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The Solo Maitre CoQ Turns 20

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  • The Solo Maitre CoQ Turns 20

    As planned, at 12:08 this Thursday, the big race for the 20th Solo Ma?tre CoQ kicked off off Les Sables d'Olonne. The 30 Figarists in the running then set off for a 340-mile loop between R?, Yeu, Belle-Ile and the Rochebonne plateau, propelled by a south-easterly breeze blowing between 12 and 14 knots. It was in close ranks, led by Alexis Loison (REEL Group), that they then began their descent towards the Ile de R?. Where, shortly after the overflow of the Baleines lighthouse, the situation should become much more complicated during a transition phase to be negotiated. A delicate phase which could well be the key point of the race before a clear strengthening of the wind and, by extension, an end of the race on top speed!

    “The beginning will be played in the soft and the end in the wind. You don't have to get caught up in the first few miles and know how to go fast afterwards. The match is going to be very interesting and very complete. There will be options but I think that above all we will have to be very fast on this big race", summed up Hugo Dhallenne (YC Saint-Lunaire), the winner of the coastal course disputed yesterday and current leader in the provisional general classification of the Solo Master CoQ. It is, in fact, an offshore regatta in two stages that should be played out. A "bi-taste" round in a way, as confirmed by Christian Dumard, the event's weather consultant: " if the start was given in good conditions, the wind will start to weaken at the end of the day and become very soft during the night, with less than 6 knots. The section between the western tip of the Ile de R? then the Ile d'Yeu promises to be quite complex”. In fact, on this part of the course, the solo sailors will have to be quite clever. Juggle as well as possible between the effects of the coast and the announced return of the wind from the west.

    The transition justice of the peace?

    “ This transition zone will not be easy to manage with the few tools we have on board. We will have to be opportunistic to get out in a good position because afterwards we will be on legs where it will be difficult to come back. It will probably go a little ahead, " commented, for his part, Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region), well aware that significant gaps are likely to be created quite quickly and that the night is likely to be very short before the wind strengthens. In detail, between Yeu and Les Birvideaux, a south-southwesterly flow is expected to establish between 15 and 20 knots then to strengthen during the descent towards the Rochebonne plateau up to 20-25 knots, even 30. Enough to guarantee a tonic end of the race and thus envisage the first arrivals in Port Olona on Saturday, between 3 and 6 p.m.

    A full throttle limit switch

    “ After Yeu, it will be mainly speed. It will have to be managed well so as not to break. The descent between Les Birvideaux and Les Sables d'Olonne clearly promises to be quite sporty, at night, full throttle under spinnaker, with a lot of maneuvers to do and fishing boats everywhere. It will inevitably be a bit stressful ,” said Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa – Kingspan), determined to finish in the Top 5 in this big race with a coefficient of 3. A race which will undoubtedly be decisive for the general classification of the competition. “ Given the announced scenario, experience could well be an asset. In any case, I hope so. We will do the best. One thing is certain: we will arrive very burnt, all wet and probably a little frozen. "

    They said :

    Laurent Givry (Cap Horn): “We're going to set off in about fifteen knots to reach the Ile de R? before the pace slows down. The first night therefore promises to be a little intense in the sense that we risk not getting much sleep. My first objective will already be to finish the race. As I don't sail much, it's a good challenge. I hope to have a clean race. The rest will just be a bonus. We're going to have very varied conditions and fortunately, we sailed in quite a bit of wind during the last week before the race. That's a little reassuring, especially because the second night is likely to be a little hot, in very tonic conditions, upwind, with 25 knots of wind established according to the files, and some rain. I'm already cold before leaving, it promises! "

    Paul Morvan (Foricher – Gorse Flower): “We are going to have a bit of everything during this great race. We're going to start with a bit of wind since we're going to leave with 12-13 knots up to R?. It's going to be super nice. The course will make us shave the island a bit, so it will be interesting. Afterwards, what's going to be a little hot to negotiate, it's a short passage without too much wind this night. That's going to be the key point of this regatta and that's where you'll have to be good. Finally, we're going to have a bit of wind so it's going to be sporty and it might be a little hot but it's going to do. I am one of the rookies and this race will allow me to learn things about myself, about the boat. The goal will be to avoid big mistakes, to come back with all the sails in good condition. However, if there is a result behind the rookie ranking, it will always be good to take but it is not the primary objective, let's say. "

    Julie Simon (CP&A Corporate Finance) : “I'm leaving for this big leg in the same state of mind as yesterday on the coast, that is to say without pressure. I try to keep it simple and have fun. I haven't trained much this winter. I did it all alone in my corner without being able to compare myself. I'm here above all to gain experience and do my best. A very complete stage awaits us. I like to start in softer conditions to acclimatize myself well. Then we'll be inside. There will be long fast edges so it will be cool. I like when it's super complete. In this context, the game is generally very open. I think despite everything that the experience is likely to pay off, especially at the end of the course. For my part, I risk being much less comfortable than some on the autopilot settings. I'm going to try to hold on like yesterday on the inshore. We will see what it gives. "

    Robin Marais (Ma Chance ? Moi Aussi): “It was good to start the race for a 5th place on the coastal yesterday. It made me happy to start this season. Unlike other years, I haven't sailed much this winter. The offshore race that awaits us is clearly the big issue for this Solo Ma?tre CoQ. It's a very different exercise from yesterday in any case. I think I can do some good stuff because it looks pretty windy. Part of it is really not going to be easy, between the Ile de R? and the Ile d'Yeu, with a transition to manage. I think it's going to be important to succeed in this section so as not to be completely unhooked from the head of the fleet. That being the case, I think it's going to be essentially a sprint race and normally that should be fine with me. At the very end, you'll have to see what the little round trip to the Houlographe buoy looks like. We know that we can expect certain hazards. It's really a comeback for me. I arrived in Les Sables d'Olonne with only two days of training in my hands and in addition I changed boats this winter. The goal is to resume quietly and have fun, even if I'm behind. "

    Malo Wessely (Blutopia) : "It's my first race in Figaro B?n?teau so my goal is to gain as much experience as possible, to try not to make big mistakes that would handicap me afterwards in terms of the sails. . We're going to have to be very careful about the little wind transition that we're going to have on the course tonight. My goal is really to progress. I don't have a goal. I come here to do what I have to do and necessarily to give the best of myself on this course but I don't put too much pressure. I'm happy with the conditions, it's going to be very complete and very nice. It's going to be a bit wet and windy at the end. You will have to be well equipped but I have everything you need on board, starting with the hat and the gloves "
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