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The first night of this third and final leg of the 53rd edition of La Solitaire du Figaro was pretty smooth for the 31 sailors in the regatta (note: Fred Duthil withdrew – Journal des entreprises last night). A warm-up finally quite calm; good quality for this final showdown which still has all the makings of a mountain stage with 640 miles to go and especially a worsening weather forecast for tomorrow Tuesday. Departing from Royan yesterday midday, the solo sailors therefore benefited from fairly forgiving conditions for the start of the match. The steady northerly flow of about ten knots has actually pushed them down the direct course. A favorable situation to try to get some sleep. Many have chained naps. It must be said that after 2 marathon stages, 11 days already spent at sea, the batteries are a little worn out. And the rest collected on the ground during the stairs is not enough to fully recharge the batteries. Above all, it is for everyone to rest as much as possible before the weather situation gets progressively worse from tomorrow Tuesday. A 5-minute gain in the pocket of Norman Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region) The big operation of the night goes to Guillaume Pirouelle. Winning the intermediate sprint at the Waiting Arcachon mark shortly before midnight, the Norman gained a precious 5 minutes. Tom Laperche and Corentin Horeau, second and third, will respectively increase by 3 and 1 minute to be deducted from their race time. And God knows that, in this race for time, every second is worth its weight in gold! We will remember this year 2003 when Armel Le Cléac’h had won by 13 minuscule seconds. Classification in the Marque Attente Arcachon Intermediate Sprint 1 – Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region) at 23:41:12 2 – Tom Laperche (Brittany Region – CMB Performance) 23:43:21 3 – Corentin Horeau (Mutuelle Bleue) at 23:43 :39 Westbound for the entire fleet Finally, the end of the night was windier than expected, allowing the boats to make significant progress towards Los Farallones with an average regular of about 13 knots. As the hours passed, the wind shifted to the right and passed from north to south by east; a variation that enabled our sailors to draw a beautiful gull wing on the chart. At 14:00 on Monday, while the spinnakers still in the air this morning have been stored, the gap remains insignificant between the two skippers leading the fleet, Guillaume Pirouelle (Normandy Region) and Tom Laperche (Brittany Region – CMB Performance) positioned on a path to the north. At 8 miles, Tom Dolan (Smurfit-Kappa-Kingspan) leads the way for a small group further south. All have speeds of around 7.5 knots. A certain status quo reigns over the water. Being alert to changes in weather, positioning well, adjusting the configuration and trajectory, and above all taking advantage of the mild conditions to sleep a little with the prospect of strong wind coming… This is the little routine of sailors, at the helm or on the bunk, this last Monday of La Solitaire du Figaro 2022… This good progression will not last. The fleet is already somewhat slowed by a variable westerly wind of 5 to 10 knots. By 4pm, we see, speeds have dropped to 2 small knots for some boats. A variable wind and always light, this is what awaits the competitors for the rest of the afternoon: softness accentuated by a westerly swell of up to 2 meters. At the end of the day, the skippers will find the northwest and at night more . sustained west (15 to 20 knots). The fairly clustered fleet (13 side miles) is currently 140 miles from the Farallon Islands, slightly ahead of forecast. Modification of the classification of the second stage After the replacement of his J2 (headsail), the jury of the test, in accordance with the regulations, penalized Davy Beaudart (Naut’y Mor) with 35 minutes. This penalty has been integrated into the classification of the second stage. Overall, Lorient is relegated to overall, moving from 12th to 15th place. Abandonment of Fred Duthil (Le Journal des Entreprises) Last night, Fred Duthil (Le Journal des Entreprises) announced his retirement from race management. The Trinidadian locked his back and his pain does not allow him to continue the race given the weather conditions expected for Tuesday and Wednesday. Waiting for him in Lorient tomorrow morning.
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