The solo stage race is ramping up to launch and the fleet of sailboats will arrive as of May 27 at quai de la Fosse in Nantes. For a week, an occasion for all to admire these exceptional boats that will leave June 2 under the bridge of Saint-Nazaire.
An exceptional lineup
This is the first time the city of Nantes welcomes the Le Figaro Solitaire Urgo celebrating its half-century of offshore racing. A highly symbolic port since it built the boats sailing in the competition. This departure is only for show, because the width of the Loire is too limited for the actual departure that will take place in Pornichet, mythical sailing venue, under the bridge of Saint-Nazaire .We expect a banner year with 48 exceptional competitors including the biggest names in sailing, 4 women and 12 newcomers. The former winners of the competition, Michel Desjoyeaux, Loïck Peyron, Armel Le Cléac'h, Jérémie Beyou and Yann Eliès are also participating in the race. These old sea dogs who can't resist the siren's call of the sea will further spice up this high-energy competition.
Setting a course for novelty
This year, the skippers will have to rub elbows with a new boat: The Le Figaro Bénéteau 3 monotype. With this complex and highly technological monohull, speed will be more accessible than ever. The competition will be fair since competitors from all walks of life are starting on equal terms on an identical boat that is unknown to them. The technique, the routes, the experience, and the understanding of the sailboat are what will make the difference.
Being in the top ten would already be a feat
This new boat is demanding. It is equipped with foils and has an extra sail. It will be tricky to figure out the best angles of incidence according to the wind and maintain an increased presence on the deck to adjust the foils, adapt the sails and hold the bar. They will be faster on the larger sections of 300 miles in open water. These new parameters should make for unprecedented trajectories and new strategies.
Route and schedule
The Le Figaro Solitaire Urgo 2019 offers an atypical route of 2000 miles passing through the Isle of Man, departing from Nantes, via Kinsale in Ireland, Bay of Morlaix and Dieppe.
May 27th: arrival of the Le Figaro Bénéteau 3 along the Quai de la Fosse (Nantes)
June 2nd: departure of the first leg (550 miles) under the bridge of Saint-Nazaire
June 5th: arrival of the first racers in Kinsale (Ireland)
June 9th: departure of the second leg (630 miles) to the Isle of Man
June 13th: arrival of the first racers in Roscoff
June 16th: start of the third leg (450 miles) around Brittany
June 19th: arrival of the first racers in Roscoff
June 22nd: departure of the fourth leg (460 miles) to British Cornwall
June 26th: arrival of the first racers in Dieppe
June 29th: awards ceremony in Dieppe
Who will be the successor of Sebastien Simon, winner of the 2018 edition? A seasoned skipper or a novice sailor? The competition will be fierce between the roaring 48!
The housing solution in Saint-Nazaire
You will be at the forefront to admire the boats in Nantes and, on race day, see the big departure under the bridge of Saint-Nazaire. Located in the "city-port" district, the Smartappart residence hotel is an economical alternative to hotels. From studios to one-bedrooms, its furnished apartments have all the comforts for your short, medium or long stays.