The Offshore Academy team of Mary Rook and Hugh Brayshaw arrived in Pauillac for the pre start activities of the 2017 La Solitaire URGO le Figaro. Today (Friday 26th) will see the 43 boat Solitaire fleet take part in a parade sail down the Gironde river, passing under the Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas Bridge into the centre of Bordeaux to an anticipated crowd of 100,000 enjoying the festival atmosphere, unseasonably hot Bordeaux evening and fireworks.
With a busy schedule of pre-race build up in central Bordeaux the Solitaire Race Village will be a hive of activity seeing the fleet competing in a series of exhibition races and multiple shore side activities before returning to Pauillac for the official start on the 4th June.
Joan Mulloy, The Offshore Academy Technical Manager “Getting the sailors and boats to this stage takes a good deal of time and planning, we have spent the last week finessing fine details to make sure the boats are in the best possible shape. This weeks’ list of jobs has slowly been getting smaller, jobs ranging from renewing ropes, finalising charts and navigation paperwork to applying event and partner branding.”
“The Solitaire event requires some planning and logistics to move the circus of 2 boats, 2 vans along with sailors and support team to the start and each stopover. Now the boats are all ready to go and bar anything coming up in the final class safety or random rules checks we should be in good shape for the start on the 4th”
Hugh Brayshaw – Offshore Academy describes his feelings on arriving in Pauillac “Being here is exciting in itself, it marks the beginning of the Solitaire which is great, whilst the offshore racing doesn’t start for another week the boat has all its event sponsor and Academy partner logo’s on so very much looks the part. This morning we have the first briefing for the event, that builds the anticipation and reality of the start of the race, I’m looking forward to being back here in a weeks’ time for the start of leg one!"