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Sprint to the Grand Final finish line

Published on 26/06/2019

The final hours of Stage 4, the Grand Final, are delivering a sprint finish worthy of the first La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro to be sailed in the new Beneteau Figaro 3. After a night drifting on the tide looking for the smallest zephyr of breeze, the fleet have regrouped and are racing for Dieppe’s final finish line which is less than 30 miles ahead of them.

Looking to complete an otherwise disappointing La Solitaire with a consolation victory on the last stage, top seeds such as Vendée Globe winner Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and three times La Solitaire champion Yann Eliès (Saint Michel) are leading the charge, just a few hundred metres apart. General classification leader Yoann Richomme (HelloWork-Groupe Télégramme) is less than half a mile behind in fourth, poised to lift the overall 2019 La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro title. With all his key rivals astern, as if to underline his superiority, Richomme should add to his winning margin on the podium finishers.

Approaching Fecamp at 0600hrs BST this morning, thoughts are only focused on getting brutally fatigued bodies and boats across the final finish line. Winds are forecast to build progressively to over 25 knots, adding a certain urgency to the conclusion of this landmark edition of the definitive solo offshore multi-stage race.

In second place this morning, Yann Eliès talked as the group was converging back together: “My idea was to win in the north, to try to get up to find the northwest wind we had lost when we went down to the mark at Saint Marcouf, but actually the wind died. We were carried on the current to the North West, so that was not terrible. And on the ranking of this morning (reported by radio), we are not so far from the leaders even if we do not know where they are, I can not get them to the AIS, I guess they are down there somewhere so we may have a chance to be in front of them. Now it it depends on how fast the wind will turn to the northeast. We are already in the North East, so it’s better to be offshore, here, I think. For the moment, there is no storm yet. We have 10 knots but at the end of each Meteo Consult forecast we have 20/30 knots announced. We’ll see it to believe it!”

Track the final mile to Dieppe here.

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