The Solitaire du Figaro is a very special event in many ways, and perhaps is most special to those that get the opportunity to compete and live it.
It seems like a yearly pilgrimage for the guy’s who compete year in year out. Winter training is followed by a slow migration up the West coast of France to the start port of the Solitaire. This year the race starts in Paimpol, but to get there we have had 3 races so far taking us one step closer each time. Starting in the home port of the Vendee Globe, Les Sables d’Olonne we have now raced from Concarneau, L’aberwrach and as I write, I am on delivery to Granville for our final stop on the circuit before the big one.
For 3 of us within the squad, the next 2 months of our lives are very much uncertain. Sam and Nick have had their programmes for the season booked since November for their impressive performances last year. For Ollie, Aaron and I however, we have been fighting it out since November for the final berth in Paimpol. We find out on the 4th June our fate so by the time I write my next blog our last race to impress the selection committee will be over and a decision will be made.
It has been potentially quite difficult mentally to approach dealing with whether you will compete or not, it’s not a short race, we have all booked off a month of our lives just in case we get the green light, but ultimately only one of us will get it. When the call was made to delay the decision until the 4th June, it meant very little time to prepare between knowing you were in, to the Prolouge race starting on the 16th June just under 2 weeks later.
In many ways I have liked the uncertainty, while in my head I have been preparing as if I am doing the Solitaire for over a month now, the need to keep focused and do well in every race right up to the start of the Solitaire could mean you take in great form coming into the event. Or one of us could be completely burned out by start day and have a shocker… I guess time will tell! Anyway with 1 week and 1 race to go, all energy is turned to Basse Normandie starting this Friday, weather, tide, stratergy, routing, boat prep, kit prep and the personal prep all starts again…
Right best get back on deck, 4 hours to Granville and looks like we will make the tide to go straight in and not have to wait outside, bonus!