Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Stage 3 Of Solitaire de Figaro Start In The Gates

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    11,110
    Blog Entries
    1

    Stage 3 Of Solitaire de Figaro Start In The Gates

    A DECISIVE THIRD STAGE TO LA SOLITAIRE DE FIGARO IS SET BUT THIRD PLACED GOODCHILD IS STAYING COOL
    Published on 11/09/2020




    The third stage of the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro which starts from Dunkirk on Saturday afternoon at 1600hrs local time is a 492 nautical miles stage to Saint Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire Estuary.

    With three weather transitions on the forecasts and at least the same number of potential tidal traps lying in wait, including passages through both of the most notorious tidal races, first the Raz Blanchard – the Alderney Race – and then the Raz de Sein – between the Isle de Sein and the tip of Brittany – all compounded by an expected wind shutdown at the finish, this will very likely be the stage which proves conclusive, shaking up a very tight leaderboard.

    Race leader Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), the two times La Solitaire champion is the only skipper in the fleet with breathing space, having built himself a 37 minutes and 30 seconds margin over the first two legs, most of that from winning the stage into Dunkirk. But between second placed Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) and Fabien Delahaye (Laboratoires Gilbert) there are only 26 minutes.

    Britain’s Sam Goodchild (Leyton) lies third, the highest ever overall position of British skipper at an intermediate stop on the annual French multi-stage race. In spite of being faced with such a complex, challenging stage, the 30 year old British soloist, remains resolute in his assertions that he feels no additional pressure and he will just take the same methodical approach, to sail his best leg and see how the numbers add up in Saint Nazaire.

    Looking relaxed on the race dock in front of Dunkirk’s impressive city hall, Goodchild said, “I am trying to not let the pressure of being a good position get to me and really it is working. Even when it has been going well and or even badly, sometimes, I have been really enjoying it. I wanted to come here and show that I have improved as a sailor and that I can sail better, and I think I have done that already. That has gone very much to plan, and now in essence I will just carry on with what I have been doing and the way I have been doing it.”

    On both stages so far Goodchild has climbed steadily up the fleet, most notably passing the three times La Solitaire winner Yann Eliès in the final three miles to the finish gun on Tuesday afternoon. He clearly has speed and is sailing to his game plan, he adds, “The two legs I have had so far I have not found myself being overtaken, I have not found myself in a situation going backwards and thinking ‘I don’t know what to do here.’ Tactically I have made some good calls….. and some bad calls, but everyone has, Armel included. You have to put the whole package together and there is no point at all in worrying about that now. I am confident in the boatspeed I have, in the two legs I have sailed and the way I have been sailing.”

    Most of the skippers will contend there is no such thing as a typical La Solitaire. But, like last year, there are some very good La Solitaire sailors deep in the field, having made no glaring errors but finished right down the finishing order on one or other of the legs. Goodchild reflects: “It is quite revealing to me when I read interviews with other skippers who have won legs before or won the event before and they are a long way down the standings and they are saying they are not upset or anything, they are happy with the way they are sailing. It shows how level the playing field is on this race.”

    He is quite content with his situation in the fleet, considering to himself that there is less pressure on him going into this stage, “To myself and my peers here I have shown I can do good results and I can win. Now I just need to go and do it again. When I was in the Figaro before when I was 20 or 21 there was the pressure, you were thinking ‘right, I need to make a result now because it will make your career.’ I have eliminated that out of my mind now.”

    From Saturday’s start gun there is no let up for the 34 strong fleet. They have to tack upwind, against the tidal current in a narrow corridor bound by the shipping lane to their north.

    The tide turns against the fleet at half an hour after the start and from there it is upwind, uptide for the next six hours until 0030hrs, certainly to the corner at Cap Griz Nez. A transition through a high pressure ridge means light winds at the end of the first night. During the early morning the wind goes from SW’ly through 180 degrees, into the east, but the transition will not be simple and will surely reshuffle the pack.


    Then it is light downwind sailing in 10 knots or less down to the Raz Blanchard where they should reach early Monday morning. But the race could well be decided off the Raz de Sein off Ushant where the wind is due to switch again to the south and remain very light.

    Ireland’s Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) is well placed going into the penultimate stage in 11th, he too promises to keep sailing the way he has been. Having returned a 10th in the first leg and 11th in the second one, Dolan says, “I am feeling good, I will just take it as it comes. I will have a bit of a look at the standings but I try to sail my own leg, but if it gets towards the end it is always worth knowing who is around you on the leaderboard.”

    Standings: https://www.lasolitaire.com/rankings
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



    h2oshots.com Photo Gallery

  2. #2
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    11,110
    Blog Entries
    1

    A Monster Uphill Battle For Figaro Sailors

    PHIL SHARP LEADS OUT OF DUNKIRK ON ‘MONSTER’ STAGE 3 LEG OF LA SOLITAIRE DU FIGARO
    Published on 12/09/2020

    The Race Director of the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro shortened the course for Stage 2 to ensure that the skippers had a full extra night of sleep before this afternoon’s start of Stage 3, a 492 miles ‘monster’ of a leg from Dunkirk down the Channel and all the way around the Brittany coast to Saint Nazaire.





    Considering the light winds which are expected to prevail for much of this decisive leg, and the constant intense demands of close, side by side racing along the rocky, very tidal French coast, the 33 skippers who started in a moderate 15 knots WSW’ly and choppy seas this afternoon will have cause to be thankful they started today with full reserves of energy.

    Although they set off in a good breeze, one which was due to build during the early evening to 18-20kts, by the first mark, Daffodil buoy at Dieppe, the winds are expected to die away and remain light for most the remainder of the course.

    Britain’s Phil Sharp (OceansLab) who lies in 23rd place overall, showed the flee the way in the early hours of the race as the fleet short tacked westwards up the Channel in a narrow lane, compressed by the shipping zone offshore of them. And Sam Goodchild (Leyton), who in third overall holds the best mid-Solitaire position ever of a British skipper, made a solid start to his leg, lying 10th very much in the heat of the peloton.

    Leading the General Classifications by some 37 minute Armel Le Cléac’h made a more modest start to the stage. He cautioned on the dock before leaving Dunkirk, “It is a very difficult leg. The last routing shows it taking four days, so it is long and complicated. And even if I know the coast really well then so does everyone else of my direct rivals. There is nothing done yet, everything can change on the standings at any time. So I need to be concentrated, focused, vigilant, to make a good start and not make mistakes in the early part out from Dunkirk, and then out into the Channel it is always going to be a case of pacing yourself, saving some energy for the bit into Saint Nazaire.”









    The 33 solo sailors still in the race (after the retirements of Robin Marais - Ma Chance Moi Aussi – who went aground off Start Point on Stage 2 and the injured Corentin Douguet - NF Habitat) were setting up to pass the two great capes of the Opal Coast, Blanc Nez and Gris Nez where the shipping lanes are at the busiest

    The leg described by rookie Marc Mallaret (CER Occitanie) as a ‘monster’ is set to unfold tonight close to the coast as the solo racers try to cheat the tide flowing against them unto 2230hrs. The first competitors should arrive in front of Dieppe in the early hours of the morning to leave the Daffodil buoy to starboard some four miles from the shore. The wind will then drop and fill from the East and allow the spinnakers to be set as they sail across the Bay of the Seine.

    Positioning out of Daffodil bouy and choices made just after will very much determine the set up for passage of the Cotentin-Cherbourg peninsula’s two tidal races, Barfleur and Blanchard. The forecasts for the Brittany coast were very conflicting and the choices off the tip Brittany, against the currents of Portsall and the Chenal de Four might very well decide the stage winner and even the General Classification winner.

    Alan Roberts, the British skipper of Seacat Services who is 19th needs to gain 38 minutes to break the top ten overall, very achievable on this leg. He explained, “How you exit that first mark can then be key to how you get past Cap de Le Hague and Alderney. And there will be a big shut down just as we arrive at Portsail just inside Ushant and that will be the big one, I think there will be big distances between the fleet by there, and that can be the area where people really get out well, or catch up there. Someone could literally leap a tide ahead here. Then there will potentially a light wind at the finish.








    He concluded, “It is an awesome leg. People sail conservatively to their game plans on Legs 1 and 2 and Leg 3 often decides it. I think people will be more active on this leg. It feels like that way to me. Where I am in the fleet the question is still there is a possibility to get a good, average result and so it is better to do that or take the risk and maybe get a good result or maybe end up with a bad result. For sur I don’t want to take a big risk but if there is a chance when the fleet is not behaving like the routing showed, then maybe that is the time to take some risk, but there is no point in taking risk for the sake of it.”

    They said:

    Third overall, Yann Eliès (Quéguiner Matériaux - Leukémie Espoir): “incredible stuff! “

    “We do incredible things. We see incredible stuff. We experience incredible things. We almost live with our other competitors. We’re in his living room. We do amazing stuff, full speed spinnaker gybes. I’ve rarely seen England like it was at StarPoint, incredible picture postcard scenery, with ripe berries calling to you saying; ” Come and see ! On vacation, that would be magic. But here we come back to La Solitaire because we are alive there, full of emotions. It is not just about the victory and the result why we participate in it. The day I get too stupid, too old and too grumpy, I’ll have to stop! The pleasure on this 3rd stage will be in the glorious uncertainty. We will have to create, anticipate, imagine, do our best with what is given to us. You have to do your best with the present moment, depending on the conditions of the day. Unfortunately, Brittany, which we all know well, well this time we risk seeing it for quite a while “.





    TRACKER





    https://www.lasolitaire.com/en/news/...aire-du-figaro
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



    h2oshots.com Photo Gallery

  3. #3
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    11,110
    Blog Entries
    1

    North Or South Decision


    https://lasolitaire.geovoile.com/2020/tracker/


    THE BAY OF SEINE FOR FIRST JUSTICE OF THE PEACE!
    Published on 09/13/2020

    A relatively peaceful night, spent sliding at a small trot and under a gennaker along the chalk cliffs of the Opal Coast, abruptly followed this morning, barely adorned with the Daffodils buoy in front of Dieppe, the start of the first major maneuvers of this third stage of La Solitaire du Figaro, between Dunkirk and Loire-Atlantique (492 miles). The first to clearly announce his intentions, a certain Yann Eliès (Quéguiner Matériaux - Leukémie Espoir) who was pushing his bar frankly in the already weakening south-easterly wind, to point his bow towards the center of the Channel and move away from the coast. Loïs Berrehar (Bretagne CMB Performance), leader as far as Dieppe following a perfectly controlled night slide, chose to stay on the coast. Between these two options, now more than 25 miles in latitude, there were a few, and not the least favored, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), Eric Péron (French Touch) to choose a middle route. Object of these bets, the arrival in the Bay of Seine of a vast winding "tongue", an anticyclonic outgrowth, a barometric marsh stretched across the road towards the tip of Cotentin. North East-East wind expected, weak at first, then increasing at the end of the afternoon. Games are made. It remains to be seen which Northerners or Southerners will first touch the windfall. North East-East wind expected, weak at first, then increasing at the end of the afternoon. Games are made. It remains to be seen who of the Northerners or Southerners will first touch the windfall. North East-East wind expected, weak at first, then increasing at the end of the afternoon. Games are made. It remains to be seen which Northerners or Southerners will first touch the windfall.









    The Bay of Seine is a lake….

    Yann Eliès had announced it, he wanted to be inspired by Armel Le Cléac'h to follow his instincts, and push his shots to the limit. “ The stage lends itself perfectly to this, ” added Francis Le Goff, race director. “ The weather configuration, coupled with the decisive play of the Cotentin tides, will push the riders to drastic choices. This seems to be the case in the negotiations this afternoon for the calm "whites" which are overwhelming the surroundings of Pointe Cauchoise and as far as the beaches of Calvados. " The sea is a lake " describes Le Goff, " but a lake strewn with an incredible amount of algae.»Another component of this game, already so delicate and so risky, of the placement on the water and the evolution of the Figaro Bénéteau 3 in the calm, the concern of having at any time to fight to free around the appendages these long brownish algae. But these vicissitudes very present in the minds of the 2 women and the 31 men still in the race, are also very probably obscured by the real stake of the coming hours to come, the landing on the Cotentin point, its two capes of Barfleur and de la Hague, inseparable from the Barfleur and Blanchard razes. With around sixty miles to cover to cross the Bay of the Seine, the solo sailors hope to catch the right wagon of the tide, which is still falling and therefore favorable. " Catching the current in Barfleur seems playable»Analyzes Francis Le Goff. " But to follow up with Blanchard seems more random ..."













    Race against time to benefit from the currents ...

    It will be understood that the calm hours ahead are crucial, and every minute now counts. The return of the wind from the North-East poses two questions in the middle of the afternoon. Who southerners and northerners will touch it first? But above all, the Northerners, still credited at the time of writing with a slight lead of 4 to 5 miles over the peloton, will they have accumulated enough to counter the return of the Southerners better placed to progress with a better angle? to the North-East wind towards the North Cotentin?

    These are the challenges of the placement quests observed this afternoon off the coast of the Pays de Caux. We will have to wait until late tonight to really count the winners and losers of these options full of risk and panache. This stage of all the dangers, all the difficulties is also that of all the risk-taking, the strokes of luck and the lack of pot so typical of what offshore racing in a Figaro Bénéteau 3 monotype is.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



    h2oshots.com Photo Gallery

  4. #4
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    11,110
    Blog Entries
    1

    Light Air Opportunists

    PÉRON-LE CLÉAC'H, THE OPPORTUNISTS
    Published on 09/15/2020

    We will remember from these last hours, between many adventures, the remarkable shot full of opportunism played this morning by two latecomers, Eric Péron and Armel Le Cléac'h, who decided, while the leading peloton slipped into the west under Ouessant, to dive due south between the islands of Trielen and Quéménès, towards the mark of Sein.




    The fear of the Fromveur currents and the delay regretted at this point in the race will certainly have pushed the two experienced sailors to tempt the devil. This masterful blow naturally revived speculations of a final victory for the skipper of Banque Populaire. And among the sailors inspired by this great option, we find, unsurprisingly, boys like Adrien Hardy (Ocean Attitude), but also Nils Palmeri (Teamwork), also in the process of establishing his leadership in the envied rankings of the plotters. Benoit Hochart (La Chaine de l'Espoir) who “took the wheel” of Armel in the crossing of this pass outside category, could also receive in Saint Nazaire the dividends of a beautiful inspiration. Le Fromveur and Ouessant now in the transom, they are no less than 20 solo sailors to keep in a small gap of 5 to 6 miles, while more than 130 miles still separate them from the finish in Loire-Atlantique. In other words, the waltz of the leaders and the reversals of the situation have not finished enameling this astonishing third stage. The group that left for the West will again benefit from a little boost from a favorable current to pick up on the new leaders.

    Follow the progress of the sailors on the cartography: https://lasolitaire.geovoile.com/2020/tracker/

    *****************************



    ANALYSIS // THE VENDÉE IN LIGHT ...
    Published on 09/15/2020

    Observing the rankings of this third stage of La Solitaire du Figaro, since the start from Dunkirk, reveals the presence at the forefront of the three riders stamped Team Vendée Formation. Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF), often leader, takes in his wake the Italian Alberto Bona (Sebago) and the young Kevin Bloch, rookie on the race. These three men belong to the structure led by Estelle Graveleau from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie in Vendée, and within which we also count Sébastien Marsset, currently racing in Class40 on the Normandy Channel Race, Joan Mulloy and even Phil Sharp (Oceanslab) came this year as a guest star to work with the Vendéens.

    Since 2013, the Vendée Formation Team has offered sailors and technicians a unique support and training system for the sport sailing professions. Beyond a purely sporting project, Team Vendée Formation aims to be a catalyst for trades and activities related to sport sailing. As Etienne Saïz, in charge of the sportsman, explains, “We are part of a logic of dynamism of the territory, by working on the development of a whole nautical plan for the Vendée. Ocean racing, its leaders like Xavier Macaire, shed light on a whole series of professions linked to boating, from preparers to photographers, and of course all the technical professions linked to the development of boats. The Vendée was devoid of any sector, and far behind what has existed in Brittany for decades. By creating this center of skills, we are laying the foundations for the fundamental bases to attract trades and companies linked to boating, and which do not necessarily think of the Vendée for their development. Of course, the Vendée Globe is a great showcase, but behind this brand image, it is necessary to build solid foundations for the practice of high-level sailing. This is the mission of Team Vendée Formation. The good rankings of our runners shed light on our structure and our project which is also based on human values. A boy like Xavier Macaire, with all his experience, is a locomotive who shares his knowledge transversally and in a convivial manner with all beginners. This is also the spirit of Team Vendée Formation is a locomotive which shares its knowledge transversally and in a convivial manner with all beginners. This is also the spirit of Team Vendée Formation is a locomotive which shares its knowledge transversally and in a convivial manner with all beginners. This is also the spirit of Team Vendée Formation".
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



    h2oshots.com Photo Gallery

  5. #5
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    11,110
    Blog Entries
    1

    Podium Places Spoken For In Leg 3 La Solitaire du Figaro


    Fred Duthil (Technique Voile) takes 1st in leg 3


    Marc Mallaret, (CER Occitanie) 2nd


    Adrien Hardy (Ocean Attitude) completes the podium


    https://lasolitaire.geovoile.com/2020/tracker/


    ****************************

    earlier report

    SLO MO THRILLER TO SAINT NAZAIRE
    Published on 16/09/2020

    The final miles of Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro have all the tension of a Netflix psychological thriller, all played out this morning in continuing very, very light winds. The one sure outcome is that there will be a winner, but at 25 miles to the line there is no logical way of predicting who that will be. Level with Belle Ile and Ile de Houat there appears to be three strategies in play, maybe working inshore to find the thermal enhancement closer to the Baie de Quiberon, staying offshore in the gradient and/or seabreeze or sailing the middle, rhumb line course.

    Long time leader Yann Eliès has gone for the direct route and is back up to third, Alexis Loison leads a posse working inshore which now includes Sam Goodchild who is down to 16th right now, while going fast outside Belle Ile is Fred Duthil who has, remarkably, risen from 32nd and 12 miles behind the leaders, to catch up to tenth, just 1.3 miles behind.

    This stage has been all about skippers bouncing back, recovering many miles as the winds died ahead or the leaders run into tidal current. Such are the extremes of La Solitaire du Figaro.

    Alan Roberts is judged to be leader early this afternoon but at boat speeds of two knots and one mile separating the top ten, anything can happen.

    “The progress through the night was very decent,” said Francis Le Goff Race Director this morning, “And we might expect a finish by mid-afternoon, as expected.”

    Le Goff sounds ambitious considering the calms were not predicted by any of the weather models, though there does seem to be more breeze offshore.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



    h2oshots.com Photo Gallery

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •