The Solo Maître CoQ, the first event in the Championnat de France Elite de Course au Large en Solitaire (France’s elite offshore solo sailing championship), welcomed 40 Figaro Bénéteau to Les Sables d’Olonne last week.
For its 13th edition, the Solo Maître CoQ brought together the cream of the Figaro Bénéteau circuit. At the helm of Safran-Guy Cotten, Gahinet made a superb start by winning the first race of the event in Les Sables d’Olonne, “It gives me confidence to have led a fleet of 40 boats,” Gahinet said. “I made a very good start and I backed up my choices until the finish. It was a great experience and it shows that I have improved this winter with Tanguy Leglatin.”
Twelfth in the two coastal races which followed, Gahinet was in 4th place in the overall rankings before leaving on Thursday for a 320-mile offshore race. “I had an average start and I made some unwise weather choices; the gaps widened quickly,” admitted the skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten, who finished a shortened race in 21st place. “I would’ve liked it to continue, I had the energy. I’ll take some time to analyse my race and try to understand what happened. In the heat of battle, I think I have to be more methodical about my strategic choices. I have to learn from my mistakes.”
Next objective: the Solo Concarneau-Trophée Guy Cotten
The season continues for Gwénolé Gahinet. The skipper will participate from May 5-10 in the Solo Concarneau, which has been partnered by Guy Cotten since 2013. “I’m looking forward to meeting everybody from Guy Cotten in Concarneau, where I’ll spend a few days training before the event,” Gahinet said. Though the race, part of the official calendar of the Figaro Bénéteau Class does not count towards France’s elite offshore solo sailing championship, it is a life-size training run 24 days before the start of La Solitaire du Figaro in Bordeaux. “The format is, once again, similar to a small stage of La Solitaire,” said Gahinet, who is aiming for a top ten finish. “The course is not yet laid, but we’ll have a stage of about 330 miles on a course that will go from Ushant to the Ile de Yeu. I know I have what it takes to have a good race. I’m going to particularly focus on the weather analysis and on strategy.”
To follow the start of the Solo Concarneau – Trophée Guy Cotten, join us on Thursday, May 7 at 1500hrs (French time) in the Bay of Concarneau.