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La solitaire du Figaro
Meanwhile, at the Solitaire de Figaro, I am not in the least surprised to see Fredric Duthil quietly laying the groundwork to assume the overall lead in the race. While Yann Eliés and Armel Le Cléac'h have fallen 2-4 miles to the back of the fleet, Duthil is currently up in third position, within sight of the two leaders. He was my favorite when the event began, and I have not been disappointed.
.. The Solitaire is such a technical race precisely because it is a "near" offshore event, which means that geography plays a much bigger part in affecting the wind conditions at any given instant, not to mention the strong currents to negotiate. Yes, this is an event that grooms future IMOCA champions for sure, but I think it is pretty challenging in its own right. And just because your name is engraved on the trophy from the past, doesn't mean you will dominate in the present.
Well not this year. For the first time since I canot remember one sailor winning two consecutive editions.That show how competitive this race is and the huge number of sailors with winning ambitions. Th honor belongs to Yann Elies. Chapeau to him
Yann Elies and his Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir crossed the finish line off Dieppe at 20:05:09 UTC to take second on the fourth and final leg from Roscoff, but overall honours in the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro.
"On cumulative elapsed time, Elies won by 26 minutes and 30 seconds from Xavier Macaire on Skipper Herault and was 33 minutes 6 seconds ahead of leg 3 winner Morgan Lagraviere on Vendee in third. Over the last 24 hours both Macaire and Lagraviere had been in a position to take overall victory in this year’s race, but ultimately it was Elies who prevailed.
Significantly after he won last year, Elies is the only back to back winner in the race’s recent history (the only other person ever to have scored consecutive victories being Guy Cornu in 1975-6).
He also joins the elite club of double Solitaire winners, including fellow competitors in this race Armel le Cleac’h (Banque Populaire), Jeremie Beyou (Maitre CoQ) and Gilles le Baud (Carnac Thalasso & SPA), plus in past years Cornu, Nicolas Troussel, Jean Marie Vidal, and Gilles Gahinet. Only Jean le Cam, Michel Desjoyeaux and Philippe Poupon, remain the super-elite, each winners of the race three times.
For Elies, 39, this is his 14th participation in La Solitaire du Figaro, his first having been back in 1997. Aside from his being a regular fixture in this event, Elies is also a two time winner of the Jules Verne Trophy on both occasions with Bruno Peyron, first on board Orange 1 in 2002 and then with Orange 2 in 2005. In 2000 he competed in The Race aboard the Cam Lewis-skippered Team Adventure maxi-catamaran. However he is perhaps best known for competing in 2008 Vendee Globe when he had to be rescued from his yacht Generali by the Australian navy aft breaking his femur mid-Southern Ocean. He is also a second generation Figaro sailor – his father Patrick won the predecessor to La Solitaire, the Course de l’Aurore, in 1979.
In leg four any three of these skippers, plus fourth placed Xavier Macaire on Skipper Herault, a further 8 minutes and 7 seconds back from Elies, were in with a chance of claiming overall victory. First Duthil fell by the wayside on the long big wind run down the south coast of the UK last night, at one point dropping back to 28 miles from the leader.
Lagraviere looked to be in good shape rounding Wolf Rock in first place, but lost his advantage by diving inshore before Start Point. Macaire was leading from Start Point until one third of the way back across the Channel. But ultimately overall victory belonged to Elies. He match raced and was eventually overtaken by Adrien Hardy coming into the Antifer mark off Le Havre, but he had done enough and overall victory was his.
On his arrival a jubilant but tired Elies commented: “It's incredible. Xavier and Adrien were two warriors and put up a really good fight. Ultimately Xavier could not play the final because of the problems he had with his water ballast.
Adrien Hardy arrived in Cascais less than three minutes ahead of Elies to win leg 4.
"I'm really happy because it was really hard with a fight throughout, a very tough competition! I've managed to keep a bit of energy even though I have been very, very tired. I am very happy to win this leg because it has been the most difficult of this Solitaire."
Yann Elies wins 2013 Solitaire du Figaro | The Daily Sail
Second overall was Xavier, the one we saw, on a recentely posted video, making that very free sailing "figure" with a Figaro. For noting the great fair play of Ellies that comment the big fight he had with Xavier and mention the technicall problems in Xavier boat (Water Ballast) that had prevented him to took that fight to the end. Even so after so many days of racing Xavier lost only 26 minutes to Ellies.
Arrivée de Yann Elies - La Solitaire du Figaro... di lasolitairedufigaro
Arrivée de Xavier Macaire - La Solitaire du... di lasolitairedufigaro
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