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Fourth to Torbay, Gwénolé Gahinet grows in strength - La Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire
The effort of the skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten has been rewarded. Gwénolé Gahinet mastered the 400-mile course from Concarneau in Brittany to Torbay in England perfectly, handling all of the dangers that had been forecast. Crossing the finish line of the third leg of La Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire at 11:24:50hrs (French time) on Wednesday, the skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten took 4th place and moved himself into 4th in the overall leaderboard.

This was a leg not to be missed. As expected, the gaps between arrivals in Torbay were significant; Gwénolé Gahinet took 2 days, 5 hours, 43 minutes and 50 seconds to complete this stage, finishing 1 hour and 13 minutes behind the winner Yann Eliès (Groupe Queguiner - Leukemia Hope) and 21 minutes behind the third-placed, Xavier Macaire (Skipper Hérault). Gildas Morvan, in tenth, was relegated to more than two and a half hours behind the winner.

“I will not stop here”
Full of confidence since leaving Bordeaux on May 31, the skipper of the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten is growing stronger with each leg on his second Solitaire du Figaro. “I'm really happy,” he said at the finish. “It was a great stage with some twists, some good competition some and magnificent landscapes. I was behind the leading group at the start and was in 18th place after the first night. But I gave everything I could to catch up. Fourth overall, it’s good - but there are still three places to go,” he added with a laugh. Though the sailor from Lorient jumped two more places in the overall ranking after this leg, he also knows that behind him, Jérémie Beyou (Maître Coq) is lying in wait in ambush, only 4 minutes and 51 seconds behind.

A double coup in Ushant
“There were two good openings on the upwind tack before Ushant, where I positioned myself well to left of the fleet,” Gahinet said. “Then along the island, I saw that those in front of me had slowed a bit, so I took the opportunity to shift and get myself into the right flow of current.” After two nights at sea and sailing through the rocky outcrops along the northern coast of Brittany, he was feeling the fatigue. “Just before the going through the ridge of high pressure in The Channel I was exhausted,” Gahinet admitted. “I was positioned just 100 metres north of Xavier Macaire and he escaped.”

After four days and nights of well-earned rest in England, the 39 solo sailors will set off on Sunday at 1700hrs (French time) from Torbay towards Dieppe for the fourth and final leg of this 46th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire.

Photo : Pilpre Arnaud
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