Strict Protocols And Solidarity

Published on 11/09/2021

La Solitaire du Figaro is raced on equal, identical boats, the Figaro Bénéteau 3. And while the boats are built to very, very strict tolerances so the Figaro Bénéteau Class has a tight set procedures and rules for preparation and repairs, working closely with the shore teams and the boat builders, Bénéteau.

And these tight rules apply to repairs made during the race. On the hard in the port of Bloscon, Roscoff where the race village is for the 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro repairs are nearing completion on the Figaro Bénéteau 3 of Charlotte Yven (Team Vendée Formation) which grounded on the rocks just one mile from the finish line of Stage 3.

Guillaume Avrilla her preparateur is at the boat which will now able to resume the start tomorrow:

We have done what is necessary to ensure the boat can start racing again tomorrow but we will have to do a big job this winter. The keel bulb was damaged. We just redid the epoxy coating to fill the holes. As soon as it was finished, I sanded and I put the antifouling back on. Inside the boat the some of the reinforcing laminate around the keel well had opened up, I also redid them. The foil can be repaired but not on time. Bruno Jourdren who has a boat but does not compete in the Solitaire, lent us one. However, the rudder was not repairable and so the Classe Figaro Bénéteau found us one in Lorient.

In fact Jérémie Beyou’s Team helped us out for the rudder,” explains Eléonore Jeudi de Grissac, the secretary of the Figaro Bénéteau Class. “As in all these kind of races solidarity is always there. Alain Gautier already lent a foil during the Lorient stage. There is a real “All In this together” energy within the Class. Marc Vaillier, Figaro 3 project manager at Bénéteau is always on standby in Nantes; we have access to the yard 24 hours a day if necessary to access parts. All repairs are strictly supervised. When the boats arrive, the preparateurs declare all the work they will be doing on the boats for which they are responsible. They have precise lists of equipment and suppliers. On the passport of each boat, all the parts are referenced with a serial number and the Class measurers carry out regular checks on features such as the diameter of bolts to the weight of the batteries, all this is essential to ensure compliance with the strict one-design. In the event of a repair as is the case for Charlotte’s boat, the preparateur works in strict accord with the builders Bénéteau who send a very precise repair protocol which details, for example, the products to be used and the repair process step by step, if necessary with photos. The work is monitored and obviously checked before the boats set sail again. The racers themselves all fully subscribe to the one-design ethos: winning by having respected the rules on equal terms gives all the more validation to their performance.

Christophe Breschi
Christophe Breschi


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