Oceans Lab skipper, Phil Sharp will be one of 35 solo skippers to contest in this notoriously competitive race challenged by shipping lanes, sandbanks, rocks and tidal currents. Achieving a good result in this race class, aboard a Figaro 3 (32 ft) one-design boat, means little sleep and close finishes with just minutes, sometime seconds apart.
Sharp, who is supported by leading real estate professional services and investment management company, Colliers International, will participate in La Solitaire du Figaro, a single-handed 1,830 nautical mile race over four stages, taking just under a month to complete. This, the 51st edition, will start on 30 August in in the bay of Saint-Brieuc, France and include several crossings of the English Channel passing key landmarks; Fastnet Rock and Wolf Rock, a stopover in Dunkirk, and finishing in Saint-Nazaire on 19 September.
“The Solitaire is without a doubt the most competitive solo offshore race. The high standard of sailors in this one-design boat means that you have to push yourself right to your limits to try and secure even the smallest of advantage”, Sharp commented. “I am both apprehensive and excited returning to this demanding and tactical event. Looking back on my experience nine years ago, minimising errors under good sleep management will be key. With four coastal stages and a couple of rest days in-between, it is much harder to find a rhythm than an Atlantic race, and the compounded fatigue increases with every stage.”
This will be Sharp’s second entry after racing aboard a Figaro 2 in the 2011 edition, where he finished as 3rd rookie on an adjusted 18th position overall.
Tony Horrell, Colliers International CEO UK & Ireland, added: “Colliers is proud to support Phil, he is constantly striving to achieve exceptional results, embrace change and think differently to face challenges. This is showcased in his work with OceansLab to create the most innovative renewable offshore racing solutions, making the sport a more sustainable one. We wish him the best of luck in the La Solitaire du Figaro, his latest endeavour.”