Published on 03/09/2020
Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) crossed the finish line on the Baie-de-Saint Brieuc at 06:17:55hrs French time this Thursday morning to win the 642 nautical miles first stage of the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro. His elapsed time is 3 days 17hrs 55mins, finishing only 1 min 35 seconds ahead of second placed Loïs Berrehar (Bretagne CMB Performance). Alexis Loison (Région Normandie) completed the podium 7mins and 3 seconds after Macaire.
It is the first ever stage win for 39 year old Macaire on a Figaro solo racing career which spans ten years and which includes two overall podiums, second in 2013 and third in 2016.
Macaire was denied a stage win on the last leg in 2015. After finishing first across the line into Dieppe he was judged to have sailed inside a forbidden zone some 18 miles from the finish and was penalised an hour by the jury.
Macaire is based out of Les Sables d’Olonne and races with the Team Vendée Formation. He took the lead of the 35 boat Figaro Beneteau fleet of solo racers during a very challenging first night in very light and unstable winds.
On the quick spinnaker return from the Fastnet lighthouse, the midpoint of the stage which was rounded on Tuesday evening, Macaire retained almost metronomic consistency when under constant pressure from the chasing pack he held his ground to secure the narrowest of victories this morning.
The final miles into the finish line of Saint Quay Portrieux had all the intensity of an inshore championship finale, Macaire covered young pretender Loïs Bennehar, 27, through a dogged match race in a lightening breeze but the older sailor prevailed by just one minute and 35 seconds.
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