Solitaire du Figaro 2012 details announced
For this year, La Solitaire has a new organiser in the form of Pen Duick, who already run the Figaro class' Transat AG2R, as well as the Route du Rhum and Transat Jacques Vabre. Run by Pierre Bojic, Pen Duick is a subsidiary of Le Télégramme newspaper group.
Bojic commented: "While respecting the history and values that have made the success of this unique race, our desire is to take advantage of new technology and modern means of communication to allow a public as wide as possible, to share and live it live. We also want to give it more rhythm and sports intensity."
Due to a potential clash with the London Olympics, so the dates of La Solitaire have moved for 2012 and rather than taking place in August, the unofficial world championship of singlehanded offshore racing will run from 16 June until 15 July.
Today the route for the 2012 event has been announced, starting and finishing in France. The 43th edition of La Solitaire sets sail from Paimpol on 24 June, the fleet heading across the Bay of Biscay towards the familiar stopover of Gijón in northern Spain. On 1 July, the race resumes, heading for the 'home of Beneteau', St Gilles Croix de Vie, before the final leg back around Ushant to the finish in Cherbourg.
Also new for this year's La Solitaire is its new race director in the form of Gilles Chiorri. A former Figaro sailor and Merchant Navy officer, Chiorri won the Mini Transat in 1987, and finished second in La Solitaire Le Figaro in 2002. Since 2007 Chiorri has been Director of Events for OC Events where he has been running the Extreme Sailing Series.