Bouttell, Dolan on the dock in Dunkirk

Published on 08/09/2020

Tom Dolan, 11th Smurfit Kappa So, your strategy seems to be paying off with the starts. The start wasn’t just what I had planned to do. When we were crossing the channel. I had written in my notes to stay north of the fleet, and I ended up being south of the fleet. It ended up okay, could have been worse. I only lost about five places where I could have lost more. Are you doing anything differently in terms of strategy? I think I am. I’m a lot more patient. And does confidence come into that? I think so. I’m confident in what I want to do whereas before I would have been just looking at the others and thinking “Oh jesus, that fella is really good. If he is going that way then I must go that way.” Whereas now, I’m not saying they are not good but they all make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. It seems to be a much more up and down fleet? It’s mad isn’t it. The level is very homogenous though. Are you generally happy with the way you sailed? Any mistakes? I am. One mistake coming across the English channel on the way back which cost a good few places but apart from that, yes. What was that? The way the ridge of high pressure was over the chnnel, there was always going to be more wind in the north. I noticed that a few days out and had written in all of my notes to stay north of the fleet and I just didn’t stay north of the fleet.

Jackson Bouttell, (Fromagerie Gillot)

A better leg Jack?
“Better than the first one, yes. If I could go up ten places each leg I’ll be good for the last one. I was happy. I struggled a bit on the first night, just the weather not cooperating with the strategy I had. I still struggle a bit upwind in light-wind. I haven’t quite gotten my head around the boat in that sort of condition yet. Then after that I sort of slowly picked my way up the field and got further and further up which is good. I’m still learning heaps each leg.”

What have you learned in this leg in particular?
It’s mainly just sailing the boat and time on the boat. I think I have still sailed the boat less than ten days so there’s still a lot to work out. Getting back into Figaro strategy and sailing with a fleet like that is really interesting. Plenty gets picked up each time you go out

Do you think you came in with high expectations or realistic expectations?
No, I think I came in without any real expectations of sporting objectives. I think I was pretty neutral on it. You always want to do better than you are doing or think you’re doing. If you look at it as- I started the project three weeks ago and sailed the boat less than ten days. So overall I’m pretty pleased and just have to keep ticking away. I think timewise, I’m not sure where we are overall, but timewise it’s not crazy so two more to go and we will se how it goes.

How do you feel physically?
Still fine. That leg was really no sleep. A bit here and there but it was really hard to sleep. The first night was a full no sleep, and then after that it was a struggle. Either with tricky conditions or times-

Do you find yourself able to you push yourself hard?
I think that side is okay. The conditions we had this leg was either tricky winds where you had to be on the helm the whole time or windy-downwind where you could be five degrees lower or a knot quicker if you’re driving.


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