La Solitaire du Figaro 2010: promising line up of 73 pre-entries

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With 73 pre-entries and the participation of veritable mainstays of offshore racing, La Solitaire du Figaro 2010 has one of the most impressive line-ups of the past forty editions of the race. Le Havre will host the start of La Solitaire for the first time on July 27th The skippers will set sail from Le Havre, host start port for the first time, on July 27th on a 1,717 nautical miles mix of inshore and offshore racing over a four stage race.

Info La Solitaire du Figaro

Feared by the greatest, La Solitaire remains one of the toughest races and yet each year, it attracts professional and amateur sailors from all walks of life. To prove it, more skippers are eager to participate in La Solitaire this year than in the 40th edition! The 73 pre-entries, of which 17 are rookies, 3 are women and 8 are foreigners predict an exceptional Solitaire, which once again, is to be raced with a homogenous line-up and increasingly strong emotions.  No less than five previous winners will attempt to go for a second title, following in the steps of Jérémie Beyou, Armel Le Cléac’h, Kito de Pavant, Eric Drouglazet and Nicolas Lunven, the 2009 winner. “Used to being on the podiums over the years, Yann Eliès, Gildas Morvan, Corentin Douguet, Thierry Chabagny and Frédéric Duthil will be  on the start line and setting out to try and get that overall win,” comments race director, Jacques Caraës just a few hours before he set off on the Jules Verne Trophy record. “And La Solitaire would definitely not feel the same without the unconditional entry of the talented most senior member, Jean-Paul Mouren, who will be racing his 24th Solitaire!” More skippers than for the 40th edition! The Bénéteau ranking will welcome 17 rookies this year, proof that the race still attracts fresh talents. “Amongst them, the Swiss Bernard Stamm, a big name in offshore racing, will be the most unusual of the rookies” notes Jacques Caraës. Also to be counted on are the young talents such as Damien Cloarec and Arthur Le Vaillant as well as Anthony Marchand,  last prize-winner of the Brittany Region espoir selection. The ex mini racers will be in the game with the three promising skippers Laurent Bourgues, Charlie Dalin, and above all the winner of the mini transat 6.50 series Francisco Lobato, the first Portuguese to enter La Solitaire du Figaro. 

A first and absolute participation record for the foreigners this year with 8 competitors compared to 5 in 2007! The international sailors are resolutely turning to La Solitaire: English, Swiss, Italian, Irish, Portuguese and Franco-German, 6 nationalities will champion their colours this summer. We will mention notably Jonny Malbon, Nigel King, Paul O’Rian and Pietro d’Ali. For the women, the very young Katie Miller, 9th of the OSTAR in 2009, will sail her first tacks on the race while Isabelle Joschke will be returning for the 3rd time.

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The young wolves of the Class will be high in numbers this year with Fabien Delahaye and Paul Meilhat who fought out a formidable battle, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, with only a 15-minute difference of the rookie ranking in 2009. François Gabart and Adrien Hardy will take part in their 3rd Solitaire alongside Erwan Tabarly, Jeanne Grégoire, Armel Tripon, Romain Attanasio, Laurent Pellecuer, Alexandre Toulorge, Sebastien Audigane, all faithful to the Class. Once again crowds on the pontoons and a superb show on the water in prospect. As usual, it will yet again be hard to determine the winners on the podium of this Solitaire, celebrating its 40th edition this year. The skippers shall have four fine legs to decide between, the action starts on July 27th in Le Havre! 2010 AGENDA:

LE HAVRE

Village opens: Tuesday 20th JulySuzuki

Prologue: Sunday 25th July

Start of the 1st leg: Tuesday 27th July

GIJON (515 miles)

Expected arrival of the boats: Friday 30th July

Start of the 2nd leg: Tuesday 3rd AugustBREST (418 miles)

Expected arrival of the boats: Thursday 5th August

Start of the 3rd leg: Monday 9th August

KINSALE (349 miles)

Expected arrival of the boats: Wednesday 11th August

Start of the 4th leg: Monday 16th August

CHERBOURG-OCTEVILLE (435 miles)

Expected arrival of the boats: Thursday 19th August

Parade: Sunday 22nd August