by James Loosemore 30 Aug 06:21 UTC Alan Roberts – La Solitaire du Figaro © James Loosemore Tweet
Alan Roberts and his team only had five days, rather than the usual ten, to prepare for Leg 1 of the 51st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro due to Covid-19 restrictions. On Sunday 30th August, at 1300 local time, Roberts, who finished second in the 360nm Solo Guy Cotten earlier this month, sets sail from Saint Brieuc, France to the Fastnet Rock and back.
Leg 1 is a distance of some 640nm to be covered over a grueling 4-5 days. Roberts said the “Fastnet and back, is a nice open leg with 300 miles of racing through the English Channel to the Fastnet. I’m expecting to make some big decisions around the Scilly’s and associated prohibited zones (TSS) to get ahead of my competitors.”
“It’s downwind most of the way there according to the forecast. I really enjoy the challenge of making my boat go as fast as it can. I have worked hard on this during the last few months of lockdown and can’t wait to put this all into practice.”
La Solitaire du Figaro – photo © James Loosemore
Due to this leg being so long at sea with no contact with the shore crew it’s vital that all the preparation work is completed before leaving. Roberts and his shore crew have been doing measurement, maintenance and final checks before leaving the dock on Sunday morning.
La Solitaire du Figaro, an historic and major offshore race which is recognised as the unofficial world championship of solo offshore racing, is fiercely competitive. Prior to the start of this legendary race Roberts said “There are going to be lots of ups and downs so prepare for a roller coaster ride over the next month. I’m going to have some fun and enjoy the whole experience!”
To follow Alan’s progress you can track the race online here: lasolitaire.geovoile.com/2020/tracker.