Thirty-four sailors, four great and beautiful stages over four weeks, the 52nd edition begins Sunday from Saint-Nazaire.
The setting for the Solitaire du Figaro on offer this season is enticing. Four courses between Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Nazaire, via Lorient, Fécamp and the bay of Morlaix. With on paper, two acts of over 680 miles in main courses. Two monster sections which should exhaust even the most sharpened navigators, to give to the test all its dramaturgy. Especially for the twelve rookies who are coming for the first time to wear the costume of their ambitions. Deep sea navigation, the coastal where the currents will play the traps of the staging. There will be something for all tastes and colors.
Fifth in the Solo Maître CoQ having made a second place on the big stage at the start of the season, winner of the Sardinha Cup and the Solo Guy Cotten last month, Xavier Macaire (SNEF Group) is one of the big favorites of this race. 52e edition of the queen solo race. An event he intends to win to be in the limelight as he is in his eleventh participation: “It looks good because the boat and the man are in good shape. With good benchmarks because I had a pretty good start to the season. It gives me confidence to do as well on this Solitaire. With this course, there are going to be great things to do if I keep up the momentum. ”
Absent on the Transat Concarneau Saint-Barthélemy, the 40-year-old sailor thinks he can have a little more energy than his little playmates: “It is especially interesting to say that there are no former winners on the board. Or headliners as we often have. But the fact remains that the level remains very high and that there are a large number of potential winners. This will, I’m sure, give a good match, a good performance. As the program offers us major stages, this will be played out over the long term. On endurance, the long-term strategy even if we don’t really know where the level crossings will be. In this sense, I hope that I will not have any unpleasant surprises like last year on the third stage, which was unpleasant for me. The weather will still be decisive. My opponents will be numerous, Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola), Corentin Horeau (Blue Mutual for Institut Curie), Fabien Delahaye (Gilbert Group) or even Tom Laperche (Brittany CMB Performance). But over time it works well when I race against myself to do the best I can. Without looking too much at others.“
A very open race
He too can claim honors, in the absence of Molière. For his third participation, Tom Laperche announces straight out that he is coming for the victory: “I can’t wait to get on the water. As always, the desire is there. I am in the best position to win the title. It has always been my dream and I feel I am capable of it. Afterwards, it’s Solitaire, where there is always a lot going on and where you have to know how to adapt to circumstances. Above all, it will be necessary to be constant, regular to be able to make the difference at one point. The route pleases me. I hope we will be able to do it all. With a first stage from Loire-Atlantique towards Lorient where it can be very open in the Bay of Biscay since we are going to turn a buoy off La Coruña, in Spain. ”
Winner of the Solo Maître CoQ in March, a good double Sardinha Cup to prepare with Loïs Berrehar for the Transat to the West Indies at the end of which they climbed on the third step of the podium, and a second place on the Solo Guy Cotten, the 24-year-old Morbihannais therefore has very serious arguments. And he claims them without hiding: “Carrying the title of favorite suits me very well. If the season is long, I am always happy to be on the water. I have fun, while recognizing that I have the chance to do this job. As well enjoy.”
The classic of classics kicks off next Sunday afternoon. Until then, everyone will be able to refine their preparation and replay their ranges. The only downside: a case of Covid-19 having been discovered Wednesday among the preparers, all the actors, whether they are behind the scenes or not, on the courtyard side or on the garden side, were forced to undergo a screening test that does not was not on the program. As for the spectators, they always have the opportunity to come and see the Figaro Bénéteau 3 moored at the quai du commerce in Saint-Nazaire until Sunday noon … on condition that you wear the mask and present the health pass, which is compulsory to invite yourself to the village.