Photo: Courcoux-Marmara/Le Figaro

Penalties applied

Phil Sharp and Conrad Humphreys (among others) nailed for broken engine seals

Wednesday August 3rd 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Today in Caen, the day after the finish of the first light and demanding leg of La Solitaire du Figaro it it time to review the race standings; there remains plenty of hope as 60% of the fleet are still within 60 minutes of the leader. Fabien Delahaye won into his home port, but there are still opportunities for the competition to make up on the lost time. The prospects are slightly less bright for the last 13 competitors who are more than 2 hours and 45 minutes behind the leader on an event where the final results are based on cumulative time over the course of all four legs and where often minutes count.

From first to ninth placed Nicolas Lunven, who was in touch with the leaders for most of the race, there are just 17 minutes and 46 seconds of separation. Not until 18th placed Romain Attanasio on Saveól do we see the time deficit build to 30 minutes.

Incredibly seven of the ten newcomers to the race are within the top 30 and just 60 minutes from the leader.

Two sailors of note that are lagging behind: Eric Peron (Macif 2009) who finished 34th, 1 hour and 26 minutes from the leader and in particular Francisco Lobato skipper of ROFF, who finished 36th, 3 hours, 15 minutes and 59 seconds behind. However Lobato, the sole Portugese entrant it should be remembered suffered a similar bad start last year and went on to finish sixth on the second leg, and this former star of the Proto class in the Mini is still considered to be one to watch for by his fellow competitors. Then towards the tail end of the fleet there is disappointment for some, particularly Yoann Richomme (DLBC), Marc Emig (Ensemble autour du monde) and Sam Goodchild (Artemis).

Also today the Jury have reviewed 11 cases and applied time penalties to seven competitors.

The protests generally relate to broken seals, the loss of the light anchor and not rounding correctly certain course marks.

Seven of the eleven penalised sailors have been given a time penalty. Fréd Duthil (Sepalumic) gets a one hour penalty to his overall race time for not rounding the Cussy mark. Jean-Paul Mouren (SNEF) has also been given an hour penalty for not crossing the finish line properly.

The three boats with broken propellor shaft seals have been given the minimum penalty time of 20 minutes, as it was deemed that no personal gain was obtained: Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence), Conrad Humphreys (DMS) and Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) all are penalised 20 minutes, which might not sound much but will have a profound affect on their leg one finishing positions.

The Race Committee also protested Marc Emig (Ensemble autour du monde) whose position was not showing on the AIS tracking sytem, which was believed to be unintentional. He was penalised 12 minutes. The other cases all related to the loss of light anchors and were not given time penalities: David Sineau (Britanie Cosmetics), Sébastien Picault (Kickers), Frédéric Duthil, Eric Drouglazet(Luisina).

Rankings for the newbies or rookies on La Solitaire

Out of the 47 solo sailors competing on the the Figaro, ten of them are newcomers to the race. Referred to as rookies or bizuth in French, these sailors have really shone out in their performance on the first leg from Perros-Guirec to Caen: Xavier Macaire (Starter Active Bridge) leads the rookie standings with his 5th place with the British sailor, Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence), finishing 7th within a minute of the first rookie.

The talent amongst the rookie fleet is evident with seven of the ten being within 43 minutes of each other.

It is important to note that that Alexis Littoz-Baritel (Savoie Mont-Blanc) won the prologue in Perros-Guirec and Sam Goodchild (Artemis) exploded his spinnaker on the first crossing of the Channel.

The skippers shared their thoughts:

Jeanne Grégoire (Banque Populaire) 14th: "The results of this first leg is that I have not sailed very well, but I am not going to make a mountain out of it. I was not really in the right rhythm, not positioned well on the water throughout. And I have not got an explanation for it. It is likely I was not asking myself the right questions. In fact on the water, you try to go fast and then you ask yourself questions all the time! I kept playing out all possible scenarios for up to 20 miles later when really you just have to take a mile at a time. I am not too disappointed and have come out ok at the end."

Isabelle Joschke (Galettes St Michel), 15th: "When it comes down to the time differences, I think that you should never worry about it unless you have a race like the one in 2008 when the first to finish managed to get a 5 or 6 hours lead on everyone. I remember last year, the last leg really scared everyone because the weather just really shook up the fleet and there were loads of changes. Everything can change on the last leg. I keep this in mind that. It is always like that on the Figaro!”

Sam Goodchild (Artemis), 45th to finish in Caen: "I am pretty devastated. I had a good start, but three hours later, I tore my big spinnaker in half. I had only the small spinnaker so really struggled to get the boat speed. After that it was a matter of limiting the damage to not finish too far behind. I am going to just have to approach each individual leg for the three to come and learn as much as I can. Today I am getting the spinnaker mended, learn for the next time and take a step at a time for the next one.”

Laurent Pellecuer (Atelier d'Architecture Jean-Pierre Monnier), eighth: "I spent the whole race trying to catch up right from the start. I managed to pick off the boats one by one, two by two, five by five, also making my own mistakes in the process. When the wind stopped and the current was really strong, I got stuck and came to a complete standstill, but did not anchor. Up until that point I had been up in the 10. When the wind is light, in fact, the cards are reshuffled and anything can happen. In light winds and when you are behind you need nerves of steel to fight your way back up. You have to just believe in yourself and fight it out to the end."

Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011), 13th: "If I take the leg as a whole I did so well and managed to go quite fast. I'm pretty happy. I have not made too many mistakes and was maybe a little bit too conservative having anchored close to the Raz Blanchard. I lost a lot of time being at anchor, which made me lose touch with the leaders. The main thing is that there is not too much time difference at the end of the leg. This is a good leg that gives confidence for the future. It's true that there were some key point of passages, which almost meant the race started all over again. It's a bit annoying when you fight for 48 hours to try and get ahead and then it all bunches up again from behind and pretty much sets a new start. But it is very often like that in this race. It was a nice leg, we had some sun on the approach to the Needles and then the spinnaker run…it was a great leg."

Nicolas Lunven (Generali), ninth: "Together with Thomas Rouxel and Jérémie Beyou, we had a wonderful trio running from the start of the race. Unfortunately, the this trio broke disappeared before the finish and none of us are in the top three at the finish! The last night at sea in the Channel, with no wind, a lot of current, some people having to ancho (including me), the fleet scattered around .... I finish ninth and within 17 minutes of the leader. I still had a great leg. Personally, I am shattered, even when I anchored, which was the first time I have ever done that in a Figaro, I was tired. It is annoying to have spent 30 hours fighting for a top 3 slot and then loose it all at the end…But I am not the first person this has happened to and certainly not going to be the last."

Results after penalties:


Pos Skipper Boat Time B Penalty Column1
2 MORVAN Gildas CERCLE VERT + 11'09"      
3 NICOL Jean-Pierre BERNARD CONTROLS + 11'22"      
4 BEYOU Jérémie BPI + 12'28"      
8 LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI + 17'46"      
9 TABARLY Erwan NACARAT + 23'01"      
10 DROUGLAZET Eric LUISINA + 23'24"      
12 MEILHAT Paul MACIF 2011 + 24'55"      
13 GREGOIRE Jeanne BANQUE POPULAIRE + 25'24"      
14 JOSCHKE Isabelle Galettes Saint Michel + 25'56"      
15 ATTANASIO Romain SAVEOL + 30'28"      
16 SVILARICH Etienne Volkswagen Think Blue + 32'21"      
18 SHARP Phil The Spirit of Independence + 35'04" * ±  
19 LAGRAVIERE Morgan VENDEE + 44'43" *    
20 JOSSIER Nicolas Entreprendre en Pays Granvillais + 45'56"      
21 CHABAGNY Thierry GEDIMAT + 49'03"   ±  
22 DALIN Charlie Keopsys + 49'52" *    
23 GUILLOU Damien La Solidarité Mutualiste + 52'25"      
24 HARDY Adrien AGIR Recouvrement + 54'06"      
25 LOISON Alexis Port Chantereyne Cherbourg-Octeville + 54'08"      
26 MONNET Jean-Charles PARIS 15 - Château Peyrat Fourthon + 54'41"      
27 GOUEZIGOUX Laurent VALORISONS + 56'29"      
29 HUMPHREYS Conrad DMS + 01h05'02" * ±  
30 RIVET Frédéric VENDEE 1 + 01h13'56"      
31 BIARNES Vincent PRATI'BÛCHES + 01h14'13"      
32 PERON Eric MACIF 2009 + 01h26'47"      
33 DUTHIL Frédéric SEPALUMIC + 01h27'46"   ±  
34 MOUREN Jean-Paul GROUPE SNEF + 02h09'10"   ±  
35 RICHOMME Yoann DLBC + 02h45'51"      
36 LOBATO Francisco ROFF + 03h15'59"      
37 LE GARREC Loic SAVEURS D'EVENEMENTS + 03h25'54"      
38 EMIG Marc ENSEMBLE AUTOUR DU MONDE + 03h44'03"   ±  
39 KING Nigel E-Line Orthodontics + 03h54'52"      
40 LITTOZ-BARITEL Alexis SAVOIE MONT-BLANC + 03h58'24" *    
41 LIVORY Yannig ONE NETWORK ENERGIES + 04h07'55"      
42 GIROLET Matthieu ENTREPRENDRE (LAFONT PRESSE) + 04h08'52"      
43 GODART-PHILIPPE Arnaud SENOBLE + 04h43'11"      
44 BOTHUON Michel LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS + 04h48'28"      
45 GOODCHILD Sam Artemis + 05h22'11" *    
46 PICAULT Sébastien KICKERS + 05h57'37" *    
47 TANNYERES Louis Maurice ST ERICSSON + 21h12'00"   ±  

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