Culminating in months of hard work and planning, today saw the fleet of 43 La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro skippers cross the finish line of Stage 4 in Dieppe, France – signalling the finish of this the 48th edition having completed just under 1500 miles of racing over the 4 Stages.
In multiple twists and turns the final stage has been anything but straight forward, windless areas along the Breton coasts, two fast crossings of the English Channel and a very technical route between Wolf Rock and the Isle of Wight. A very tight battle at the front for the Stage 4 podium saw Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015) emerging victorious within the final miles to the finish, it was not enough to knock Nicolas Lunven (Generali) off the overall top spot though.
Competing in only his second La Solitaire du Figaro race and representing The Offshore Academy, amateur sailor Hugh Brayshaw had a promising final stage, battling with fellow amateurs and with many sailors his senior. Showing great maturity and clearly utilising experiences of competing in his second race Brayshaw’s tactical decisions allowed him to stay in touch with the body of the fleet and fight for position. Finishing at 09:32 local time this morning, after 3 days 18hrs 9min 12sec Hugh takes 32nd place in Stage 4 and moves him to 25th in the Overall standings. This result cementing his position at the top of the Amateur leaderboard by over an hour.
“I’m so happy to reach the finish, that was such a hard leg, I’m very happy we were quick along the English coast as the start was so painfully slow. I have a lot to improve on and I’m going to write a long list after this – definitely things I can improve for next year!”
Leading the British contingent in this leg Academy Alumni sailor Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) had a challenging Stage battling for 15th place for over two days. Being in a very tight bunch of boats coming into the finish Roberts had to settle for 21st place just 10s behind 20th, this sees Roberts placed in 22nd position on the overall standings.
Just 30 minutes behind Brayshaw, Mary Rook (Inspire +) also representing The Offshore Academy crossed the finish line to take 35th position for Stage 4 and 29th in the overall standings, an improvement of 3 places on her 2016 race and finishing 3rd female overall. At the finish line Mary commented “We were doing 11 knots at times, there were just massive waves and a lot of downwind in this stage which was nice for a change!”