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Contemplating A Marathon Finale

Published on 11/09/2021

Tomorrow at 1600hrs local time the 34 solo racers set off on the fourth and last leg of La Solitaire du Figaro a marathon stage back to the start port of this edition on the Loire Atlantique coast. The leg is scheduled to go out from north Brittany across to the renowned Irish lighthouse on the Fastnet Rock. Fatigue has set in for most it is might be one of the decisive factors if this leg goes on longer than first expected…

Martin Le Pape (Gardons la vue): “I have a speed problem close to an upwind and so every mistake I pay heavily. It’s horrible ! I struggle to hang on to boats. I can do it but it is incredibly hard work. And it is not over, there is one stage left. There is obviously no doubt that Pierre Quiroga is bossing this. For me, if I can make a top ten, maybe even 7th place, given that the top three are a fair bit ahead, then that’s good. This is an offshore open stage and I hope a lot of it will be downwind, I’m faster on these angles. On big parts of this course there will be differences in routes and options and big gaps. And with everyone tired now there will be some goings on.”

Alexis Courcoux
Alexis Courcoux

Damien Cloarec (Saferail): “This delayed start is not bad, we are going to get some more rest a little which is good because two nights of recovery is too little. We have done three stages, two of four nights and one of three now here we are going on a very long stage. This is the sport. But I think we’ll have to be careful about safety. The last stop I slept for just a few hours. I think we are getting to the border lines for human beings. The village here is beautiful and for me it is specially frustrating! I’m from Morlaix, I would like to take full advantage of that but I have to think of myself and I have to rest. I run into people, I could spend all day here and I love it, but I have to be reasonable and I slip away because I have to go to bed. Here, I apologize to my friends by the way! “

Estelle Greck (Respimer): “Recuperation, recuperation, recuperation, sleep and physiotherapy. All this is essential, because I am sore just about everywhere anyway. I am focusing all the more on recovery as the routing this morning is predicting a super long stage maybe five nights at sea with light winds! It will be long, it will be hard for everyone. One more night added to the end of the Solitaire is a lot. It might also be hard on the nerves, because we know with the weather like this if can turn out to be a lottery.

David Paul (Just a drop) “I am feeling pretty tired to be honest. This last leg is all about the mental challenge but I am up for it. Hopefully I get to go to the Fastnet for my sixth or seventh time round the Rock. I am excited for it as it is always fun to go up against the best on the Figaro. I think the thing I have learned most is the importance of having a really solid plan, going into real detail and then knowing the other options and what would trigger them. I think the thing that was good on the last leg was seeing the high pressure ridge move into a low pressure was knowing the signs to look for, it was super unpredictable. The last 2000 miles have been a crash course on clouds and the weather for me.”

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