The rising Irish star of offshore sailing David Kenefick is only days away from embarking on his second La Solitaire du Figaro circuit. Kenefick made an acclaimed debut to the race in 2013 winning the prestigious Rookie Champion for Solo Offshore Racing award.
Now in its 45th year the singlehanded La Solitaire du Figaro race normally run over four stages, with each leg designed to keep the skippers at sea for between two and four days. Each stopover port sees the skippers recuperating and preparing for the next leg over approximately 48-56 hours. The whole event is scored on combined elapsed time. This is unlike most other sailing events and puts a very different emphasis on the way the top sailors handle their strategies.
The one-design 32-foot Beneteau Figaro II all have water ballast systems, sophisticated auto-pilots and on board navigation and routing systems there are plenty of things to keep the skipper occupied as he battles to get the most out of the boat and himself. Sailing ability - the raw determination of each skipper to overcome the challenges of shorthanded sailing, to plan, to manage and to better anticipate the unfolding race, managing fatigue, tackling the conditions, the route and the opposition – is however, what really makes the difference.
The fleet of 40 Figaro Beneteaus will start Leg One on the 8th of June – the day before David celebrates his 23rd birthday. The first leg will see the fleet race a short coastal component around inflatable buoys in view of the beaches of Deauville before heading offshore across the Channel to the UK side to a buoy called the Owers just to the South of Selsey Bill. From here the fleet truns West and heads to the Wolf Rock lighthouse to the South of Lands End. The fleet then crosses the Channel twice, the first time to Roscoff and then back to the finish line off Plymouth Breakwater. The leg is 484 nautical miles long and will see plenty of current and tidal influence making the leg extremely complex before any weather phenomenon are considered.
Start: Deauville - Sunday 8 June
Finish: Plymouth – ETA Wednesday 11 June
Length: 484 nautical miles
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