Concluding La Solitaire Du Figaro 2023
“Sometimes La Solitaire is a war, sometimes a dance, sometimes a chess match.”
After the skipper of Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan had made history by winning the opening stage into Kinsale from Caen, Dolan was one of the many left drifting on not one, but two tides off Roscoff, losing more than a dozen hours against the solo sailors who finished top three today, Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire), Basile Bourgnon (Edenred) and Lois Berrehar (Skipper MACIF 2022).
Dolan dropped to 17th overall and, despite a great final stage of the race, finishing eighth into Piriac-sur-Mer, Dolan ended his sixth La Solitaire du Figaro in 18th.
“It was quiet a race, I felt good all the way through this stage and quite comfortable until very early this morning when I lost my temper when I caught something in my keel. It took me a while to realize it and the others passed me”
said the sailor who grew up in County Meath and now lives in Concarneau.
He is disappointed with his final finish position which falls short of his 5th in 2020 7th in 2022, but he will always treasure the victory into Kinsale.
“Winning and doing it at home in Ireland was an incredible moment, without doubt the best of my sporting career!”
LEG 1 WINNER!
After crossing the finish line fo the first leg of the Soltaire du Figaro, Tom was then promotoed to leg one winner after a Jury decision regarding the first place finisher due to a course error.
By finishing on the podium at the first stage of the race, Tom has set good foundations for the rest of his Solitaire Du Figaro 2023! After what he called an "unsatisfactory start to the season", he was keen to perform well as the local on leg one of the race and build up his confidence for what is to follow.
On Sunday 3rd of September Dolan set off again for the second leg of the race. Racing from Kinsale to Roscoff (Brittany) Via the South of the Isle of Man. Tom had a great start in very light winds in Kinsale on Sunday. The competitors will have plenty of time to discover the Irish Coast by the sea as the forecast is light for the next few days.
Tom Dolan Set's Sail Again
Dolan will be the only Irish Helm to partake in this year’s Solitaire Du Figaro race. The Race begins this Sunday the 27th of August from Caen, France. 32 helms will challenge in this years edition and it will be Dolan's sixth consecutive Solitaire Du Figaro.
Other Sailing legends that will be embarking on the race include Damian Foxhall, Michel Desjoyeaux, Armel Le Cléac'h and Jean Le Cam to name only a few.
The Solitaire Du Figaro is a Solo race that travels between France, England, Ireland and Spain. Several towns, including Crosshaven, Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale, Dublin, Dingle, etc. have been stopovers on the race in the past. And now this year In the races’ 54th edition they will travel back to the south of Ireland, stopping over in Kinsale from the 30th – 3rd September. Arriving between Wednesday Evening (30th) and Thursday Morning (31st).
Tom will be sailing a Figaro Beneteau 3. A lot of Irish sailors have taken part in the race since its creation in 1970; but none has ever reached the podium.
Dolan was nominated for Sailor of the Year at the Irish Sailing awards in March 2023 for his 7th place finish in the 2022 race. His third year running with a top 10 finish.
Tom and his team hope to see some familiar faces on their stopover in Kinsale and its sure to be another great race. Best of Luck Tom!