For 35 years the Solitaire has been the event in the Figaro Bénéteau circuit and this is confirmed once again this year with the record number of registered entries. Sailors well and not so well known, professionals or amateurs, graduates or newcomers.
Like every year, the Solitaire will bring together one of the most important fleets of monohulls. Among the 76 skippers who have announced their intention to participate in the Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro are the experienced sailors of the circuit such as Armel Le CLÉAC'H (winner of the last race in 2003), Kito de PAVANT (winner in 2002), Eric DOUGLAZET (winner in 2001), Pascal BIDÉGORRY (winner in 2000), Dominic VITTET (winner in 1993), Marc EMIG (winner of the novice class in 2003), Gildas MORVAN, Yann ELIÈS, Charles CAUDRELIER, Ronan GUÉRIN…, sailors with impressive past records; Marc THIERCELIN, Lionel PÉAN, Jean Luc NÉLIAS, Halvard MABIRE… and the last winner of the Mini Transat; Armel TRIPON.
Over the years the number of foreign skippers has been on the increase, which shows that the Solitaire is an event known and recognised both in France and abroad. There are 76 wanting to cross the start line for the 35th edition of the Solitaire including; Sander BAKKER (NED) Samantha DAVIES (GBR), Peter de SMET (BEL) Eskill DEGSELL (SWE) Herve FABRE (SUI), Pascal DESMARETS (BEL) Antonio-Pédro Da CRUZ (Cape Verde) Victor MALDONADO (MEX), Branco PALIC (CRO). The number of newcomers is high and shows the keen interest sailors have for this event.
Previous Figaro contenders are equally numerous, as there are 4 pre-registered, two of which are holders of the Jules Verne Trophy. This 2004 selection is exceptional!
The Full story is available on the event website at the address below, along with a full entry list and a plethora of other useful information.