The Solitaire du Figaro has started and Alberto Bona challenges the “big boys” of ocean sailing!

Gone! The very difficult solo stage race Solitaire du Figaro has begun, with a single Italian oceanic sailor on the starting line in Nantes (destination of the first stage Kinsale, Ireland), 33-year-old Alberto Bona from Turin, many miles behind him and a great desire to confront the elite of world ocean sailing. We are all rooting for him!

He is aboard the Figaro 3 (equipped with foils, we had tried it) Sebago, 10.85 x 3.40 m boat, weighing only 2,900 kg. At the time of writing Bona is in tenth position, just behind Armel Le Cleac’h, winner of the last Vendée Globe and ahead of the likes of Yanne Elies, Jérémie Beyou, Alain Gautier and Loick Peyron!


In the following lines we explain why this 2019 Figaro 3 is absolutely not to be missed.


First held in 1970 and then not yet named Figaro, the French newspaper became the main sponsor of the regatta in 1980. We are talking about the legendary Solitaire du Figaro, the solo, stage race that will be run for the first time this year on Beneteau’s new foil monotypes, the Figaro 3. We are at the beginning of a new era, as the first monotype edition, the Figaro1 designed by Finot/Conq, had been in 1991, and as the transition to the Figaro 2 designed by Marc Lombard was in 2003.

The 2019 edition has 47 entrants, the elite of transalpine sailing decided to be there. The program this year includes a first leg, starting June 2, from Nantes, France, to Kinsale, Ireland, via Fastnet, for a total of 550 miles.

The second leg will also be the longest: departure June 9 from Kinsale, destination Roscoff, northern France, but not before rounding the Isle of Man in northern England, and Wolf Rock in Cornwall, for a total of 615 miles. The third stage, starting June 16, from Roscoff to Roscoff with a strategically complex route all inside the English Channel, for 450 total miles. The last leg, starting June 22, will be from Roscoff to Dieppe, with three obligatory passages including one still via Wolf Rock in Cornwall and two inside the English Channel, for 500 miles. Victory is awarded in the same way as in the Giro d’Italia bike race, the sum of the times of all the stages-a very difficult challenge, therefore, where endurance during the little more than 20 days of racing and the 2,115 miles to be covered will count.



Alberto Bona

Born in 1986 from Turin, Italy, a graduate in Philosophy, he has two Mini Transats behind him, one finished in fifth place and a retirement in the second. He also raced in Class 40.

Armel le cleac’h

Born in Saint-Pol-de-Léon in 1977, he won the last Vendée Globe (round-the-world nonstop and assisted), and finished second in 2008 and 2012. He won the Solitaire du Figaro twice.

Charles Caudrelier

Born in 1974, a Parisian, he won the Volvo Ocean Race (round-the-world crewed stage race) twice, once as skipper, and won the Solitaire du Figaro in 2004. He also won two Transat Jacques Vabre.

Clarisse Cremer

A rising star of French sailing, Breton from Auray, 29, finished second in her first Mini Transat, her debut in ocean sailing. Banque Populaire wants her for the upcoming Vendée Globe.


Jérémie Beyou

Class of 1976 from Finistère, he won three Solitaire du Figaro and finished third in a Vendée Globe, retiring from two other participations. French ocean sailing veteran aims for another Vendée.

Justine Mettreaux

Switzerland, born 1986, two Volvo Ocean Races behind him, one of which he won with Dongfeng. He finished second in a Mini Transat, seventh in his first Solitaire.

Loïck Peyron

Class of 1959 from Nantes, a legend in France. Numerous victories in various transatlantics in doubles or solo, second to a Vendée Globe, set numerous records in the Ocean.

Michel Desjoyeaux

Class of 1965 from Concarneau, the only sailor to have won two Vendée Globes, but his palmares also include three Solitaire du Figaro, the Route du Rhum and the Jacques Vabre.

Yann Elies

Clsasse 1974, a Breton, won the Solitaire du Figaro three times, the Trophée Jules Verne twice (a record for circumnavigation of the globe by crew), and numerous transatlantic voyages.




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