Desjoyeaux clinches it
A third place finish into Les Sables d’Olonne, 41 minutes and 55 seconds behind winner Fréderic Duthil on Distinxion and Gérald Veniard on Scutum respectively, was enough to secure him the small cumulative elasped time for the race's four legs to clinch victory, having finished in third in on three legs and winning the second. “Mich’Desj” covered the four races between Caen, Crosshaven, Brest, La Coruña and Les Sables d’Olonne, making up a total 1,659 miles in 247 hours, 20 minutes and 47 seconds.
Thus the overall top three places, subject to final jury decision, go to Michel Desjoyeaux ( Foncia), Frédéric Duthil ( Distinxion) and Corentin Douguet ( E.Leclerc/Bouygues Telecom).
This win is another ultimate accolade for Desjoyeaux who has dominated singlehanded sailing for more than 15 years as winner of the Vendee Globe in 2000/2001, winner of The Transat, winner of the Route du Rhum, both on monohulls and on multihulls and now three time winner of La Solitaire. The next step for Desjoyeaux is the next Vendee Globe in 2008.
Impressively part time Figaro sailor Fréd Duthil won the fourth and final leg between La Coruña and Les Sables d’Olonne. The skipper of Distinxion, with raised arms and a huge grin, crossed the finish line at 02h20m10s this morning, covering the 340 mile final leg between La Coruna and Les Sables d'Olonne in 1 day 11 hours, 20 minutes and 10 seconds at a 9.62 knot average.
Duthil has had a great Figaro, winning the Prologue race, the first leg to Ireland, coming second on the next leg back to Brest (finishing 50 seconds behind Michel Desjoyeaux) and coming 8th on the third leg (2 hours and 9 minutes behind Corentin Douguet). This is the fourth time the former windsurf champion competes in La Solitaire and it is his best performance to date.
Just before the start on Sunday morning in la Coruña, Duthil declared: “This is my kind of race! It is going to be wet but fun…it will be short, a sprint…well more like a marathon after 30 hours! I am happy about the conditions we are going to get; it is the kind that I go pretty fast on. So that is a good sign. I am not looking at the overall rankings anymore. My objective is to win the leg and forget about anything that has happened up until now.” This could not have been more of a premonition.
Duthil was esctatic as he crossed the finish line: “You see my friends, I said that this would be a race for surfers! I really dug deep to win this one. We fought like dogs and dogs and had some huge average speeds. There was 35 to 40 knots constantly with gusts of up to 47 knots. It is mad, I did not think I was in the lead, I thought that it was Mich.”
"It is so nice to finish as this has been really, really tough. You can’t imagine when you are not on the boat just how tough it was. You just got huge waves in your face. The last two hours I could barely carry on, we kept calling each other over the VHF to say, come on it’s not far to go. We were all below deck with the autopilot on and no one wanted to drive the boat, we had had our fill!”
Where you surprised? "Up to an hour before I finished I did not know that I was in the lead! I was sure that Michel Desjoyeaux was ahead and I thought that maybe I was third or fourth…It is incredible that I am here when you think that I managed to get the spinnaker under the boat in a squall and had lots of trouble trying to pull it out the water. I could not believe it when I announced I was coming to the finish line. I really thought others had already announced themselves. I am really happy, it’s great! I passed Gérald (Veniard) over the last 3 or 4 miles. I did not have time to get used to this feeling, I am so happy! Winning two legs on La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro is a dream come true…"
You had some really tough conditions at sea… "When the depression came in this morning it really blew. I had up to 47 knots and then it get’s worrying! We had to fight it out like dogs. I had said that this would be a fast leg, on paper this leg was like windsurfers leg, but it was unexpectedly tough. And if I end up in one of the top three spots, well that would be just great!"
What do you think of Michel Desjoyeaux’s overall win on the race? "When I started sailing he had already won his first Solitaire. What makes a great champion is having the ability to continually question oneself. He knows how to do that and I hope that I will have the same motivation he has after having done so much. Michel really merits his victory. He sailed perfectly."
Are you not keen to become a professional sailor? "Not for now. All year I work in an insurance company. I have found a balance like that and it suits me well even though sailing has been my passion ever since I was a child. When I think about it, I started sailing solo four years agoand remember how on the last leg I packed away the spinnaker because the wind was too strong. I have made some progress since then, even though there is still lots more to learn."
What is the first thing you want to do? "I am going to try and savour this will all my family and friends who have come and even more so as it is my girlfriends birthday today!"
Leg 4 finish times so far...
|1||Duthil Frédéric||Distinxion||arrived on 21/08/2007 at 02:20|
|4||Berenger Nicolas||KONE Ascenseurs||3H41|
|6||Le Gal Franck||Lenze||3H47|
|7||Morvan Gildas||Cercle Vert||3H53|
|8||Douguet Corentin||E. Leclerc / Bouygues Telecom||3H56|
|9||Lepesqueux Marc||Rapid' Flore - Caen-La-Mer||4H03|
|10||Treussart Ronan||Groupe Celeos||4H12|
|12||Mahe Gildas||Le Comptoir Immobilier||4H31|
|15||Pellecuer Laurent||Cliptol Sport||4H44|
|16||Rouxel Thomas||Défi Mousquetaires||4H49|
|19||de Broc Bertrand||Les Mousquetaires||5H20|
|20||Pratt Christopher||Espoir Crédit Agricole||5H36|
|21||Lebas Christophe||LoLa La piscine assemblée||5H41|
|22||Loison Alexis||ALL MER Inéo Suez||5H43|
|23||Defert Eric||Suzuki Automobiles||5H43|
|24||Biarnes Vincent||Côtes d'Armor||5H45|
|26||Rivet Frédéric||Novotel Caen||5H54|
|27||Belloir Aymeric||CAP 56||6H04|
|29||Duprey du Vorsent Thierry||Domaine du Mont d'Arbois||6H20|
|32||Emig Marc||A.ST Groupe||7H52|
|33||Le Miere Grégoire||Basse-Normandie / OTCex Group||7H56|
|34||Nigon Erik||AXA Atout Coeur Pour AIDES||8H00|
|35||Bird James||GFI Group||8H20|
|36||Bos Christian||Belle Ile en Mer||8H27|
|37||Grégoire Jeanne||Banque Populaire||46 28' 43' N||1 48' 83' W||87 º||6.4||1.1 nm|
|38||Monnet Jean-Charles||Degrémont Suez Source de Talents||46 28' 38' N||1 51' 80' W||79 º||8.5||2 nm|
|39||Nabart Laurent||Corsica||46 28' 15' N||1 54' 14' W||84 º||8.9||3.6 nm|
|40||Bougard Patrice||Kogane||46 26' 84' N||1 59' 01' W||72 º||7.7||7.2 nm|
|41||Le Nabour Quentin||Votre Nom pour Le Figaro||46 21' 81' N||2 02' 66' W||78 º||6.9||11.5 nm|
|42||Da Cruz Antonio-Pedro||Baïko||46 29' 04' N||2 11' 02' W||76 º||9.1||15.3 nm|
|43||Thiercelin Marc||Siemens||46 25' 08' N||2 10' 47' W||84 º||8.5||15.3 nm|
|44||Bulot Jean-François||Crédit Mutuel de Normandie - Ville de Caen||46 11' 70' N||1 52' 69' W||67 º||8.1||16.2 nm|
|45||O’Rian Paul||City Jet||46 09' 50' N||2 18' 89' W||62 º||5.1||27.9 nm|
|46||Bouillard Didier||MEDevent||46 27' 15' N||2 44' 49' W||92 º||9.9||38.3 nm|
|47||Le Meitour Jean-Philippe||Construction DORSO||46 00' 78' N||2 32' 87' W||77 º||5.2||40.9 nm|
|48||Le Baut Jimmy||Port Olona - Arrimer||45 56' 43' N||2 30' 23' W||75 º||7.3||42.7 nm|
|ABD||Svilarich Etienne||Grain de Soleil||0 º||0||nm|
|ABD||King Nigel||Nigel King Yachting||0 º||0||nm|
Top 20 overall elapsed times...
Pos Skipper N° Boat Overall elapsed time
1 Desjoyeaux Michel 45 Foncia in 247h 20min 47s
2 Duthil Frédéric 7 Distinxion +26'38''
3 Douguet Corentin 10 E.Leclerc / Bouygues Telecom +01h03'50''
4 Troussel Nicolas 5 Financo +01h41'26''
5 Mahé Gildas 38 Le Comptoir Immobilier +02h14'23''
6 Drouglazet Eric 2 Luisina +02h39'05''
7 Veniard Gérald 4 Scutum +03h16'53''
8 Morvan Gildas 6 Cercle Vert +03h19'48''
9 Rouxel Thomas 97 Défi Mousquetaires +03h29'34''
10 Lepesqueux Marc 70 Rapid'Flore Caen-La-Mer +04h01'11''
11 Berenger Nicolas 68 Koné Ascenseurs +04h05'21''
12 Le Gal Franck 24 Lenze +04h46'01''
13 Chabagny Thierry 92 Brossard +04h48'47''
14 * Lunven Nicolas 19 Bostik +05h11'04''
15 Treussart Ronan 80 Groupe Celeos +05h26'33''
16 Wardley Liz 39 Sojasun +06h26'28''
17 Pellecuer Laurent 31 Cliptol Sport +06h28'06''
18 Pratt Christopher 9 Espoir Crédit Agricole +06h40'00''
19 de Broc Bertrand 55 Les Mousquetaires +07h02'