Solo Matrie CoQ starts tomorrow. With the jauge (measurement) done and the boat ready to go , today has been a day of relaxation, checking the weather and preparing for an intense couple Of days of inshore racing.
Event format: Monday- Inshore racing 1 or many races (coastal or windward leeward) 10.30 start Tuesday- Inshore racing 1 or many races (coastal or windward leeward) 10.30 Wednesday- lay day Thursday- 350 mile offshore 1200 start.
With the forecast looking light for Mondays inshore racing the key will be trying to not get stuck with a big score on the first day. There are no discards in the series meaning an emphasis on consistency throughout the week in the different disciples and conditions will be key.
Last year I was fairly strong at the start of the solitaire du Figaro legs usually getting off the start line well and rounding mark one in a strong position.
The Solo Matrie CoQ is going to be very useful now leading in to the season as a training session with multiple starts and races with 20+ boats on the start line.
In terms of who to watch for this event here are a list of my favorites and ones to watch:
Corentain Douguet has to be the most experienced sailor at the event with the most Figaro sailing under his belt and a few near wins of the solitaire du Figaro over the years. He is also a very competent short course sailor and match racer. He is probably the favorite to win.
Anthony Marchand- another extremely experience Figaro and Volvo sailor who is coming back after a year out of the Figaro he will be keen to show what he can do.
Nick Cherry- the most experienced British Figaro sailor. Nick was strong in the inshore series in this event last year and in the Generali, having also been training in Vendee this winter he will be out to win this event and show he is able to be consistent all round.
Benjamin Deateux- A local to Vendee he has shown great pace around the race courses last year, good all-round I imagine he will be in the mix for most of the races.
Justine Mettraux- Great to see so many girls in the Figaro this year, Justine is hot off the Volvo SCA boat having been a very successful mini sailor before and with a great sponsor and campaign for the 2016 Figaro she could feature heavily in the races.
All the races can be tracked live on the event website: