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Start Day Thoughts. It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over

Published on 16/06/2019

It is start day for Leg 3, a complex mind crunching passage across the Channel and back in very light winds and strong tides. There will be lots of rock hopping and coast hugging to avoid the currents, weed and different strategic options. In short anything can happen and no margin is impregnable given these conditions. Here are the thoughts of a few leading skippers at hours before this afternoon's 1400hrs local time start

Pierre Leboucher (Guyot Environnement) 2nd overall

“I think this new stage can reset everything for many and maybe even restart the game completely. All those who have nothing to lose on the overall standings will attack in all directions, especially from the start where there will probably not really be really wrong options. And for sure we will be playing in close to the rocks to shelter from the current and so we need to be really careful not to break the boat. We know that with the Figaro 3 the smallest touch can be damaging. And we need to watch out for weed. All in all it will be pretty complex.”

Corentin Douguet (NF Habitat) 6th overall

“This is another stage where there is a lot to lose. La Solitaire is often a race decided by elimination. And more than ever this year, the gaps have been big since the outset. I’m sixth but three hours from the leader. And there is nothing to say that the next two stages will not generate as many big gaps as the first two. On paper anything can happen! So I am positive there are no sums to do or people to mark. I will just go out and do my best to get as far ahead as possible.”

Xavier Macaire (SNEF Group) 14th overall

“There’s always incredible things happen on La Solitaire and the introduction of the Figaro Bénéteau 3 opens up the game. We can see it from the races at the beginning of the season. Just because we are still five miles from the finish at the start of the last day of a stage it does not mean we still cannot win the stage, and vice versa. So many different things can happen. Sailing the Figaro 3 is more instinctive, it is more about the feeling and insticnt. Those who risk are rewarded and that became less obvious in Figaro 2. Now you have to be as effective as possible by having a good overall strategy, good settings, do great maneuvers, and anticipating the different scenarios as best as you can. I really like this way of sailing. “

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