Armel Le Cléac’h wins his third Solitaire du Figaro
Armel Le Cléac’h has won the La Solitaire du Figaro for the third time. He was declared winner on 19 September when the fourth and final stage of the solo offshore race was cancelled due to a lack of wind.
Le Cléac’h joins an illustrious list of triple winners, including Philippe Poupon, Jean Le Cam, Michel Desjoyeaux, Jérémie Beyou, and Yann Eliès. Le Cléac’h, who also won the
2016 Vendée Globe, stepped back into the Figaro class after his maxi trimaran Banque Populaire IX was written off in the 2018 Route du Rhum and while his new Ultime is in build. He commented after: “This is my twelfth participation, I started my first Solitaire 20 years ago, and it has been a long course since then. I have not won every year, it has been 2003, 2010 and now 2020. I had to be patient to get this third one.
“There was a great atmosphere on this Solitaire, a balance of fun and a bit of madness, all the generations mingling with each other, with the experienced like me, Yann (Eliès) and Fred (Duthil) who made a nice 2nd place, and behind the youngsters who will get better and better, they are the champions of tomorrow. I’m glad I beat them this year, but it will be harder and harder in the years to come.”
Ireland’s Tom Dolan took 5th place, the best overall finish by a non-french sailor since 1997. Four British skippers took part this year and hopes were high of a podium place as Sam Goodchild took 2nd in Stage 2 between Le Cléac’h and Eliès, and was leading in the early sections of Stage 3. But the fickle conditions saw Goodchild demoted to mid fleet. All four Brits made it into the top 20, with Alan Roberts in 10th, Phil Sharp 13th, Jack Boutell 15th and Sam Goodchild 17th.