Heading West – News

The first night of this third and final leg of the 53rd edition of La Solitaire du Figaro was rather mild for the 31 sailors in the race (note: Fred Duthil retired – Journal des entreprises last night). A warm-up finally quite quiet; good quality for this final confrontation which still has all the features of a mountain stage with 640 miles to cover and above all a deterioration in the weather forecast for tomorrow, Tuesday. Leaving Royan yesterday at noon, the solo sailors therefore benefited from rather lenient conditions for the start of the match. The regular northerly flow of around ten knots has in fact propelled them downwind on the direct course. A favorable situation to try to grab some sleep. Many have chained the naps. It must be said that after 2 marathon stages, 11 days already spent at sea, the batteries are somewhat worn down. And the rest garnered on land during stopovers is not enough to fully recharge the batteries. Above all, it is for everyone to get as much rest as possible before the weather situation gradually deteriorates from tomorrow, Tuesday.

A gain of 5 minutes in the pocket of Norman Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region)

The great operation of the night goes to Guillaume Pirouelle. By winning the intermediate sprint at the Waiting Arcachon mark just before midnight, the Norman gained 5 precious minutes. Tom Laperche and Corentin Horeau, second and third, will be respectively increased by 3 and 1 minute to be deducted from their race time. And God knows that, in this race for time, every second is worth its weight in gold! We will remember this year 2003 when Armel Le Cléac’h had won the victory by 13 tiny seconds.

Classification in the intermediate Sprint Brand Expectation Arcachon

1 – Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region) at 11:41:12 p.m.

2 – Tom Laperche (Brittany Region – CMB Performance) 23h43’21

3 – Corentin Horeau (Blue Mutual) at 11:43:39 p.m.

Head west for the whole fleet

Finally, the end of the night was windier than expected, allowing the boats to progress significantly towards Los Farallones with regular averages around 13 knots. As the hours passed, the wind shifted towards the right and passed from North to South via East; a variation that allowed our sailors to draw a beautiful seagull wing on the cartography.

At 2 p.m. on Monday, while the spinnakers still in the air this morning have been stored, the gap remains negligible between the two skippers leading the fleet, Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region) and Tom Laperche (Brittany Region – CMB Performance ) positioned on a road to the North. With an 8-mile gap, Tom Dolan (Smurfit-Kappa-Kingspan) leads the way for a small group further south. All are posting speeds of around 7.5 knots. A certain status quo reigns over the water. Staying awake to changes in the weather, positioning yourself well, fine-tuning your settings and trajectory, and above all taking advantage of the mild conditions to get some sleep in the prospect of strong winds to come… This is the little routine of sailors , at the helm or at the bench, on this last Monday of La Solitaire du Figaro 2022…

This great progress will not last. The fleet is already slowed down a bit by a variable westerly wind of 5 to 10 knots. At 4 p.m., we can already see it, the speeds have dropped to 2 small knots for some boats. A variable and always weak wind, that’s what awaits the competitors for the rest of the afternoon: softness accentuated by a westerly swell up to 2 meters.
At the end of the day, the skippers will return to the northwest then in the night to a more sustained west (15 to 20 knots). The fairly grouped fleet (13 miles laterally) is currently 140 miles from the Farallones Islands, a little ahead of forecasts.

Second stage classification modification

Following the replacement of his J2 (headsail), the jury of the event, in accordance with the regulations, penalized Davy Beaudart (Naut’y Mor) by 35 minutes. This penalty has been integrated into the classification of the second stage. In general, the Lorient is downgraded to general, going from 12th to 15th place.

Abandonment of Fred Duthil (Le Journal des Entreprises)

Last night, Fred Duthil (Le Journal des Entreprises) announced his abandonment to the race director. The trinitan blocked his back and his pain does not allow him to continue the race in view of the weather conditions expected on Tuesday and Wednesday. He is expected in Lorient tomorrow morning.

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