La Solitaire du Figaro 2013

An exceptional edition starting out from Bordeaux. A new city hosting the start for the first time, a demanding course, a top class line-up: everything is in place for this 44th edition of the Solitaire du Figaro to be exceptional. The first big moment will on the 24th May with the boats parading through Bordeaux to moor in the La Lune marina in the heart of the city. A lot of special events will be taking place between now and the start on 2nd June. The Figaro Bénéteau boats will be putting on a show with timed runs in the harbour. It will be after a week-long pre-start phase that the 42 sailors that are competing will set sail from Pauillac to head for Porto (Portugal), another port that will host the event for the first time. This first leg could be tricky, as they have to make their way out of the Gironde Estuary before crossing the Bay of Biscay and rounding Cape Finisterre. The second leg will take the sailors to Gijón (Spain), a more traditional stopover as the Solitaire has already been there twelve times. Once again, there will be plenty of hurdles along the way: sailing around the Iberian Peninsula, rounding Cape Finisterre again and up and down the Bay of Biscay before finishing on the coast of Spain. The next crossing of the Bay of Biscay is equally complicated, as is rounding the tip of Brittany, as the third leg sees the racers heading for the first time to Roscoff in Morlaix Bay. As for the final leg, it will take the fleet to Dieppe. After a return trip down to the tip of Brittany, the solo sailors will cross the Channel before a long sail up the coast of Southern England before they head back down to Normandy. With 1938 miles to cover before 23rd June, Jean-Pierre Nicol has got his work cut out for his seventh attempt at the Solitaire du Figaro. Particularly as the line-up is exceptional with six former winners and some very skilled racers, who, just like the skipper of Bernard Controls, will be trying to add victory in this legendary event to their list of successes.