The Solitaire du Figaro 2011

Perros Guirec – Caen – Dun Laoghaire – Les Sables d’Olonne – Dieppe – from 29 July to 28 August

With a 1,695 mile course between the English Channel, the Atlantic and the Irish Sea, the 2011 vintage of the Solitaire du Figaro promises to be first-rate for the solo sailors taking part. The 320 miles that make up the first stage between Perros Guirec and Caen will serve as a tough introduction for the competitors, who will have to escape the various pitfalls and currents along the coastline of France’s Côte d’Armor region. Once clear of land they can go and ‘play’ along the British coastline, before setting a course for the Baie de Seine in North-East France. Act 2 sets out from Normandy on a 470 mile battle to the only overseas stopover of this 2011 edition of the Solitaire du Figaro. After a coastal course along the shores of the Cotentin and as far as the Cap de la Hague, competitors will head towards Land’s End, at the South-West tip of England, then on to Ireland and Dun Laoghaire situated to the South-East of Dublin. The third leg will span some 475 miles between the Emerald Isle and Les Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast, via what will always be a tricky negotiation of the North-West tip of Brittany and the passage of the islands of Groix, Belle-Ile-en-Mer and Yeu. Finally, it’s between the Vendée region and Dieppe that the event’s epilogue will be written, after a rounding of Brittany, another passage of the Raz Blanchard and a finish which, some two years ago, had some nasty surprises in store for a number of sailors, who remained trapped beneath the Norman cliffs. Again something rather special to consecrate an exceptional sailor and enable Jean-Pierre Nicol to express the true range of his talent.

JP’s point of view :

“The course for the 2011 edition is doubtless a little more coastal than usual and I admit that I’m fairly pleased about that. Generally I feel less at ease over the big sections, where there is a lot of lateral separation. Obviously I still feel positive about last year’s Irish stage and in events like this confidence is important. There’s going to be a fair few passages of the Raz Blanchard and with it comes the promise that you’re taking your life in your hands each time. The fleet will certainly be spread out at the finish and we’ll have to be vigilant so as not to miss out on the chance to pull a blinder should the opportunity arise. We’ll begin with a fairly short initial leg which won’t be a bad introduction. Whether or not there’s a big split between the fleet, the next stage will ensue… I know that I’m going to have to stay with the frontrunners and not miss my chance. Beyond that, there will be some fine warlike stages where it’ll be necessary to really give it your all, especially in the Irish Sea”.

 

  Programme for the Solitaire du Figaro From 23 to 31 July: Perros Guirec Saturday 23 July: Opening of the race village Friday 29 July: Prologue Eric Bompard Sunday 31 July: Start of the 1st 320 mile leg to Caen From 2 to 7 August: Caen Tuesday 2 August: Scheduled finish of the boats Sunday 7 August: Start of the 2nd 470 mile leg to Dun Laoghaire (Ireland) From 10 to 14 August: Dun Laoghaire (Ireland) Wednesday 10 August: Scheduled finish of the boats Sunday 14 August: Start of the 3rd leg to Les Sables d’Olonne (475 miles) From 17 to 21 August: Les Sables d’Olonne Wednesday 17 August: Scheduled finish of the boats Sunday 21 August: Start of the 4th leg to Dieppe (430 miles) From 24 to 28 August – Dieppe Wednesday 24 August: Scheduled finish of the boats Sunday 28 August: Conclusion to Racing   >> Plus d’infos : www.lasolitaire.com