French rookie Benoît Tuduri wins La Solitaire du Figaro, Ireland’s Tom Dolan in second place wins the Vivi Trophy for the best international, non-French skipper.
French rookie Benoît Tuduri (CAPSO – En Cavale) made a dream start to his Figaro class offshore racing career when he took victory on the 610 miles Stage 1 of the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro, finishing into Kinsale, Ireland at 07:02:25hrs local time Thursday morning.
Tuduri finished 16 minutes and 21 seconds ahead of Ireland’s homecoming hero Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) whose second place is his best stage finish on this his sixth La Solitaire du Figaro.
Dolan, who admits La Solitaire legs to Kinsale and round the Fastnet bring on more pressure and nerves, sailed an excellent first leg after a modest start out of Caen last Sunday.
Taking the initiative to stay east and pass north of the Scillies he led during Tuesday’s ascent of the Celtic Sea and rounded the Fastnet in the small hours of this morning in fourth position.
He passed Swiss rival Nils Palmieri (Teamwork) and French rookie Julie Simon (DOUZE) on the spinnaker reach to the finish line by staying offshore. Dolan wins the Vivi Trophy for the best international, non-French skipper.
Julie Simon, like Tuduri a first-timer on the race, takes the third step on the podium, some 21 minutes after the winner and three minutes after the ‘Flying Irishman’ as 36 year old Dolan is known in France where he lives.
Simon mixes her sail racing with a full time job and is a native of La Baule on the Loire Atlantic coast. She comes to La Solitaire after three seasons in the Mini 650 class.
She, like Dolan and Tuduri, all of the top five stayed to the right, closer to the rhumb line. Best of the main peloton is Basile Bourgnon (Edenred) who finished sixth, 14 minutes and 28 seconds after Dolan.