Photo: Alexis Courcoux

Figaro fleet to head for Cowes in 2016

Course for La Solitaire announced

Friday December 4th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

At 1300 CET on Sunday 19 June, Leg 1 of the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro will set sail from the historic French town of Deauville in northern France. As many as 40 Figaro skippers are expected on the 1,525 miles of challenging offshore racing around some of Europe’s roughest waters.

“This edition of the Solitaire will be particularly challenging,” explains Race Director Gilles Chiorri. “The coastal route will throw the game wide open, with skippers left to decide whether to stay closer to shore or go further offshore. To be successful around this course, the competitors will need seasoned offshore experience and tactical intelligence, enabling them to play the tides and weather to their advantage.”

Now in it’s 47th year, the Solitaire du Figaro is one of the world’s toughest sailing competitions. Fiercely competitive, the race is recognised as the world championships of solo offshore racing, with the course taking just over a month to complete. Requiring a unique skill set and a raw ambition present in so few, the Solitaire du Figaro pushes competitors to the edges of their physical and mental limits.

For the first time in race history, in 2016 the Solitaire du Figaro will stop on the Isle of Wight. Starting Leg 1 from Deauville, the fleet will race the longest 510 mile leg across the channel, around the south of the Island to Lands End, before heading east along the UK south coast towards the finish line in Cowes.

The Solitaire du Figaro Race Village will offer five days of fun family entertainment in Cowes, including food markets, a drinks bar, live music in the Race Village and try sailing for all on the Solent. Alongside the racing and live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive stands and activities to entertain the public.

Expected to arrive on the Isle of Wight around 22nd June, the Solitaire du Figaro will stay in the UK until Sunday 26th June, when the fleet will set sail on Leg 2 to Paimpol in northern Brittany. At 475 miles, leg 2 will take skippers back along the south coast of England and around Wolf Rock. From there, they will cross back into French waters to a mark off of Penmarc’h, before the fleet returns north back through the Raz de Seine and past Ushant.

From Paimpol, the fleet will race 410nm to La Rochelle, back through the Raz and cutting across the Bay of Biscay. To end the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro, competitors will race a final 160nm leg around Île de Ré and Île d’Yeu - a short but tricky leg on which the tired skippers will be careful to avoid fish farms, trawlers and the wind shadows of the islands.

The 2016 Solitaire du Figaro will finish in La Rochelle on 7th July.

OC Sport Paris Events Director Mathieu Sarrot concluded: “As 2016 is a Vendée Globe year, the Solitaire’s most experienced skippers may be absent. This means the stakes will be high among the intermediate skippers, the skippers who consistently finish top 10 on a leg, but can’t quite out sail the Yann Eliés and Jeremie Beyous among the fleet. This is the year of the Solitaire regulars, their time to shine.”

Leg 1: Deauville – Isle of Wight Cowes (via Wolf Rock) - 510nm

Leg 2: Isle of Wight Cowes – Paimpol (via Lands End and the Celtic Sea) - 475nm

Leg 3: Paimpol – La Rochelle - 410nm

Leg 4: La Rochelle – La Rochelle (via the Île d’Yeu) - 130nm

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in


Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top