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Grande è l'attesa per vedere andare in scena la quarantunesima edizione della Solitaire du Figaro, evento clou dell'estate pronto a regalare emozioni tra il...

Solitaire du Figaro – Pargi – Grande è l’attesa per vedere andare in scena la quarantunesima edizione della Solitaire du Figaro, evento clou dell’estate pronto a regalare emozioni tra il 20 luglio e il 22 agosto. Con quarantotto iscritti, inclusi 8 debuttanti e cinque stranieri, questa classica del Golfo di Biscaglia radunerà alcuni tra i più famosi solitari del panorama velico internazionale, impegnandoli in una serie di tappe che, sommate, porteranno i Figaro a coprire più di 1.700 miglia.

La flotta muoverà da Le Havre e farà tappa a Gijon, Brest, Kinsale prima di raggiungere Cherbourg-Octeville. Un percorso ricco di insidie e passaggi difficoltosi, davanti ai quali sarà indispensabile ricorrere ad astuzia e scaltrezza tattica.

Tra i partecipanti non mancheranno alcuni skipper che la Solitaire du Figaro l’hanno già vinta, anche più di una volta: Michel Desjoyeaux, Philippe Poupon, Jean Le Cam, Guy Cornou, Jean-Marie Vidal, Gilles Gahinet, Nicolas Troussel e Gilles Le Baud. Oltre a loro non si possono poi non considerare tra i favoriti i vari Yann Elies, Frederic Duthil, Thierry Chabagny, Gildas Morvan ed Erwan Tabarly che nonostante non abbiano mai vinto si sono comunque sempre comportati molto bene.

Tra i graditi ritorni spiccano quelli di Sebastien Josse e di Karine Fauconnier. L’ex skipper di ABN Amro Two sarà sulla linea di partenza a sette anni dall’ultima partecipazione. Addirittura dieci gli anni di assenza per la Fauconnier.

Cinque, come si diceva, saranno gli stranieri al via e tra questi il nostro Pietro D’Alì su i.Nova Sailing Team, vincitore di una tappa alcuni anni or sono e vincitore del titolo di miglior debuttante. Da tenere sotto controllo anche Bernard Stamm, già impegnato in campane oceaniche di successo, e il forte “minista” Francisco Lobato.

[La Solitaire du Figaro Press Release] The 41st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro will no doubt be the most important solo sailing event of the summer, from 20th July to 22nd August. With 48 entries, including 8 rookies and 5 non-French entries, some of the finest sailors of the moment will meet for the classic summer race. The superb line-up and a racecourse covering 1,717 nautical miles, made up of a combination of short sprint legs and long marathon runs should guarantee some great competition.

This year there are 48 entries, including 8 are rookies and non-French sailors, proving yet again that La Solitaire is as popular as ever. Le Havre will host the race for the very first time, followed by stopovers in Gijón, Brest, Kinsale and finally Cherbourg-Octeville. A course with many traps punctuated with a number of tricky passages, notably the Raz Blanchard, the Raz de Sein and the Bay of Biscay, which can prove to be difficult at this time of year. Tactics, audacity and steady progress will be essential in order to hope to win.

Race director Jacques Caraës says: “What a fine show of skippers for the 41st edition of La Solitaire! In spite of the current circumstances, 48 competitors will be taking part, and great skippers they are! It is very satisfying. Five previous winners and potentially fifteen sailors with real chances of winning the title are going to be there. I am very happy about seeing some of the “oldies” coming to the class, it is very important for a competition to still attract so many renowned sailors. The younger ones this year are ambitious and well prepared following relentless training in their respective centers. They will have to be reckoned with, and let’s not forget the rookies, eager to compete and the amateurs still providing some great stories for La Solitaire.”

Five previous winners!
They are very determined to win a second title and enter into the tightly closed circle of multiple winners of La Solitaire: Michel Desjoyeaux, Philippe Poupon and Jean Le Cam with 3 victories, Guy Cornou, Jean-Marie Vidal, Gilles Gahinet, Nicolas Troussel and Gilles Le Baud and their 2 wins. Kito de Pavant is making his great comeback after a three-year absence during his Imoca season. He will have serious competition in the 2009 winner Nicolas Lunven, Armel Le Cléac’h, Eric Drouglazet, and Jérémie Beyou, who won two legs last year.

Set on finally reaching the top step of the podium, Yann Eliès, Frédéric Duthil, Thierry Chabagny, Gildas Morvan and Erwan Tabarly will no doubt be in the front lines.

Noticeable comebacks…
Sébastien Josse returns to La Solitaire after two Vendée Globes and a Volvo Ocean Race, following a seven-year break sailing the oceans – a very good omen to start on the Figaro again. Karine Fauconnier’s participation is also a nice surprise. The Baden skipper last took part in La Solitaire in 2000, and this summer she will be once more be at the start line with thousand of miles of sailing experience under her belt.

Eclectic rookies
Not quite so numerous as in preceding years, with 8 competitors, the rookie line-up is set to be of a high standard. From Mini 6.50 to Imoca, each one of the rookies has excelled in his or her field. Swiss-man Bernard Stamm, the Portuguese Francisco Lobato, winner of the Transat 6.50, and Damien Guillou, with several Olympic campaigns to his credit. Also to be watched are Anthony Marchand, Yoann Richomme and Damien Cloarec, newcomers all looking for success. The novices to La Solitaire will be lining up against the veterans of the Figaro circuit, headed by Jean-Paul Mouren who is on his 23rd participation!

The rising figures!
To be watched very closely, Fabien Delahaye, 1st rookie in 2009, Adrien Hardy, winner of the Solidaire du Chocolat 2009, François Gabart, Thomas Rouxel, Paul Meilhat, Alexis Loison, Ronan Treussart and Eric Peron who over the years have been making remarkable progress.

From all walks of life…
5 foreign sailors will be participating in La Solitaire this summer: Jonny Malbon, Pietro D’Ali, Isabelle Joschke, Francisco Lobato and Bernard Stamm. As for the French sailors, most skippers are from Brittany, 29 in 2010, 6 from southern France, 4 from the Atlantic coast, 3 from Normandy and 1 from Paris.

Le Havre, Gijón in Spain, Brest, Kinsale in Ireland and Cherbourg-Octeville, four legs to make up the 41st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro. 48 competitors, all highly determined to get a coveted spot in the top ten. It will be a thrilling competition. Tactics and perseverance will undoubtedly mark the difference, and whatever happens, as each year, there will be strong emotions, and sometimes disappointments… The event starts with the Suzuki Prologue on 25th July in Le Havre, gathering the prestigious sailors for the classic summer race.

Reminder of the key dates:
– Le Havre
Village opens: Tuesday 20th July
Suzuki Prologue: Sunday 25th July
Start of the 1st leg: Tuesday 27th July

– Gijon (515 miles)
Expected arrival of the boats: Friday 30th July
Start of the 2nd leg: Tuesday 3rd August

– Brest (418 miles)
Expected arrival of the boats: Thursday 5th August
Start of the 3rd leg: Monday 9th August

– Kinsale (349 miles)
Expected arrival of the boats: Wednesday 11th August
Start of the 4th leg: Monday 16th August

– Cherbourg-Octeville (435 miles)
Expected arrival of the boats: Thursday 19th August
Closing Parade: Sunday 22nd August

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