, silver medallist at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, and leading global renewable energy company BayWa r.e., officially launch their new long-term partnership. Posted on 8 Feb
Upping the ante for the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race
James Boyd reviews some of the latest hardware built or acquired especially for this year's race Names on the Fastnet Challenge Cup include Jolie Brise, Dorade, Myth of Malham, Carina II, Pen Duick III, Condor, Nicorette, Morning Glory, Nokia, Rán 2, Night and Day, Courrier Du Leon and Lann Ael 2, plus the American VO70 Wizard and the Sunrise. Posted on 27 Jan
50th Rolex Fastnet Race on course for record entry
By 1300 today entries were up to 433 The Royal Ocean Racing Club's new race entry system has been burning red hot since 1200 UTC today when registration opened for the 50th edition of the club's flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race. Posted on 11 Jan
J Composites 2022 - J45 v4 FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Built for Adventure 728x90 BOTTOM