After a busy summer back in the UK with Cowes week, Merlin Rocket nationals, setting up for next year, it's now time for the final single handed course of the year - The Generali Solo.
This event is akin to a shorter version of La Solitaire, but with only 2 offshore legs accompanied by 2 days of inshore racing at each port. There is 6 days of inshore racing short courses and coastal racing too, with each course contributing a different amount towards the final result.
Tactical course coefficient 1
Coastal >20 miles coefficient 1.5
Offshore coefficient 4
With a possibility of 20 races in total, it makes for an interesting and demanding regatta with wighted offshores but potentily plenty of short courses too.
Conditions in the Mediterranean will be very different from what I am used to, and have been training in, in England and Lorient (Brittany). Light winds can be expected with thermal influences throughout the day with the potential for some early morning winds. However things can all change very quickly in the Med and become extremely windy with mistral conditions blowing through!
Reading and understanding these conditions will be one of the biggest challenges of the event. The local sailors will have a definite advantage!
In general, the small courses should favour me as this type of racing I have grown up with. However, I have started to make progress with offshore racing, coming 9th in this years Figaro , so I will really be looking to continue my offshore learning through this event.
The idea is that competing in this event will bridge the gap between races for me in the Figaro. Having seen the French guys make big advances last year from competing in a single handed race to the Azores, to me it was absolutely essential and logical to take on this race as part of my calendar in September to keep the momentum of learning going throughout the year!
The numbers of attendees is less than the Solitaire du Figaro. However the boats that have travelled down are the from the top of the fleet making this event incredibly high level.
People to watch out for:
"Local lad" - Xavier Macaire He narrowly lost the Solitaire du Figaro this year due to a last minute penalty.
Champion of France 2014- Charlie Dalin . After a podium in the Figaro this year, he is coming down to defend his title before heading across the Atlantic on an Imoca 60 in the TJV.
Thierry Chabagny- He won a leg of the Figaro this year and is consistently at the top.
Sébastien Simon - Seb won a leg of the Figaro this year and has been consistently going quickly.
Gwenolé Gahinet - With a 5th in the Figaro this year and winner of Ag2r last year he is renowned for sailing fast!
Gildas Morvan - He has competed in the Generali solo 12 times and multiple winner of the Championship du France en Solitaire!
The list could go on as pretty much everyone at the event is an unbelievable sailor.
My aim is to try and convert my overall result in the Championship of France (of which this is the 3rd and final event) to a top 10. I am currently lying 12th. This would allow me to carry a top 10 sail number next season which would be a great result to top off the year! But my main aim, as I said before, is the bigger picture - to keep learning and advancing my offshore sailing!
check out the race on thir website: