Fred Duthil of France Takes Stage 3 Win When Opportunities Knock, Le Cléac’h Retains Overall Lead, Ireland’s Dolan Up to Fifth Overall.
Duthil (Technique Voilse/Cabinet Bourhis Generali) scored an opportunist’s victory when he took the winning gun for Stage 3 on the 51st La Solitaire de Figaro off Saint Nazaire.
The combined effects of very light winds, tidal currents and the multiple transition zones allowed many skippers to make big recoveries from deep in the fleet, including both Duthil and series leader Armel Le Cléac’h.
At his lowest Duthil was 33rd more than 12 miles behind the leaders.
When, ahead of him the fleet slowed and split, he was one of three skippers who stayed south, offshore, sailing outside Belle Isle.
He made back good miles to cross the finish line at 17:45:43hrs French time, 14 minutes and 34 seconds ahead of second placed Marc Mallaret (CER Occitanie), who is provisionally first rookie.
With Adrien Hardy (Ocean Attitude) third at 18:37:57hrs.
Twice overall winner Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) was on typically predatory form during the ‘bloodbath of Belle Isle’.
He stayed focused and threaded his way through the islands to take fourth, and retain the top spot on the General Classification by 10 minutes and 43 seconds over Duthil.
Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) crossed eighth, just behind Dolan. His best finish of the race so far elevates himself to tenth overall.
Sam Goodchild was one of the hardest hit by the voracious calms which were largely unexpected. Goodchild dropped from 2nd to finish 29th nearly three hours after Duthil.
Stage 4 which will leave Saturday from Saint-Nazaire et agglomération for a 24 hour final sprint.
La Solitaire du Figaro Leaders after 3 Stages – – Total Time (35 entries)
1st Armel Le Cleac’h – – 10j 1h 26mn 46sec
2nd Frederic Duthil – – 10j 1h 37mn 29sec
3rd Tom Laperche – – 10j 2h 27mn 53sec
4th Adrien Hardy – – 10j 2h 39mn 32sec
5th Tom Dolan – – 10j 2h 56mn 34sec
6th Fabien Delahaye – – 10j 2h 58mn 3sec
7th Pierre Leboucher – – 10j 3h 14mn 32sec
8th Yann Elies – – 10j 3h 29mn 54sec
9th Pierre Quiroga – – 10j 3h 30mn 54sec
10th Alan Roberts – – 10j 3h 37mn 56sec
11th Xavier Macaire – – 10j 3h 52mn 22sec
12th Kevin Bloch – – 10j 4h 0mn 26sec
13th Phil Sharp – – 10j 4h 8mn 1sec
14th Alexis Loison – – 10j 4h 8mn 50sec
15th Jack Bouttell – – 10j 4h 10mn 34sec
16th Alberto Bona – – 10j 4h 10mn 53sec
17th Sam Goodchild – – 10j 4h 14mn 54sec
18th Nils Palmieri – – 10j 4h 18mn 59sec
19th Anthony Marchand – – 10j 4h 38mn 38sec
20th Lois Berrehar – – 10j 4h 39mn 24sec