0-30kts Forecasted for Second Race of 2018 – The Solo/Duo Concarneau

After a challenging first event of the Solo Offshore Racing Championships at the Solo Maitre Coq event in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France the fleet of Bénéteau Figaro 2s have relocated north to the City of Concarneau on the south western coast of Brittany.

With the Solo Maitre Coq behind him, Nick Cherry took a moment to reflect on the event: “The racing programme was shortened due to gale force winds, so only one inshore race was completed along with the more traditional offshore race.  The racing was typically tight towards the top of the leader board, the first 16 boats finished within sight and 25 minutes of each other, that’s all after 40hrs of close racing –I struggled early-on damaging my big spinnaker, but with some great speed in the final leg I managed to catch up with the front pack, unfortunately I’d ran out of race course by this point  though and finished in 16th  Just behind, Hugh Brayshaw had a tight battle of his own with Romain Baggio, Maison Meneau and Thomas Cardrin, Vendee Formation with Brayshaw taking 19th position.

 

Tomorrow, 47 sailors (25 solo and 11 double handed) will line up for the start of a 340 nautical mile race course, the full course will take the fleet from the start line in Concarneau, north west along the Brittany coastline to the formidable Chaussée de Sein, and the familiar turning mark of ‘Pierres Vertes’ a 135 degree turn south takes the fleet back to the Raz, this time around the outside of the tidal race before a tactical decision of whether to go inshore or offshore with the course taking the fleet inside Belle Ile before rounding Ile d’Yeu (an island off the coast of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie) before a final sprint leg north to the finish line in Concarneau.

With a big range of weather forecast for the race, the fleet can expect to have an exciting start, reaching in 15-20kts of breeze followed by some stronger downwind sailing to Pierres Vertes with the wind strengthening to 30kts for the sailor’s first night at sea. By Friday 10am the breeze is expected to soften and rotate to the SW, before increasing again on Saturday morning for the sprint to the finish. Ahead of Hugh’s final weather briefing this evening his take on the conditions: “The weather for the race looks interesting, we could have everything from 30 to 0 knots over the 340-mile course. A big low pressure and fronts battling with a high pressure and a ridge, so quite complicated. Tactically I just need to be quick to capitalise on every change in the wind, whether it’s a shift or a change in wind speed, the boat that is most reactive to this will win.”

The Solo Concarneau offshore race begins on Thursday 5th April at 2pm UK time – follow the race over on the tracker.

 

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