La Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro

At the start of the cult appointment of the season, true university of ocean sailing,
sees the return of the course au large elite.

Adrenalin rush for the highly anticipated 50th edition of “La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro” which promises to be exceptional in many respects: all participants have the same model of boat, the new Figaro Beneteau 3, the first monohull monohull monohull foil series ever conceived. Concentrated on technology and innovation, it is the result of a collaboration between the best experts of the Beneteau group and the architects Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP), architects who won the last three Vendée Globe. The Figaro circuit, where the famous “Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro” is located, is renowned for its difficulty.

It brings together the excellence of international sailing (but above all French) with a passion for offshore racing, which takes place on about ten regattas a year. The biggest skippers have made their classes there, on board the FB1 and FB2. The Figaro Beneteau 3, in use since this edition, was designed to meet the needs of this circuit but is also able to meet other uses! “The year of its 50th birthday, 2019 is certainly the year of its renewal. New routes, new boats… The race will contrast new technologies such as foil with new challenges with many great skippers ready to take up these challenges on the starting line! “said Hervé Le Lous, President and founder of the Urgo Group. Nantes, is the starting and cradle town of Figaro Beneteau 3”.

Ancient sailing legends and numerous young talents return, including the Italian Alberto Bona, born in Turin in 1986, with a degree in Philosophy, who has two Mini Transats behind him, one finished in fifth place and a retirement in the second. He also raced in Class 40.
Like him, some young talents who dream of adding a victory in the legendary offshore race to their palmarès and others who are willing to try again to test the new technologies of the Figaro Beneteau 3.
What about Clarisse Cremer: a rising star of French sailing, Breton from Auray, 29 years old, she finished second in her first Mini Transat, her debut in ocean sailing. Banque Populaire wants it for the next Vendée Globe.
O Jérémie Beyou: born in 1976 from the Finistère, she won three Solitaire du Figaro and finished third in a Vendée Globe, retiring from two other participations. A veteran of French ocean sailing, he is aiming for another Vendée.
Justine Mettreaux: Switzerland, class 1986, two Volvo Ocean Race behind, one won with Dongfeng. He finished second in a Mini Transat, seventh in his first Solitaire.
Loïck Peyron: born in 1959 from Nantes, a legend in France. Numerous victories in various transatlantic doubles or solos, according to a Vendée Globe, has set numerous records in the Ocean.
Michel Desjoyeaux: class of 1965 from Concarneau, the only sailor to have won two Vendée Globe, but in his palmares there are also three Solitaire du Figaro, the Route du Rhum and Jacques Vabre.
Yann Elies: born in 1974, Breton, won three times the Solitaire du Figaro, twice the Trophée Jules Verne (record for circumnavigation of the globe in crew), and many transatlantic liners.

The Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro, a solo stage race, is the third round of the French “Elite de Course au Large” championship. Each stage, included in the calendar of the Championship, is assigned a coefficient, determined by the difficulty and duration of the same and the Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro has a maximum coefficient: 6. The victory will be assigned by making the sum of the times of all the stages: a challenge therefore very difficult, where it will count the ability to resist during the little more than 20 days of racing and the 2,115 miles to cover.
This year’s programme includes a first stage, starting on 2 June, from Nantes in France to Kinsale, Ireland, via Fastnet, for a total of 550 miles.
The second stage will also be the longest: departure on June 9 from Kinsale, destination Roscoff, northern France, but not before rounding the Isle of Man in northern England, and Wolf Rock in Cornwall, for a total of 615 miles. The third stage, starting on June 16, from Roscoff to Roscoff with a strategically complex route all within the English Channel, for a total of 450 miles. The last stage, which will start on 22 June, will be from Roscoff to Dieppe, with three obligatory passages, one still via Wolf Rock in Cornwall and two inside the English Channel, for 500 miles.
Some tests of the French Championship have already been held. The Sardinha Cup was held from 26 March to 13 April. It was a stage in pairs with a coefficient of 2. The “Solo Maitre Coq” was held from 26 April to 05 May. It was a solo race with a coefficient of 2.
Douarnenez Fastnet will be held from July 21 to August 18, 2019 It will be a solo race with a coefficient of 4 and, finally, the Tour de Bretagne a la voile from September 1 to 14, 2019, a stage in pairs with a coefficient of 1.

The first edition of “La solitaire du Figaro” was held in 1970 and then did not yet have the name Figaro, the French newspaper became the main sponsor of the race in 1980. It is the mythical Solitaire du Figaro, the solo regatta, in stages, that this year is being run for the first time on the new foil monotypes Figaro Beneteau 3. We are in this edition at the beginning of a new era, as it was in 1991 the first edition in one type, the Figaro1 designed by Finot/Conc, as happened in 2003 with the transition to Figaro 2 designed by Marc Lombard.
It is no coincidence that for the 2019 edition there are about 50 members, and Beneteau, the elite of transalpine sailing, has decided to be there.


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