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Wednesday 11th August at 20 hours, 8 minutes and 45 seconds, Adrien Hardy crossed the finish line two miles outside the Kinsale harbour. It took to the young skipper on Agir Recouvrement 2 days, 6 hours, 8 minutes and 45 seconds to cover the 349 miles of the third leg from Brest to Kinsale at an average speed of 6.45 knots. The 26 years old sailor got first on the line after a face-off with Yann Eliès, started just after rounding the Fastnet Rock. Generali-Europ Assistance’s skipper crossed a mere 1 minute and 17 seconds behind Hardy, while Jean-Pierre Nicol on Bernard Controls closed in third. A fierce battle for the first place in the newcomers’ special category: only five seconds separate Frenchman Anthony Marchand and Portuguese Francisco Lobato!
What a breathtaking finale! Ireland did its best to welcome the Solitaire heroes: a magical light on the green covered coast, blue skies and a gentle breeze. A well organized party to celebrate Adrien Hardy’s first win… The young sailor, 26 years, who is participating for the third time to the Solitaire du Figaro showed constistency and determination from the very start, never going out of the top five placed, he took the lead at the end of the long Celtic sea crossing, just before the Fastnet, thank to his northern option. Under the constant threat of Yann Eliès, Hardy kept the situation under control over the last 45 miles. Spinnaker up, close to the cliffs he managed to keep a small, yet decisive, lead over Generali-Europ Assistance’s skipper.
The podium in Kinsale celebrates another young solo sailor, Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls), 31 years, who reaches his best ever performance in the race after four participations.
5 tiny seconds. That’s the amazing gap between the first two “rookies”, the newcomers to the Solitaire du Figaro -who compete for the special Bénéteau ranking. French Anthony Marchand, 25 years from La Foret Fouesnant in Finistère, on Espoir Region Bretagne stole first place to Portuguese Francisco Lobato, 25 years from Lisbon on ROFF/TEMPO-TEAM, who also closed in 8th and 9th position respectively leaving behind them several older and much more experienced skippers. In quick succession all the sailors crossed the line, just one hour and a half for the 44 Figaro II boats to finish.
More details: La Solitaire du Figaro
Photo Credit: Courcoux-Marmara/Le Figaro