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Quiroga, Loison, Roberts First Words On The Dock

Published on 09/09/2021

Pierre Quiroga provisionally wins his second La Solitaire du Figaro stage on the trot, Alexis Loison is second and Alan Roberts scores his best finish yet - his first La Solitaire du Figaro podium

Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019) 1st : “A crazy stage from A to Z. I started with a great first day calm and sunny, downwind. Then it closed all back up after Longships. And then there were more compressions, more catch ups right into last night. And last night was really dark. All the time I I told myself I had to do my own race, thinking the west was going to come good. But it was mad to see the boats so close together at the finish and to tell myself I was going to win.

When you’re on your little cloud like this, it’s magic. But there is some strategy, a little bit of gut feeling, a little luck. But I was really mad at myself after Saint Gowan, I did everything I could. I took it as a warning and I got a grip of myself and then everything went wonderfully. I hit the gas pedal, I cranked it up, and it went from there. It is mad! I made the right decisions, always on the attack; although at first I was a little afraid. It’s too good to be able to be yourself and do your own thing despite the pressure “

Alexis Loison (Région Normandie) 2nd : “I believed I was in the good group and led a few times but every time it started again, back to zero. It was hard in the mist and fog, I was also a little afraid of boats going offshore, to the west, especially when I saw the wind pick up, and we didn’t see them in the mist. In the end it was a fight to the end with Pierre (Quiroga) who, despite everything, always had his little cushion in advance. On paper it was a tough stage on paper one not to be missed. It was so different from the other two. We saw some cool landscapes in areas where hardly anyone in the fleet had been before. It was hard and it was long this stage. But I have a feeling of a job well done. I am very proud to have been able to come back each time. Overall I only move up only one place, but it’s all precious. Now the objective is to rest and to recharge the batteries! “

Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) 3rd : “I have felt more exhausted at the end of a leg, but it was a hell of a leg. Even coming into the finish I really did not know much about where I was finishing because there was a group who head southto get into the massive right hand shift. And you really don’t know if the pressure was going to fill in for them first. It could have come in earlier and they would have been over us, but I had my strategy in my head, but for a long time I had no one on AIS so I was pretty relieved.

As soon as we were round Bishop Rock I made my strategy – to basically sail the shortest distance – but I had run a lot of different wind angles and that is what I stuck to.

At the beginning of the race and at the end I was quick. The part between England and Wales I was super slow, I don’t know whether I was slow or did not get the shifts, everything I tried I went backwards. I felt pretty down then but I thought there might be a shut down towards the end. These legs are never over til the line.

I have aged and you accept there are a lot of things can happen, it is a game of skill, a lot about boatspeed and always an element of chance and there is always a chance. So I know there is never any point in losing your cool.

From Saint Gowan I know I have a little something, a particular wind angle where I can sail quicker than the fleet. It was that particular angle and conditions, I have done it three times before. It is top secret.

I am so happy with a podium. That was my objective. The first two stages were not good. Hopefully this is the start of a strong second half.

I was third or fourth to Pullar and then lost out. But it was good coming in to the finish.

And I enjoyed the leg a lot, it was great to be sailing somewhere different out to Lundy and Saint Gowan, there was some spectacular landscapes and great sunsets and sunrises.”

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