top of page

They are already asking for more!

The Solitaire du Figaro 2020 ended this Sunday with the prize giving ceremony which, under the Saint-Nazaire sun, honored Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), now triple winner, Kevin Bloch (Team Vendée Formation), first rookie, and Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa), who received the Vivi Trophy for best foreigner. So many sailors who, like almost all of the 35 entered in this 51st edition, have every intention, despite the difficulty of the race, of returning, next year or later.

They sometimes cried, often cursed the skies and the elements, suffered from lack of sleep and the discomfort of their Figaro Bénéteau 3, but at the end of the 51st edition of La Solitaire du Figaro, few were those who do not plan to return in 2021 or later to face the demands of a race like no other again.


“When it stops, you feel a kind of hangover. We forget to say it, but it's something that is so good, to which you become so addicted that at the end, you feel a bit like the kid who had a great weekend and needs to go home on Sunday evening because there is school the next day,” explains the most “capable” of this edition, Yann Eliès (8th, on Quéguiner Matériaux-Leucémie Espoir), now 19 participations on the clock. Another La Solitaire addict, Alexis Loison (Normandy Region), who has just completed his 15th consecutive edition in 14th place, adds: “We wait for La Solitaire for a year and in fact, it goes by very quickly. I feel like I was at Saint-Quay two days ago. »

Both assure us, this 51st edition will not be their last. What makes them come back every time? “I tell myself that next year I will do things differently to try to do better, because clearly, I am not happy with my place and I feel that I am so close to a good result. »Same feeling from Pierre Leboucher (7th on GUYOT environment): “When you manage to sail in front, you want to go back to do even better. You make so many little mistakes that you want to erase them the next time. »


As for Xavier Macaire (11th on Groupe SNEF), he adds: “When it ends, we can’t wait to see who’s next. This year, I know that I was strong, fast, inspired, I had the mentality, but ultimately, Solitaire didn't bring me luck, so I want to go back to try my luck again, I tell myself that one day, it will be my turn. »


This year, the turn of Armel Le Cléac'h, now a member of the circle of six triple winners of La Solitaire du Figaro, has come again, but even after winning, the skipper of Banque Populaire returns. “I'm going back to see what I'm worth in this race which, sportingly, is always of a very high level. There is the risk of taking tarpaulins, we tell ourselves that we are a bit masochistic, but for me, the fact of questioning ourselves allows us to continue to progress. »


Even if it is sometimes painful, as Fabien Delahaye (6th on Laboratoires Gilbert) explains: “Solitaire is a unique event, we put ourselves in the red, we experience intense moments, very tired, during which you have to surpass yourself, but you learn a lot about yourself. It's only here that we experience such things, so we want to relive them, it creates a lack. » A lack that comes quickly, considering the Irishman Tom Dolan, three participations, 5th overall and winner of the Vivi Trophy for best foreigner on Smurfit Kappa: “I need my dose every year. It's a race during which you spend days and days next to each other pushing each other and it ends with tiny gaps, you have a kind of permanent adrenaline, it's downright addictive. » Benoît Mariette (28th in Generation Senioriales) adds: “If you take stock of a Solitaire, you have more moments where you cry than moments where you are jubilant. But it's for those rare moments when you're jubilant that you want to come back. »

On the same note, the final word is for Loïs Berrehar (20th on Bretagne CMB Performance): “We talk a lot about suffering, but what I remember above all is the great satisfaction you feel when you sail in front and that you get results. On this Solitaire, I showed that I was capable of it, so I will have to come back to show that I can transform the test and make a podium. It's this sporting challenge that makes you do it again every time, it's where the level is the highest, La Solitaire du Figaro is a huge reference. »


bottom of page