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Tom Dolan pleased to be back racing as the Solo Maître CoQ finally gets under way

by Tom Dolan Racing 15 Mar 2023 10:40 PDT 15 March 2023
Tom Dolan on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan - Solo Maître CoQ © Vincent Olivaud

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.

Ireland's Tom Dolan, the only non-French skipper in a 30 boat field, opened his account with an 11th place at the end of a 15.5 nautical miles course raced off Les Sables d'Olonne.

After two and a half hours of racing in SE'ly winds between 7 and 12 knots. the contest was won by French skipper Hugo Dhallene. Dolan on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan lost places at the end of the first upwind but recovered progeressively for 11th across the line.

"It went very well at the start but I messed up at the end of the first upwind leg and I lost a lot. It was not too serious because in the end the 11th is OK with some good favorites behind me and I still finished close to the winner," commented the Irish sailor back at the dock in Port Olona.

"That said, most of all it was really cool to finally get on the water and get rid of all the stress that has built up over the past few days. Overall it felt good. I feel good and fit." He said.

Thursday will see the start of the long 340 nautical miles offshore race which carries a points coefficient of 3 compared with today's 1.5 times multiplier. "I have to really work on the weather for the course and check over the boat. There is a bit more to do as our coach has come down with a gastrointestinal illness". Dolan concluded.

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