Podium Place for Tom
Tom Dolan followers watched his progress on the tracker as he led the fleet of Figaro Bénéteau keelboats round the Fastnet on the 4th leg and final leg of the Solitaire du Figaro.
Seeing him round the Fastnet first was a proud moment for Ireland and it must have been a thrill for Tom.
He kept his performance up throughout 4 days 5 hours 29 minutes and 38 seconds of solo sailing and finished in 3rd and achieved a podium place - the Flying Irishman really aced this race. Congratulations Tom.
See full results here www.lasolitaire.com/en/rankings/live
Dolan is placed provisionally 15th overall.
A tired but elated Dolan smiled, “It’s great to get that first podium on La Solitaire but the cherry on the cake was being first round The Fastnet, that was a bit special for me. It was cool. I did really just stick to my plan in the English Channel I had seen there was more breeze in the west. And there was some herd mentality going on with everyone sticking together. I spent that whole night on my own not really knowing where anyone was in the thick fog then about six in the morning it got light and there was a break in the fog and I could see the whole fleet to windward.
Coming back it was tricky. I ended up sticking with Xavier a lot and I ended up being convinced I was furthest west and south. You have no AIS, nothing so on the Figaro you know nothing.
It ends the season on a high. It shows what I am capable of when I can get to the front. I feel great, just delighted. I am a bit tired, but I really feel good. I can’t wait for next year. I have to have more confidence in myself. The second leg I was just not good and into Roscoff it was bad luck, bad timing to get stuck like that.”
Enjoy this moment below as he rounded the Fastnet - all in french, but you don't even need the subtitles to feel the joy.
The Solitaire is recognised as the unofficial world championships of solo offshore racing, the race is fiercely competitive. In 2020, 34 skippers started this event in Saint-Brieuc in north-west France to take on 1,830 miles of Europe’s roughest waters, including some of world’s best ocean racers. Five of the entries were women this year, 27 out of the 34 were French, with the remaining 7 entries from GB, USA, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Ireland.