English Riviera will be hosting UK leg of Solitaire du Figaro yacht race this June
The Port of Torbay on South Devon’s English Riviera will be the only UK stopover in the 2015 Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire – a gruelling 2015 mile race known as the unofficial world championships of solo offshore sailing.
Bringing a top class sporting event to the pontoons of Tor Bay and a festival atmosphere shore side including a free race village, the Solitaire du Figaro is an event for both ‘salty seadogs’ and ‘land lubbers’ alike to enjoy.
The ultimate annual sailing endurance race, the Solitaire du Figaro brings only the very best offshore sailors to its start line. Announcing the 2015 course for the 47th edition of the race at the Paris Boat Show in December, Race Organisers confirmed Bordeaux, France – Sanxenxo, Spain – La Cornouaille, France – Torbay, UK and Dieppe, France as the five European ports hosting the 2015 Solitaire du Figaro.
Starting from Bordeaux (France) on 30th May, Torbay will be the fourth stop over in a line up of five hosting the end of Leg 3 and start of Leg 4 – as many as 45 one-design Bénéteau Figaro IIs will race between France, Spain and the UK. The penultimate leg from France to Torbay will see the fleet head first to the notorious Fastnet Rock off the Irish Coast and around Lundy Island, before returning across the Irish Sea and into the English Channel.
Berry Head will come as a welcome sight for the increasingly tired sailors, arriving into Tor Bay on the 17th June 2015 to conclude Leg 3. With the boats safely docked in Torquay’s public race village during the stopover, the skippers will have time to rest and recuperate on English soil.
On Friday 19th June, the Solitaire skippers will take part in an exhibition ‘pro-am’ race from Torquay to turning marks off Paignton and Brixham – a rare opportunity for the usually solo sailors to race with guests aboard. The Solitaire du Figaro race village on Beacon Quay will be open daily to the public from 10am and a grand fireworks display is planned for Saturday 20th June after the Leg 3 prize giving.
The fourth and final leg of the race will kick off from Torbay on Sunday 21st June, but first an outdoor maritime themed multi-faith service of celebration and thanks will be held in the race village, wishing the 40+ sailors well on their final hurrah to Dieppe.
Recognising the Solitaire du Figaro as an opportunity for increased tourism, international awareness and community involvement, Torbay’s bid has been successfully driven forward by Torbay Council and the Royal Torbay Yacht Club with the support of the Artemis Offshore Academy – the UK’s only training centre for solo offshore sailing.
Set against the backdrop of the English Riviera’s beautiful Global Geopark, stunning horse-shoe shaped Tor Bay has been used as a venue for prestigious sailing competitions for many years and famously hosted the 1948 Olympic sailing. A warm welcome for both the visiting sailors and the large number of spectators, expected to attend and enjoy the delights of the free race village, is guaranteed. Torquay was voted top seaside resort in the UK in the Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014.
For updates on events and activities on the English Riviera visit www.englishriviera.co.uk