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Ireland's Tom Dolan back among the front runners

by Tom Dolan Racing 4 May 09:38 PDT 4 May 2024
Tom Dolan in the Solo Maître Coq © Vincent Olivaud

Ireland's Tom Dolan back among the front runners with sixth place overall at Solo Maître Coq, a repeat of last year's result.

With a solid fifth place on a tough, demanding 390 miles solo offshore race which finished into Les Sables d'Olonne in France's Vendée region this morning, Ireland's Tom Dolan finishes sixth overall in the second major solo event of his 2024 season, the Solo Maître Coq.

Dolan, skipper of Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan, has once more underlined that he is comfortable racing with the best of the best offshore and matches last year's 6th placed overall position.

"It was a great race. There was stuff going on all the time, especially in terms of choice of courses. I really enjoyed it!" enthused Dolan after landing at midday back in the Vendée marina which is synonymous with the Vendée Globe solo round the world race.

The 21st Solo Maître CoQ is a race Dolan has clearly enjoyed.

"It was a good race, especially on the section between mark in the middle of the Bay of Biscay and the finish. We had some surfs at over 30 knots, under gennaker. It was really, eally hard, especially since the wind was super unstable. We were literally glued to the helm with the sheet in our hands taking waves of ocean in our faces. We certainly had enough salt! But the whole race seemed to flash by!"

"In the end, I still gave up a little in the last few miles. I wanted to stay low but I saw the others staying quite high. I preferred to do that and stay in control but maybe I would have done better and taken places if I had risked going high with the others. It was a very good race. It feels really good to play in front! The Solo Guy Cotten in mid-March was not very satisfying because I ripped a sail but I know that as soon as the legs lengthen out a little, I am clearly more at ease." Says Dolan who will now enjoy some time resting at home in Concarneau after an intense spell, the Solo Maître Coq following directly on the heels of the Niji40 Class 40 Transatlantic race.

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