La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Stage 4 Finish – Race winners decided in Dieppe
This morning at 08:11:56 it was Macif 2015 skipper Charlie Dalin that crosses the finish line of the 4th and final stage (Concarneau-Dieppe) of the 2017 La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro. Taking 3 days 17 hours, 4 minutes and 56 seconds to complete the 505-mile course navigating the Wolf Rock lighthouse and the English coast at an average speed of 5,67 knots.
At two o’clock this morning, the fleet sailed downwind in 20 knots of wind along the cliffs of the Alabaster coast. Upon passing the last mark of the course ‘Antifer’ at 2:40am it was Alexis (Custopol) who held the lead. With a dense race full of twists and turns, Alexis had taken the lead several times, especially when passing the island of Sein and before the Four channel, is winning his bet.
Loison opted for the more offshore route once passing Antifer with Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015), Sebastien Simon (Bretagne – Credit Mutuel Performance), Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) and Nicolas Lunven (Generali) all opting for the more Southerly inshore route with a more favourable angle into the finish in Dieppe.
Alexis Loison (Custopol) spoke on VHF before the finish: “It’s under tension for me. I chose to stay off even if I push more current because I was afraid to go into the cliffs. I have bad memories. I hope I have more wind here,”
At the end of a complicated stage rich in twists and turns, wind-free areas along the Breton coasts, two express crossings of the Channel and a very technical route between Wolf Rock and the Isle of Wight, Charlie Dalin has showed an incredible tenacity taking the stage in the final miles. Sébastien Simon (Brittany-Crédit Mutuel Performance) crossed the line in second position 3 minutes behind the leader Dalin. In third Thierry Chabagny, Gedimat another minute behind Simon.
With Generali skipper Nicolas Lunven sailing an impressive final stage he finishes in between Custo Pol and Skipper Macif 2015 taking 4th place sealing victory in this 48th Solitaire URGO Le Figaro. This will be Lunven’s second victory in 8 races and in the same port as in 2009 which will no doubt make sense for the interested party as Nicolas Lunven returns as the winner in the port of Dieppe this morning.
For the rookie prize how better to celebrate his 32nd Birthday than to win the Solitaire du Figaro? The cake will have a special flavor for Julien Pulvé who takes the Rookie prize. He revealed his skills between Concarneau and Dieppe, taking control after Cape Lizard and showing that he is still able to emerge in the top ten.
Throughout the morning the remainder of the fleet will continue to arrive into Dieppe, all skippers will be relieved that this long testing stage is over but no doubt emotional at the reality the Solitaire 2017 is complete.
Alexis Loison – Custo Pol – 5th in the Stage 4 rankings:
“A complicated ending, I got caught up with the crossing of the Channel by Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015) and now we have chosen our camp between the land and the sea. A year ago, I got grounded with conditions a bit similar so I try to go off to find more wind. There’s a lot of sea and there’s between 20 and 23 knots. We still have a good hour of current against but it is weakening so soon we will have speeds that will be at least as good as that on the shore at around 9-10 knots. It is for me that the stage would have been beautiful, from the moment I managed to take the lead, it would be nice to finish like this, I wanted this one so I will tear myself until the end. Sometimes I fall asleep but it’s normal it’s the last few miles of the last day and it would be great to finish on an excellent note. During the crossing of the channel, I had to put the little spinnaker up so it was both hands on the bar and sending it forward.”
Charlie Dalin – Skipper Macif 2015 – 1st in Stage 4 rankings:
“On the cross-channel, we were in the dead spot between spinnaker and genoa, I took full advantage of this angle, I got closer to the fleet and my goal is to be 3rd overall, but if I can do it again, I was one of the first to send it. Of the gain, it is crucial to choose the right time to send. I am glad to arrive by being in front, I spent my time doing this on stage, I’m happy! Along the English coasts, I should have gone to score Sébastien (Simon) earlier, it’s a stupidity on my part. I went to get the power surge on the Isle of Wight, Seb had less current but less wind, I should have picked it up sooner… ”
Sébastien Simon – Bretagne-Crédit Mutuel Performance – 2nd in the Stage 4 rankings:
“It’s very tense, I’m between Thierry Chabagny and Charlie Dalin, Custo Pol has chosen another option. I was all alone in my corner, and it helped me to be with them tonight. It starts to pull a little on the level of fatigue. Along the English coasts, I left alone in my option, I was convinced, I fought to the end, I was glad to come back with the head of the fleet because I no longer believed much. I’m trying to get the boat fast, we’re all three in line. Charlie Dalin was back in front of me tonight, the podium is more or less decided…”
more info …lasolitaire.com
by La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro