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Guillaume Pirouelle (Région Normandie) leads La Solitaire du Figaro going into the final stage

by La Solitaire du Figaro 2 Sep 2022 07:57 PDT
Guillaume Pirouelle (Région Normandie) leads the General Classification of the 53rd La Solitaire du Figaro after Stage 2 © Alexis Courcoux

The General Classification after the finish of the second stage of La Solitaire du Figaro sees Guillaume Pirouelle (Region Normandie) at the top of the standings after his Stage 2 win into Royan yesterday morning. Naturally as a La Solitaire first timer he is also top of the Beneteau Bizuths (rookies) classification as well.

Pirouelle leads Tom Laperche (Région Bretagne - CMB Performance) by only 14 mins 46 secs with third placed Achille Nebout (Amarris - Primeo Energie) at 19 mins 59 secs. Ireland's Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) is in an excellent fifth 1hr 1min behind Pirouelle heading into the final offshore stage Sunday.

Biggest drop was that of Fred Duthil who slid 22 places, missing a tactical option on the way up the coast after the start, then trawling and losing his big spinnaker (he finished under small kite in less than 10kts of breeze) and so as usual on the Solitaire a very small mistake can cost hours and many places.

General classification: (before jury)

1 - PIROUELLE Guillaume - Région Normandy - 7d 13h 35 min 48 sec
2 - LAPERCHE Tom - Région Bretagne - CMB Performance - 7d 13h 50mn 34 sec +14 mn 46 sec
3 - NEBOUT Achille - Amarris - Primeo Energie - 7d 13h 55mn 47sec + 19 mn 59 sec
4 - MARIETTE Benoit - Generation Seniorales - 7d 14h 14ms 56sec +39mn 8 sec
5 - DOLAN Tom - Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan - 7d 14h 36mn 46sec +1h 1mn

Bénéteau Rookies

The 2022 vintage for rookies is exceptional. Both legs so far have been won by rookies, first Davy Beaudart (Nauty'mor) and then Guillaume Pirouelle. Basile Bourgnon (EDENRED) the 20 year old 'benjamin' - the youngest in the fleet - is second in the rookies ranking now after a seventh and an eighth he is seventh overall 1h and 23min behind leading rookie, and overall leader Pirouelle. It is perhaps disappointing to note, again, the lack of middle to high order International rookies challenging.

Bénéteau Rookies ranking: (before jury)

1 - PIROUELLE Guillaume - Normandy Region - 7d 13h 35mn 48sec
2 - BOURGNON Basile - Edenred - 7d 14h 59mn 8sec to 1h 23mn 20sec
3 - BEAUDART Davy - Nauty'Mor - 7d 15h 59mn 12sec to 2h 23mn 24sec

Vivi Trophy ranking for international skippers: (before jury)

Dolan (Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan), 5th on that last leg took the Vivi Trophy lead from German Jorg Riechers (Alva Yachts) who was very disappointed with his second stage dropping from fourth overall to 22nd overall. Brit Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) is having a disappointing race so far in 24th overall.

Selected International skippers on the dock in Royan:

10th Leg 2 13th overall, Nils PALMIERI (SUI) - TEAMWORK: "I feel good but quite tired. Unfortunately, I was a bit burned out when we passed Ouessant. I think I actually collapsed and slept for an hour or two. I'm afraid that this extended nap cost me a lot of time. The stage went pretty well for me, I was always in the top 10 with better moments than others. The stage was tricky with big gaps that opening up so I'm doing well, I'm happy overall. At the start of the stage, I ate well, drank well and was careful not to put myself in the red too much. Then I pushed very hard to try to gain places,that's when I burned myself out. But now I want to drink a huge beer and eat something greasy and too salty...."

21st Leg 2, 24 overall, Alan ROBERTS (GBR) - SEACAT SERVICES: "I'm a little tired. I'm also a little disappointed with my stage, I found myself on the wrong side in the transitions, in the storms. I wanted to go east, the storms arrived faster than I thought, and it finally left faster offshore! It was not easy, I played a little but I did not win. The best part of the course for me was crossing the English Channel bombing along under spinnaker. I feel like I am getting good starts, sailing well, and then just losing it in the transitions. The thunderstorms came through a little earlier than I thought and I though there were some gains to be made in the east, a little bit to the east of the pack and the pack just took off and that was it. I don't think the fleet really knew that was going to happen as there was going. It feels like the Solitaire that has had the most random outcomes, but that is maybe my perception because I am doing badly. All to play for on the last one. I am not going to take risks but I will punch harder into decisions I am sure about."

23rd Leg 2, 25 overall Kenny Rumball (IRL) The OFFSHORE ACADEMY: "I started off and got into the fleet at the Raz de Sein and on the beat up to Guernsey I did OK to start with and then went too far inshore with Alan when the fleet went out to get the shift and that was frustrating but I was happy with my speed going upwind but then messed up going round the mark. I started on the small kite and didn't get the height and then you can't peel to the Code Zero, it is drop, re-rig and set the Zero but it was then good to be under control. Around Eddystone I went to the small kite knowing it was going to be 35kts. Those who set big kites fell over about a couple of miles after and did not come back upright with their kites intact. The small kite paid off, a blast I really enjoyed to Ushant. At the Chaussée de Sein the breeze shifted and I was under Code Zero and I had not slept for a long time. I was tired and I was going down as the boat was set up and made the mistake of putting on the timer for thirty minutes and not ten and after 30 minutes I came up and I was becalmed and so I lost a lot there. I recovered a little then went inshore and that did not pay off. It was a frustrating leg, I slept for too long when I did sleep. And it was a classic La Solitaire leg, feast of famine, no wind or loads of wind, 35 kts or zero, not much in between. The biggest thing was to get here without blowing the big kite out, I had the big kite coming into the finish while the likes of Fred was coming in with an A4 in 10 kts of breeze. I am tired and little frustrated. "

27th Leg 2, 28th Overall. Pep Costa (ESP) Team Play to B-Terravia: "It was a very tough stage, I sailed well, I was in the group of the first 5 for 2/3 days until I got stuck in the calm, I couldn't get out and I saw everyone disappear. I could not do anything. I think I was unlucky. But that's not what will define my stage, because I sailed well and there's no reason for it to continue in this direction. But for sure it's frustrating, because I thought I was going to finish in the top 5 and I finish much further down the fleet. It's a bit hard, but that's La Solitaire du Figaro. We left Port-la-Forêt with light conditions, we slowly sailed up the tip of Brittany then the wind started to pick up, I played some good shots, I was in good shape and then I even managed to take places little bit with the group in front by tacking to Guernsey, it was great, there is a good battle to the tip of Brittany. Finally, it was played out on the penultimate night when I was stuck there and without wind, I couldn't do anything, I wasn't moving at all I was stuck and I saw the group leaving either side., I didn't couldn't hold on to them. That's when I lost a lot of time. It's really frustrating, but I'm happy with my performance on this stage, even if the end result doesn't reflect everything I've done. I have reached a milestone and I must continue like this."

31st Leg 2, 31st overall Sanni Beucke (GER) This Race Is Female: "What happened? The question is more what has not happened on this leg? We have seen a lot of strong winds, we have seen light winds, we have seen me very, very happy, we have seen me very sad and frustrated. So what happened as well is that I learned a lot about myself and my emotions that made this keg quite special for me? The first thing I want to do is to call my boyfriend and also to welcome Piers. We had a lot of contact with him and so I am looking forwards to hug with him about the leg, I hoisted the kite on the downwind leg and is was wind against tide and it was super scary. I should not have done it, I was scared about how I would get it down."

32nd leg 2, 32nd overall, Piers Copham (GBR) Voiles des Anges: "It was a great race in some impressive conditions. Slightly unfortunately I shredded my big kite on the first afternoon and I have sailed for most of the race with no D2s (shrouds) on the mast and so I had to sail very cautiously. On starboard gybe coming across the Channel I averaged 14-15 knots and got up to 20kts. It was stunning but great fun. And the second part was a real technical challenge and Sanni and I were overtaking each other for two days, when he wind was up I got past with the small kite and when it was lighter she got past me with her big kite, it was a great combination.

"I want to get back on the boat immediately. I started this a bit late, I am not 21 years old any more, but the combination of the Mini650 and the Figaro this year I am so hooked on ocean racing. There is something about it which is fantastic. Maybe it is masochistic, you have your own little bubble you live in but there are people around and about you, it is fantastic. A lovely quiet stable bed is what I am looking forwards to.

"It would have ruined my reputation if I had not come last and it would have ruined Sanni's reputation to have come last, so I think we finished in the right order, but with my little kite it was her race. The second one is that apparently there are some dolphins released from Seaworld or somewhere which taught the wild dolphins tricks and coming in about three hours ago a dolpin jumped out and pirouetted right in front of me, it was extraordinary. Maybe I was hallucinating."

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