Photo: Alexis Courcoux

Dalin 'wins' leg 3

2016 Solitaire du Figaro turning into a Skipper MACIF two horse race

Tuesday July 5th 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Skipper Macif team duo Yoann Richomme and Charlie Dalin will go into the 130-nautical mile final Stage 4 of the Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro knowing that their closest rival for the four-stage solo offshore championship is each other.

Post finish-line Dalin on Skipper Macif 2015 was credited as the winner of Stage 3 following an eight-minute penalty imposed on Xavier Macaire, who reached La Rochelle on Chemins d’Oceans in first place at midday today. After inspection by the judges it was discovered that the lead seals on Macaire’s fire extinguisher attachment were broken and he was penalised two minutes for every 100 miles of the course, as per the race rules statutory penalties. This dropped Macaire to third place on the leg.

“It is a penalty applied systematically,” commented George Priol, President of the International Jury.

Finishing sixth into La Rochelle, Richomme on Skipper Macif 2014 lost 16 minutes and 22 seconds of the lead he had held over Dalin at the start of the 395-mile leg 3, which started from Paimpol on Sunday evening.

Now Richomme will start Wednesday evening’s showdown, the 24-hour, 130-mile circuit northwest to the Isle de Yeu and back to La Rochelle, with a margin trimmed by his teammate to just 14 minutes and eight seconds.

Richomme’s next nearest challenger is the 2009 overall winner of the Solitaire, Nico Lunven on Generali, who is one hour 13 minutes and 32 seconds behind in the overall cumulative elapsed time results.

Leg 3 was defined by a high pressure ridge which blocked the fleet’s passage across the Bay of Biscay. In the unsettled, very light and unpredictable breeze – considered atypical by many of the skippers well-versed in reading all the signs of such anticyclonic transition zones – there were big losses and gains, a painful slow motion rollercoaster of fortunes.

Richomme had looked secure going into the high pressure area yesterday afternoon – predicting a first-in, first-out type of compression – but he lost miles to the chasing pack. Even so he still led at the BXA mark at 0339 local by two minutes and six seconds with 40 miles to sail.

But then Richomme was outflanked on the windward leg and kite reach to the line and lost his hard-earned margin to his rival Dalin, who has been the most consistent finisher so far, placing third into both Cowes and Paimpol.

“This Solitaire is incredible!” Richomme commented on the dock in La Rochelle’s Vieux Port. “It’s been so tough. The third leg was every bit as hard as the first two. We didn’t have any time to get any rest, as the wind was so variable, and we’re kept busy trimming.

“I’m pleased with what I have done,” he added. “I’m still able to lead the fleet and to be leader after 36 hours of racing. I attempted an option this morning, as I was convinced I would be the first to pick up the wind, but unfortunately it didn’t pay off. That’s my way of sailing. It’s what I did in the first two legs. I can’t wait for Thursday evening to see the result. Now, I need to get some rest and it’s going to be hard to be ready for tomorrow. There’s not much time to recuperate and even if it is the same for us all, we know it’s going to be tricky.”

Leg 3 winner Dalin, second overall in 2015 and third in 2014, commented: “The key point is you must never be discouraged. Anything can happen and there can always be chances, and you have to be ready to grab them. There have been so many times when I could have told myself during the Solitaire that it was over and that I would end up 40 or 50 minutes behind at the start of the fourth leg. But I kept my spirits up and remained determined and the opening appeared. I was lucky and managed to grab that opportunity.

“This was another very tiring leg. There was plenty to play for between BXA and Oléron. I saw my chance and got ahead of Yoann. There were stretches under spinnaker, which were fast. I took advantage to get a lot of sleep. I know I lost some ground at that point, but I wanted to get some 15-minute naps to be on form for the end of the race. In the end, I got back 16 minutes from Yoann, so that was a job well done. As for my strategy tomorrow, it will depend on the weather, but I don’t think I’ll change the way I sail.”

“The competition with Pierre is really intense but I have realised that I can’t just focus on what he is doing in a race like this. It would be too hard to spend the whole leg covering him,” commented Harris.

On leg three, top British finisher Nick Cherry on Redshift in 13th, who arrived just two minutes ahead of Alan Roberts in 15th.

Although unlucky for some, Cherry was happy with his result. Setting off from Paimpol in a solid third position, the 31-year old from Southampton set himself up well on the leg and stayed close to the top-10 for the duration – his best performance yet.

“When it all goes right it’s quite simple,” he laughed, visibly tired after no sleep for 24 hours. “I started alright, then Alan (Roberts) and I caught a good shift on the first beat and managed to get away on a lucky break at Ushant.

“It’s all swings and roundabouts with this race,” he continued. “Heading into the long leg across the Bay of Biscay, we didn’t know whether we were going to cross the ridge or sail around the outside of it, but we managed to cross the only patch of no wind and slow up. We had a bit of a shuffle just before the BXA mark and I guess it’s only fair that the guys who got left behind at Ushant had a chance to catch up. Overall I’m happy with how I came out of the leg.”

With three legs down and just one 130-mile coastal sprint to go, Roberts leads the eight Brits in the overall rankings in 16th position. Despite his goal of a top-five finish looking out of reach, the determined skipper will fight with everything he’s got to the finish.

“I’m happy to be the top Brit, but it would be nice to be ahead of a few more of the Frenchies as well,” Roberts joked on the dock. “But we’ve got one more leg to go, and anything can happen.”

Asked about the quick turnover time between Legs 3 and 4 Roberts replied, “I’m hoping I’ll be a bit more rested than I am now, but you can never be rested enough after what we’ve been doing. It’s been a tough race.”

Three places and 12 minutes behind Roberts, Robin Elsey and the newly repaired Artemis 43 finished Leg 3 in 19th position, now 22nd overall.

In the ‘Bizuth’ or rookie division, Frenchman Pierre Quiroga racing Skipper Espoir CEM once again claimed the Rookie top spot in 16th, finishing 16 minutes ahead of Harris in 21st. Although now 2-1 to Quiroga, Harris still maintains his overall Rookie lead by 11 minutes and 14 seconds. With just 130 miles of the 2016 Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro left to race, Leg 4 will be the decider.

“The competition with Pierre is really intense, but I’ve realised that I can’t focus just on what he’s doing in a race like this,” said Harris. “I’ll be keeping an eye on him during Leg 4 for sure, but it would be too hard to spend my leg covering him.”

Moving on to tomorrow’s restart, Harris said, “Going into Leg 4 with one night’s sleep will be better than no sleep like we’ve had on these last legs. Hopefully that rest will be enough to get me round the course. It’s the last night of the Solitaire after all, so I’ll see what I can do.”

After taking a late gamble in the east on route to the finish line, a disappointed Sam Matson racing Chatham finished the third stage in 22nd, after occupying both 11th and then fifth position earlier today. Matson’s Leg 3 result sees him 21st on the overall leaderboard. #SeaChange skipper Andrew Baker finished in 30th, while Rookie Mary Rook racing Artemis 23 is about to finish in 33rd.

In a dramatic twist to the end of the race, Leg 3 winner Xavier Macaire racing Chemins d’Oceans was awarded an eight-minute penalty for a broken seal on his fire extinguisher – a devastating blow for the skipper who over the final hours of the race climbed from 20th to first.

Charlie Dalin, sailing Skipper Macif 2015, now moves into the leg winner position, putting the 32-year-old second on the overall leaderboard. Dalin sits just 14 minutes behind his Skipper Macif teammate Yoann Richomme in first.

After 1,365 miles of solo racing, the 2016 Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro skippers have just 130 miles to go. With only 24 hours between the end of this stage and the beginning of the final leg, competitors will spend their time, eating sleeping and looking at charts before the grand finale gets underway at 1800 tomorrow.



Pos Boat - skipper Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Cumulative Time to 1st
1 SKIPPER MACIF 2014Yoann Richomme 3d 9h 33m 13s 2d 20h 0m 29s 2d 17h 18m 56s 8d 22h 52m 38s -
2 SKIPPER MACIF 2015Charlie Dalin 3d 9h 37m 43s 2d 20h 26m 29s 2d 17h 2m 34s 8d 23h 6m 46s 0h 14m 08s
3 GENERALINicolas Lunven 3d 10h 33m 58s 2d 20h 22m 9s 2d 17h 10m 3s 9d 0h 6m 10s 1h 13m 32s
4 GEDIMATThierry Chabagny 3d 9h 40m 48s 2d 21h 41m 18s 2d 17h 6m 57s 9d 0h 29m 3s 1h 36m 25s
5 ARMOR LUXErwan Tabarly 3d 9h 25m 54s 2d 21h 11m 46s 2d 17h 53m 53s 9d 0h 31m 33s 1h 38m 55s
6 GROUPE FIVAAlexis Loison 3d 10h 59m 14s 2d 21h 15m 29s 2d 17h 9m 9s 9d 1h 23m 52s 2h 31m 14s
7 SOFINTHER - UN MAILLOT POUR LA VIECorentin Douguet 3d 10h 35m 53s 2d 21h 18m 52s 2d 17h 37m 10s 9d 1h 31m 55s 2h 39m 17s
8 SOURIRE A LA VIEChristopher Pratt 3d 10h 54m 27s 2d 21h 50m 37s 2d 17h 24m 37s 9d 2h 9m 41s 3h 17m 03s
9 GUYOT ENVIRONNEMENTVincent Biarnes 3d 10h 52m 15s 2d 21h 59m 31s 2d 17h 26m 36s 9d 2h 18m 22s 3h 25m 44s
10 CHEMINS D'OCEANSXavier Macaire 3d 11h 33m 50s 2d 21h 41m 51s 2d 17h 8m 1s 9d 2h 23m 42s 3h 31m 04s
11 BRETAGNE - CMB PERFORMANCESébastien Simon 3d 11h 48m 17s 2d 21h 35m 5s 2d 17h 36m 25s 9d 2h 59m 47s 4h 07m 09s
12 BELLOCQ PAYSAGESMartin Le Pape 3d 11h 43m 48s 2d 22h 17m 16s 2d 17h 29m 12s 9d 3h 30m 16s 4h 37m 38s
13 TEAM VENDEEBenjamin Dutreux 3d 12h 57m 8s 2d 21h 54m 49s 2d 17h 41m 26s 9d 4h 33m 23s 5h 40m 45s
14 OVIMPEX - SECOURS POPULAIREAnthony Marchand 3d 13h 40m 32s 2d 21h 55m 4s 2d 17h 26m 51s 9d 5h 2m 27s 6h 09m 49s
15 CERCLE VERTGildas Morvan 3d 16h 40m 27s 2d 20h 31m 14s 2d 17h 56m 26s 9d 7h 8m 7s 8h 15m 29s
16 ALAN ROBERTS RACINGAlan Roberts 3d 15h 53m 50s 2d 22h 10m 58s 2d 17h 42m 21s 9d 7h 47m 9s 8h 54m 31s
17 FAUN ENVIRONNEMENTArnaud Godart Philippe 3d 13h 23m 5s 2d 22h 31m 54s 2d 20h 52m 22s 9d 8h 47m 21s 9h 54m 43s
18 REDSHIFTNick Cherry 3d 16h 59m 11s 2d 22h 34m 24s 2d 17h 40m 28s 9d 9h 14m 3s 10h 21m 25s
19 ARTEMIS 77Will Harris * 3d 17h 7m 55s 2d 22h 7m 55s 2d 17h 58m 46s 9d 9h 14m 36s 10h 21m 58s
20 SKIPPER ESPOIR CEMPierre Quiroga * 3d 17h 2m 40s 2d 22h 40m 20s 2d 17h 42m 50s 9d 9h 25m 50s 10h 33m 12s
21 LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTEDamien Guillou 3d 16h 38m 17s 2d 22h 27m 7s 2d 18h 33m 19s 9d 9h 38m 43s 10h 46m 05s
22 REGION NORMANDIESophie Faguet 3d 16h 6m 35s 2d 22h 37m 0s 2d 19h 36m 42s 9d 10h 20m 17s 11h 27m 39s
23 CHATHAMSam Matson 3d 18h 34m 24s 2d 21h 51m 24s 2d 17h 59m 7s 9d 10h 24m 55s 11h 32m 17s
24 UN BATEAU POUR DEMAINArthur Le Vaillant 3d 15h 46m 20s 2d 23h 5m 38s 2d 19h 35m 49s 9d 10h 27m 47s 11h 35m 09s
25 ARTEMIS 43Robin Elsey 3d 18h 52m 14s 2d 22h 40m 8s 2d 17h 56m 8s 9d 11h 28m 30s 12h 35m 52s
26 #SEACHANGEAndrew Baker 3d 18h 53m 5s 2d 23h 14m 51s 2d 19h 36m 30s 9d 13h 44m 26s 14h 51m 48s
27 TEAMWORKJustine Mettraux * 3d 23h 13m 37s 2d 22h 15m 50s 2d 17h 53m 4s 9d 15h 22m 31s 16h 29m 53s
28 PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAMClaire Pruvot 3d 17h 19m 12s 2d 22h 44m 41s 2d 23h 30m 15s 9d 15h 34m 8s 16h 41m 30s
29 TEAM VENDEE FORMATIONMarc Noesmoen * 3d 22h 36m 2s 2d 22h 54m 0s 2d 18h 20m 35s 9d 15h 50m 37s 16h 57m 59s
30 SAFERAILDamien Cloarec 3d 23h 42m 0s 2d 22h 12m 0s 2d 18h 1m 12s 9d 15h 55m 12s 17h 02m 34s
31 PRESQU'ILE DE RHUYS – MIRAMARBenoît Hochart 3d 23h 48m 2s 2d 22h 51m 48s 2d 18h 13m 48s 9d 16h 53m 38s 18h 01m 00s
32 ARTEMIS 37Mary Rook * 4d 0h 7m 45s 2d 23h 3m 14s 2d 23h 25m 49s 9d 22h 36m 48s 23h 44m 10s
33 HORS LA RUEYves Ravot * 3d 23h 51m 27s 2d 23h 4m 6s 3d 1h 9m 15s 10d 0h 4m 48s 25h 12m 10s
34 LES PERLES DE ST BARTHArthur Prat 4d 7h 16m 55s 2d 22h 39m 38s 2d 18h 39m 38s 10d 0h 36m 11s 25h 43m 33s
35 ARTEMIS 23Hugh Brayshaw * 3d 23h 39m 21s 2d 22h 45m 10s 3d 5h 15m 4s 10d 3h 39m 35s 28h 46m 57s
36 BRETAGNE - CMB ESPOIRAymeric Decroocq * 4d 10h 0m 50s 2d 22h 59m 59s 2d 19h 29m 45s 10d 4h 30m 34s 29h 37m 56s
37 #THEOENFIGAROThéo Moussion * 4d 6h 16m 30s 3d 1h 15m 29s 3d 3h 15m 4s 10d 10h 47m 3s 35h 54m 25s
38 DEAUVILLECécile Laguette * 4d 7h 50m 50s 2d 23h 22m 54s 3d 5h 15m 4s 10d 12h 28m 48s 37h 36m 10s
39 RENOVAL / 1 JOUR 1 HOMME 1 ARBRETolga Ekrem Pamir 4d 9h 50m 50s 3d 4h 51m 13s 3d 2h 2m 17s 10d 16h 44m 20s 41h 51m 42s

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