Conrad Update: Summing up La Solitaire du Figaro

Conrad Update: Summing up La Solitaire du Figaro

Tuesday August 30 2011 Author: conrad Location: United Kingdom

It’s difficult to sum up La Solitaire du Figaro in a single blog! Crossing the line in Dieppe certainly ranks as one of my best sailing moments. This race is one of raw emotion. There is no other race that I know of that combines Olympic standard fleet racing and highly complex navigation and weather tactics with the demands of sailing a powerful thirty footer alone under extreme fatigue. It was brilliant and with the job now done, I can certainly say that the learning curve has been steep but valuable.

The spirit of the competitors is what makes this race mean so much and has kept its format, largely unchanged by commercial pressures for nearly 40 years. Whilst there is much discussion about the new event organisers, Pen Duick taking over from 2012 bringing new commercial changes to the event, it will be hard to imagine La Solitaire will be anything other than a fierce battle of the very best solo sailors in the world determined to make their mark on this legendary event.

I feel privileged to have been a part of 2011. A year that has seen the biggest contingent of British sailors take the start and a race course that has witnessed some of the closest finishes in the history of the race. Whilst on paper the British sailors results may have looked a little lacklustre, there were moments when we made our mark on this fleet. I certainly feel that with the right focus, training and dedication we can make an impact on this race in future years.

So where next? I’m going to commit to doing a second season in the Figaro starting with the winter training in La Grande Motte and finessing a programme that will build on this year. My approach to securing a new Vendee Globe campaign will stay focussed with the Figaro at least in the short term as I believe a British Vendee winner will only come from this pathway. From 2013, I’d like to back in the IMOCA 60 Class and preparing towards another Vendee Globe.

I’d like to give a huge thanks to DMS for their title sponsorship this year and to Musto, Hemisphere Rigging, Plymouth Yacht Haven, Noakes, Habermehl & Kerr, PredictWind, Tidetech and Crunch Creative and for their great support. We’ve started on a great journey together this year and I look forward to working with you all again in 2012



You can ...

Ads from conrad