The winner and his pursuers Tom Dolan and Julie Simon have just completed their first journey of 610 miles between Normandy and Ireland. Verbatim of the lucky winners of the podium before the jury.
In Kinsale (Ireland)
Benoît Tuduri (Capso En Cavale) winner of the 1st stage: “I don’t really realize. It was my fourth solo race and this result is extraordinary. A project that I dedicate to the children who came to see me from Caen and also to all my partners who trust me. The course was superb and I thank the race direction for that. I love the open sea and there, we weren’t bored.
As I’m more of a diesel, which takes me a while to get going, the start of the race wasn’t perfect. While trying things. Without giving up. For the passage north of the Scillys, I hesitated for a long time but I thought that it could be a good option. In pure speed, staying with the others would have been difficult for me. Only Tom Dolan made the same choice. I wasn’t sure it was going to pay off but in general I like to take risks.
I didn’t really feel any pressure, except on Wednesday when we had a calm. I was far from everything, isolated. With Tom, everyone had gone his own way. I knew the wind was going to come back from the west. And then, at the 5 p.m. ranking yesterday, I learned by satellite phone that I was in the lead. Hope returned and I kept going. The wind therefore returned and I knew that I had to manage my small lead. For my first passage of the Fastnet, in the middle of the night and in the rain, I just saw it. A mystical moment for me. Managing the end of the race was easy, thanks to my lead. I even rested for the last 40 miles. Well set up, the boat was progressing well under pilot.”
Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan), 2e at 16′ 21”: “When passing the Scillys, we knew according to the routings that the North or South choices were not going to change much. I chose the North. I thought everyone was going to do it. With the wind there, which had swung to the left, I passed all the other boats, with a perfect current but no one followed me. I didn’t try anything, it was logical for me because after passing the archipelago, I could aim for the direct route to the Fastnet. I had a doubt at the time. Afterwards, I don’t know where the others went.
So I find myself all alone and then, during the last third of the race, I don’t know where the others are. I no longer have them in the AIS, on the cartography. It was a phew thing! In the dark night, I could only see my masthead lights. Doubt was worse. As I was no longer in VHF range, I did not have the rankings and the weather forecast, except by satellite telephone, but I did not understand anything. It was worse when I found myself in a dead calm yesterday. I freaked out. Thinking that the whole fleet had gone ahead. That I was going to take 6 hours and it was all over. The podium is not undeserved. I have always been in the leading group from the start. Winning would have been nice here. That will be for the next time.”
Julie Simon (Twelve YCLB), 3rd at 21’44”: “My goal was to do a good step in the first third of the field. From there to making a podium, it’s incredible. And in the end, nothing had to be let go. When we see the arrivals behind us, everyone passed in a pocket handkerchief. Fortunately, I had a bit of a head start when passing the Fastnet. Besides, I’m a little disgusted because I passed it in the night and the mist and I didn’t see it.
For my option, it was a bit crazy. I haven’t seen anyone from the Scillys. And above all, I realized that it had paid off only 24 hours later. I knew I was in the top three but sometimes that doesn’t mean anything as the game is quite open in the Celtic Sea. The last sprint, with all the gybes under spinnaker to be done in the dark night, was not easy. I messed up a bit. But I was in good shape because I was well rested before.
For the passage of the Scillys, I knew that I wanted to counter tack a little further north. Everything made me go to this place. With the current and the rotation of the wind. When everyone went straight ahead, I didn’t understand. I thought to myself, heck, go ahead. And I trust myself. Afterwards, I had no anxiety. Having done the Mini Transat, being alone for several days does not scare me. In fact I have nothing to lose. My strong point is not speed. Staying with the others would have given nothing. At some point, you have to dare. And I had fun on an almost flat sea to reach Ireland. By putting on all the veils of the wardrobe.”
#Benoît #Tuduri #realize