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Solitaire du Figaro: they’ve still got what it takes

There were four representatives from the IMOCA class at the race start in Bordeaux for this 2013 running of the Solitaire du Figaro, determined to bring to the fore their status as a former winner of

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The very least that can be said is that they maintained rank!  And honour to whom honour is due, a hearty congratulations to Yann Elies who has become the first competitor since Guy Cornou (at a time when the Solitaire was still called the Course de l’Aurore) to pull off the double, with wins in two consecutive editions.

Dominating the first leg to the point of crushing the competition, he might well have thought it was game over when, on the climb towards Roscoff, he broke his stay. However, he still managed to get his boat to the finish, albeit with a deficit of over thirty minutes in the overall ranking in relation to the new race leader, Frédéric Duthil. The author of a masterful fourth leg, Yann crushed the competition once again though, proving that he was very much the boss of this year’s event.

The three other pillars of the IMOCA class have nothing to be ashamed of either, since all of them made it into the final top 10. Despite an obvious lack of preparation, Michel Desjoyeaux ranked seventh with a podium place to boot at the finish in Roscoff. Jérémie Beyou and Armel Le Cléac’h respectively finished fifth and eighth with a leg victory for the skipper of Banque Populaire, a praiseworthy performance when you know how demanding this race is and how difficult it is to devote yourself to it when you’re heading another project at the same time.

Adrien Hardy, Morgan Lagravière and Xavier Macaire are just some of the young talent who are knocking at the door. All these lads would like to take up the gauntlet and be at the start of the Vendée Globe in 2016. It must be said that a line-up comprising a fusion of ‘old and modern’ influences would cut quite a dash!


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