Fifth Overall and Best Irish Result Ever for Tom Dolan at the La Solitaire du Figaro.
La Solitaire du Figaro is a French solo sailing race that usually has three challenging legs of 500 miles or more, and a fourth leg with a 24 hour sprint. This is a solo sailing event of endurance and exceptional skill.
Ireland had two entries competing against 33 other world-class solo sailors. This was Tom Dolan’s third entry and Kenneth Rumball on his first entry.
Tom’s result is the best international overall placing since 1997 when Switzerland’s Dominique Wavre placed second, and a remarkable result considering that this is just Dolan’s third challenge.
This year’s first leg was 642 miles and took the sailors from Baie de Saint-Brieuc in Brittany and out round the Fastnet as their only waypoint, taking care to avoid the Scilly Isles and shipping lanes en route. Tom was looking forward to this particular waypoint and passed the Fastnet in 3rd place during daylight, which must have been a brilliant morale boost.
Having worked hard on his mental approach in the early season, Dolan made an excellent start by leading the 624 miles first stage across the Celtic Sea before Fastnet Rock. He lost four places on the approach to the light and more on the long run and reach to the finish, but the 10th place finish was a foundation to build on. He followed up with a solid 11th in the second stage and his career best seventh on the last stage ensured he was fifth going into the last leg.
A grinning Dolan said “Right now I am so happy with the result. I came here with hopes of finishing in the top 15. I really wanted to do better than last year when I was 33rd, so to be able to come here and finish in fifth place is amazing. I am delighted.”
Meanwhile this was Kenneth Rumball’s first Solitaire event, and he achieved a final result of 25th place.
See the rankings here https://www.lasolitaire.com/en/rankings/live
You will enjoy this interview with Tom on Sound Cloud :) HERE.