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To crown a legendary sailor, the race had to be too! And according to the competitors, this 52nd edition was particularly challenging: a course of nearly 2,500 miles, one of the longest ever run, stages of 4 to 5 days, or 14 days and 16 hours of navigation combined for the winner, varied courses: coastal or offshore, but always technical. Add to that a totally erratic weather forecast which gave all the skippers a hard time. With a very homogeneous sporting level and demanding boats, you have there all the ingredients which made the difficulty but also gave all the flavor to this 52nd edition.

This competition crowned a new legend of ocean racing: a flamboyant Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019), exhilarated by the combativeness and great adversity of his runners-up Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) and Tom Laperche (Bretagne - CMB performance). It also revealed emerging talents, eager to do battle, to prove their value, their passion, their audacity, their ambition...

Beyond the sporting aspect, La Solitaire du Figaro is also and always fantastic stories of incredible men and women, of solidarity among sailors, of hugs on the pontoons at the finish of each stage, of self-sacrifice, combativeness, resilience…

A great sporting demonstration

The first stage is dominated by a conquering Xavier Macaire, also marked by the misadventure of David Paul, entangled in a fishing net and forced to abandon this stage. Contested upwind on the way back to Lorient, this first episode sets the tone for a tough and tough race.

The long coastal course along the Breton coast, during the second stage between Lorient and Fécamp, turned into a convict test, upwind, planting stakes. It was not the longest but perhaps the most trying of the stages. In any case, it has worn and marked the bodies. Pierre Quiroga strikes a big blow and signs his first stage victory in 6 participations. The disappointment of Xavier Macaire, victim of twists of fate (electronics failure, locker) is equal to the time lost... more than 2 hours on the line.

The third stage is also incredible, full of twists and turns; the uncertain and unstable weather plays a major role in this round. The gaps are made and broken, the leaders come one after the other, the young people take command... On the wire, at the end of the suspense, Pierre Quiroga wins again in the Bay of Morlaix. From this stage, the sailors arrive exhausted and have only 3 days to regain their strength and tackle the longest stage of this Solitaire.

685 miles: almost a third of the total journey, the last stage is a mountain after three weeks of Homeric combat. With a single constraint, a single course mark, the Fastnet, the legendary Irish lighthouse, the last round already promises to be extremely open. She does not disappoint! Here again, the wind and the high pressure ridge act as arbiters of the match. Sailors navigate blindly in the fog, often far from each other, unable to position their adversaries. You have to run your course, take responsibility for your choices. A fine strategist, Pierre Leboucher (GUYOT Environnement - Ruban Rose) made a superb placement and won in Saint-Nazaire.

Having notably won 2 stages out of 4 contested, Pierre Quiroga is crowned winner of the 52nd edition of La Solitaire du Figaro.

Choice stopovers

Saint-Nazaire, Lorient, Fécamp, Baie de Morlaix, then Saint-Nazaire again: for a month, La Solitaire du Figaro crisscrossed the French coasts and received a warm welcome from the territories at each stopover. Unique, rich and authentic moments of sharing between sailors and the general public.

Committed alongside their stopover partners, all the host territories celebrated La Solitaire du Figaro up to the reputation and history of the most difficult offshore race and made the event a great success popular and festive.

A virtual success

If the 34 skippers gave the best of themselves in this 52nd edition of La Solitaire du Figaro, the virtual race organized by Virtual Regatta was also very competitive and benefited from unprecedented enthusiasm. More than 35,000 players per stage, and nearly 60,000 unique players! A figure twice as high as that of the 2020 edition.

A passion shared by all partners

Offshore races are made of adventures, exciting stories supported and shared by their essential partners: the Department of Loire-Atlantique, major partner of the race, the territories, cities and institutions hosting the stopovers, the official partners of the race (Suzuki, La Région Pays de la Loire, Bénéteau and Medaviz), the media, technical partners and official suppliers (727 Sailbags, Brasserie de Bretagne, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Kooi, the offshore wind farm of Saint-Nazaire, Virtual Regatta and the Charles Collin house). “ We warmly thank all the partners who have invested alongside us to bring this 52nd edition to life and make this historic race grow. This success was possible thanks to their commitment and loyalty. We are already, together with the OC Sport Pen Duick teams, looking towards the next edition, the start and finish of which will take place in Loire-Atlantique” indicates Joseph Bizard, General Director of OC Sport Pen Duick.

See you in 2022!

The official prize-giving evening which took place yesterday, Saturday September 18 at the Pornichet racecourse was the opportunity to announce the start and finish city of the 53rd edition. Nantes will be the welcoming cradle for sailors and the Figaro Beneteau 3 fleet for a week of preparation before the Grand Départ. The arrivals, for their part, will be judged in the charming seaside resort of Piriac-sur-Mer.

They said :

Michel Ménard, president of the Department of Loire-Atlantique

“A thrilling and unforgettable Solitaire du Figaro has just ended in Saint-Nazaire. A big congratulations to the sailors who demonstrated tactics and tenacity to regain the Loire-Atlantique. The numerous public enjoyed this legendary race and visited the village, a link between sporting excellence and the great popular festival. Next year, the Loire will be in the spotlight with the Atlantic! And all of our partners will be there to welcome future legends. »

Hervé Favre, president of OC Sport Pen Duick

“For its 52nd edition, La Solitaire du Figaro has once again brought together an exciting line-up, with a large number of rookies. Proof - if any were needed - that La Solitaire continues to attract the great sailors of tomorrow. Physically challenging, technically demanding, the only race on the circuit, La Solitaire is recognized for being one of the most difficult events to win in sport and the 2021 edition will have kept all its promises! On land, this race is a major event, made possible by the passion and commitment of our private and institutional partners. I extend here in particular our warm thanks to the Department of Loire-Atlantique, our major partner, as well as to the stopover towns which did us the honor of welcoming and celebrating these great sailors alongside us.

Jean-Bernard Le Boucher, president of the Classe Figaro-Bénéteau

“I would first like to thank Le Figaro as well as the organizer OC Sport Pen Duick who has the trust of the brand to organize this race and who notably offered us a sublime route this year. It is a fundamental ingredient and the sailors all highlighted the difficulty of the course of this 52nd edition but also the pleasure of having competed in this Solitaire. I would like to send a message to the teams, because if the sailors are alone on the water, they are surrounded on land. I would like to thank the preparers who do a remarkable job, the communicators, the meteorologists... All these teams who revolve around the athletes. I would also like to salute all the sponsors to whom we owe a lot. I send a big congratulations to all these people who are involved in sailing. A big congratulations to the 34 sailors for having completed this 52nd Solitaire and to this great victory for Pierre from a support sector.


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