Photo: Alexis Courcoux

Back to back victories for Yann Elies

Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir enters Solitaire du Figaro history books

Saturday June 22nd 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Yann Elies and his Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir crossed the finish line off Dieppe at 20:05:09 UTC to take second on the fourth and final leg from Roscoff, but overall honours in the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro.

On cumulative elapsed time, Elies won by 26 minutes and 30 seconds from Xavier Macaire on Skipper Herault and was 33 minutes 6 seconds ahead of leg 3 winner Morgan Lagraviere on Vendee in third. Over the last 24 hours both Macaire and Lagraviere had been in a position to take overall victory in this year’s race, but ultimately it was Elies who prevailed.

Significantly after he won last year, Elies is the only back to back winner in the race’s recent history (the only other person ever to have scored consecutive victories being Guy Cornu in 1975-6). He also joins the elite club of double Solitaire winners, including fellow competitors in this race Armel le Cleac’h (Banque Populaire), Jeremie Beyou (Maitre CoQ) and Gilles le Baud (Carnac Thalasso & SPA), plus in past years Cornu, Nicolas Troussel, Jean Marie Vidal, and Gilles Gahinet. Only Jean le Cam, Michel Desjoyeaux and Philippe Poupon, remain the super-elite, each winners of the race three times.

For Elies, 39, this is his 14th participation in La Solitaire du Figaro, his first having been back in 1997. Aside from his being a regular fixture in this event, Elies is also a two time winner of the Jules Verne Trophy on both occasions with Bruno Peyron, first on board Orange 1 in 2002 and then with Orange 2 in 2005. In 2000 he competed in The Race aboard the Cam Lewis-skippered Team Adventure maxi-catamaran. However he is perhaps best known for competing in 2008 Vendee Globe when he had to be rescued from his yacht Generali by the Australian navy aft breaking his femur mid-Southern Ocean. He is also a second generation Figaro sailor – his father Patrick won the predecessor to La Solitaire, the Course de l’Aurore, in 1979.

Elies started this year’s Solitaire du Figaro in emphatic fashion. On leg one he survived the big conditions at Cape Finisterre and by heading offshore managed to find breeze when the wind shut down elsewhere on the course for the final run down the west coast of Spain and Portugal. His victory into Porto gave him a 44 minute 4 second advantage over second placed Fred Duthil on Sepalumic. His overall lead grew to 57 minutes 6 seconds after finishing fifth into Gijon on leg 2.

But on leg 3 Elies’ fortunes turned on their head. First he chose the wrong side of the course en route to Ile d’Yeu that left him mid-fleet. But worse was to befall him when, as the wind piped up off Belle Ile, Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir’s forestay came tumbling to the deck. This might have been game over, but anticipating the wind freeing up Elies limped on to finish 21st into Roscoff, leaving him third overall, still in the fight, 32 minutes 28 seconds behind the new overall leader Fred Duthil, with leg 3 winner Morgan Lagraviere on Vendee just 2 minutes 32 seconds ahead of him.

In leg four any three of these skippers, plus fourth placed Xavier Macaire on Skipper Herault, a further 8 minutes and 7 seconds back from Elies, were in with a chance of claiming overall victory. First Duthil fell by the wayside on the long big wind run down the south coast of the UK last night, at one point dropping back to 28 miles from the leader. Lagraviere looked to be in good shape rounding Wolf Rock in first place, but lost his advantage by diving inshore before Start Point. Macaire was leading from Start Point until one third of the way back across the Channel. But ultimately overall victory belonged to Elies. He match raced and was eventually overtaken by Adrien Hardy coming into the Antifer mark off Le Havre, but he had done enough and overall victory was his.

On his arrival a jubilant but tired Elies commented: “It's incredible. Xavier and Adrien were two warriors and put up a really good fight. Ultimately Xavier could not play the final because of the problems he had with his water ballast. To win the Solitaire in two consecutive years - it is a dream. Few people have done that. Even in Roscoff I did not believe, it was possible, at least not 100%. For once, I got off to a good start and that changed everything, it seemed to click and it just went perfectly.”

Adrien Hardy arrived in Cascais less than three minutes ahead of Elies to win leg 4.

"I'm really happy because it was really hard with a fight throughout, a very tough competition! I've managed to keep a bit of energy even though I have been very, very tired. I am very happy to win this leg because it has been the most difficult of this Solitaire."

Leg 4 finish times

Pos Boat Skipper Finished at Time Av spd
1 AGIR RECOUVREMENT Adrien Hardy 22/06/2013 22:02:20   9.12
2 GROUPE QUEGUINER - LEUCEMIE ESPOIR Yann Elies 22/06/2013 22:05:09 0d 0h 2mn 49sec 9.11
3 SKIPPER HERAULT Xavier Macaire 22/06/2013 22:18:32 0d 0h 16mn 12sec 9.08
4 DLBC Yoann Richomme 22/06/2013 22:25:16 0d 0h 22mn 56sec 9.06
5 VENDEE Morgan Lagraviere 22/06/2013 22:40:47 0d 0h 38mn 27sec 9.02
6 MAITRE COQ Jeremie Beyou 22/06/2013 22:44:04 0d 0h 41mn 44sec 9.01
7 BANQUE POPULAIRE Armel Le Cleac'h 22/06/2013 22:51:49 0d 0h 49mn 29sec 8.99
8 TBS Michel Desjoyeaux 22/06/2013 22:56:51 0d 0h 54mn 31sec 8.98
9 BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand 22/06/2013 22:59:13 0d 0h 56mn 53sec 8.97
10 BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR Corentin Horeau 22/06/2013 23:19:51 0d 1h 17mn 31sec 8.92
11 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan 22/06/2013 23:20:31 0d 1h 18mn 11sec 8.91
12 SEIXO HABITAT Julien Villion 22/06/2013 23:28:05 0d 1h 25mn 45sec 8.89
13 SHELTERBOX - DISASTER RELIEF Sam Goodchild 22/06/2013 23:28:43 0d 1h 26mn 23sec 8.89
14 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny 22/06/2013 23:32:15 0d 1h 29mn 55sec 8.88
15 GROUPE FIVA Alexis Loison 22/06/2013 23:36:45 0d 1h 34mn 25sec 8.87
16 MAGMA STRUCTURES Nick Cherry 22/06/2013 23:48:58 0d 1h 46mn 38sec 8.84
17 BERNARD CONTROLS Jean-Pierre Nicol 22/06/2013 23:56:20 0d 1h 54mn 0sec 8.82
18 GENERALI Nicolas Lunven 22/06/2013 23:58:33 0d 1h 56mn 13sec 8.82
19 SEPALUMIC Frederic Duthil 23/06/2013 00:02:00 0d 1h 59mn 40sec 8.81
20 SKIPPER MACIF 2012 Fabien delahaye 23/06/2013 00:06:30 0d 2h 4mn 10sec 8.8
21 ARTEMIS 77 Jackson Bouttell 23/06/2013 00:17:25 0d 2h 15mn 5sec 8.77
22 DFDS SEAWAYS Frederic Rivet 23/06/2013 00:46:22 0d 2h 44mn 2sec 8.7
23 DESTINATION DUNKERQUE Thomas Ruyant 23/06/2013 00:58:42 0d 2h 56mn 22sec 8.67
24 ROCKFISH Henry Bomby 23/06/2013 00:59:43 0d 2h 57mn 23sec 8.67
25 IN EXTENSO - Experts comptables Nicolas Jossier 23/06/2013 01:09:19 0d 3h 6mn 59sec 8.65
26 LAFONT PRESSE Mathieu Girolet 23/06/2013 01:09:24 0d 3h 7mn 4sec 8.65
27 LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS Simon Troel 23/06/2013 01:14:43 0d 3h 12mn 23sec 8.63
28 FULL IRISH David Kenefick 23/06/2013 01:18:14 0d 3h 15mn 54sec 8.62
29 ADOCIS / IB REMARKETING Benoit Hochart 23/06/2013 01:22:08 0d 3h 19mn 48sec 8.61
30 ARTEMIS 37 Edmund Hill 23/06/2013 01:24:24 0d 3h 22mn 4sec 8.61
31 REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIER DE France Amaiur Alfaro 23/06/2013 04:29:40 0d 6h 27mn 20sec 8.19
32 CARNAC THALASSO & SPA Gilles Le Baud 23/06/2013 05:10:51 0d 7h 8mn 31sec 8.1
33 PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM Claire Pruvot 23/06/2013 05:42:36 0d 7h 40mn 16sec 8.04
34 GROUPE SNEF Jean-Paul Mouren 23/06/2013 06:51:38 0d 8h 49mn 18sec 7.9
ABD JEHOL Didier Bouillard      
DNC JOANNA Louis-Maurice Tannyeres      
ABD SKIPPER MACIF 2011 Paul meilhat      
ABD THERMACOTE France Yannig livory      
ABD PRATI BÛCHES Vincent Biarnes      

Overall results (cumulative elapsed times after four legs)

Pos Boat, skipper Cumulative time TTL
1 GROUPE QUEGUINER - LEUCEMIE ESPOIRYann Elies 10d 5h 28m 23s -
2 SKIPPER HERAULT, Xavier Macaire 10d 5h 54m 53s 0h 26m 30s
3 VENDEE, Morgan Lagravière 10d 6h 1m 29s 0h 33m 06s
4 DLBC, Yoann Richomme 10d 6h 21m 22s 0h 52m 59s
5 MAITRE COQ, Jérémie Beyou 10d 6h 48m 23s 1h 20m 00s
6 SEPALUMIC, Frédéric Duthil 10d 6h 52m 46s 1h 24m 23s
7 TBS, Michel Desjoyeaux 10d 7h 29m 31s 2h 01m 08s
8 BANQUE POPULAIRE, Armel Le Cléac'h 10d 7h 32m 3s 2h 03m 40s
9 GROUPE FIVA, Alexis Loison 10d 7h 34m 52s 2h 06m 29s
10 GENERALI, Nicolas Lunven 10d 7h 52m 22s 2h 23m 59s
11 SHELTERBOX - DISASTER RELIEF, Sam Goodchild 10d 7h 59m 42s 2h 31m 19s
12 SKIPPER MACIF 2012, Fabien Delahaye 10d 8h 14m 37s 2h 46m 14s
13 AGIR RECOUVREMENT, Adrien Hardy 10d 8h 33m 1s 3h 04m 38s
14 CERCLE VERT, Gildas Morvan 10d 8h 35m 10s 3h 06m 47s
15 BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE, Anthony Marchand 10d 8h 59m 15s 3h 30m 52s
16 GEDIMAT, Thierry Chabagny 10d 9h 50m 37s 4h 22m 14s
17 MAGMA STRUCTURES, Nick Cherry 10d 11h 7m 45s 5h 39m 22s
18 BERNARD CONTROLS, Jean-Pierre Nicol 10d 11h 24m 51s 5h 56m 28s
19 DFDS SEAWAYS, Frédéric Rivet 10d 12h 21m 1s 6h 52m 38s
20 BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR, Corentin Horeau 10d 12h 27m 38s 6h 59m 15s
21 ARTEMIS 77, Jackson Bouttell * 10d 12h 28m 9s 6h 59m 46s
22 SEIXO HABITAT, Julien Villion 10d 12h 28m 46s 7h 00m 23s
23 IN EXTENSO experts comptables, Nicolas Jossier 10d 13h 40m 43s 8h 12m 20s
24 ROCKFISH, Henry Bomby 10d 14h 32m 36s 9h 04m 13s
25 DESTINATION DUNKERQUE, Thomas Ruyant 10d 14h 34m 31s 9h 06m 08s
26 LAFONT PRESSE, Matthieu Girolet 10d 15h 24m 36s 9h 56m 13s
27 ADOCIS / IB-Remarketing, Benoît Hochart * 10d 16h 37m 37s 11h 09m 14s
28 FULL IRISH, David Kenefick * 10d 17h 42m 25s 12h 14m 02s
29 ARTEMIS 37, Edmund Hill * 10d 20h 12m 31s 14h 44m 08s
30 LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS, Simon Troel * 10d 21h 40m 6s 16h 11m 43s
31 PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM, Claire Pruvot * 11d 0h 9m 14s 18h 40m 51s
32 GROUPE SNEF, Jean Paul Mouren 11d 2h 29m 54s 21h 01m 31s
33 CARNAC THALASSO & SPA, Gilles Le Baud 11d 6h 37m 7s 25h 08m 44s
34 REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIERS DE FRANCE, Amaiur Alfaro 11d 9h 5m 40s 27h 37m 17s
35 JEHOL, Didier Bouillard 8d 9h 34m 0s -
35 JOANNA, Louis Maurice Tannyères 9d 2h 24m 53s -
35 LA SOLIDARITÉ MUTUALISTE, Damien Guillou 7d 22h 12m 17s -
35 PRATI'BÛCHES, Vincent Biarnes 8d 0h 10m 23s -
35 REGION BASSE NORMANDIE, Joan Ahrweiller * 8d 13h 37m 21s -
35 SKIPPER MACIF 2011, Paul Meilhat 7d 22h 15m 37s -
35 THERMACOTE FRANCE, Yannig Livory 8d 5h 38m 25s -


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