Published on 29/08/2021
As the sun sets on the fleet of the 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro heralding the first night at sea, the 34 skippers were sailing along in a gentle 7-8 knots of NE’ly with flat seas passing along the windward side of Belle-Ile and its steep terrain. Racing downwind under led by Tom Laperche (Bretagne- CMB Performance) with Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola) and Fabien Delahaye (Gilbert Group) in close contention. Also up with the lead peloton are Xavier Macaire (SNEF Group) and Pierre Quiroga ( Skipper Macif 2019).
After a poor start Britain’s Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) is up to 11th off Aiguilles de Port-Coton this time pleased to have reconnected with the main body of the leading group. “I was almost last at the first buoy off Lorient. Now, I am pleased to be climbing back into the fleet slowly but surely in the it’s pretty cool to come from the Belle-Ile side. The conditions are really pleasant under spinnaker. Soon, the wind will start to pick up and we’ll need to make the choice between the gennak and the small spinnaker above all we need to be going fast, ”said Roberts at 1.3 miles behind the leader after five hours of racing.
Tanguy Le Turquais (Queguiner-Inneveo) is happy to have made a nice start “at home, in front of family and friends”, leaving Lorient in 3rd position - “a good bit of adrenaline has been pumping. I don’t feel like I have the same sailplan as the rest of the fleet I am going high, going a little more upwind. I changed earlier than the others and It’s always a little stressful in Figaro when you’re all alone doing this kind of thing. But I can always peel back to the the spinnaker”
The winds are expected to build quickly on this passage down to the Rochebonne mark where the leaders are expected around 0100hrs local time.
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