Who will win the Solitaire du Figaro?

On Sunday 47 solo sailors took the start of the first leg of the 50th La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro to KInsale, Ireland. As we do before each major race Tip & Shaft speak with a panel of experts, soliciting their ideas of who might win. This time, with the introduction of the new Figaro Beneteau 3, the month long, four stage race is very open and hard to call. Nontheless a stellar panel have put their necks on the line including the last two winners of the Solitaire, Sébastien Simon and Nicolas Lunven, as well as Charlie Dalin, Sam Davies, Paul Meilhat, Pascal Bidégorry, Tanguy Leglatin, coach of the Lorient race group, Denis Hugues who is race director of Solo Maitre CoQ, Charles Darbyshire head of the Offshore Academy in England, journalists Serge Messager (Le Figaro) and Frédéric Pelatan (Journal de Nautisme).

Neal McDonald: “Co-skipper of Hugo Boss is a very exciting added bonus”

British sailor Neal McDonald has been involved in seven Volvo Ocean races. After being Performance Manager to the Ian Walker skippered Abu Dhabi, winners in 2014-15, McDonald played a similar key role on the last Volvo with Xabi Fernandez’ MAPFRE team. He has been full time with Alex Thomson Racing since last year but has known and worked with Alex on a project basis for the last three or four years. McDonald, now 55 years old, has been announced as co-skipper to sail with Thomson on the new Hugo Boss which is completing building in England and due to be launched June/July. An unexpected choice…not really…Tip & Shaft spoke to Neal this week.

Nacho Postigo: “52 SUPER SERIES is still the pinnacle of monohull circuit”

On the eve of the 2019 52 SUPER SERIES Tip & Shaft caught up with Nacho Postigo (ESP), navigator on Provezza and one of the original founders of the class in the Med back in 2004-5. He won the inaugural Med Cup on Pisco Sour and was one of the originators and managers of the Med Cup. Formerly a Cup navigator with Mascalzone Latino, Postigo is also a successful Superyacht racing navigator, currently also races in the ClubSwan 50 fleet as well as recently doing a couple of Mini650 seasons. 

World Sailing: It’s time to chose

From Friday to Sunday Chelsea Football Club in London hosts the World Sailing Mid-Year Meeting. One the main issues is the choice of Olympic equipment for the Paris 2024 Games, choices which naturally enough sees feelings and ideas erupting through the sport and within the International Federation. Tip & Shaft tries to see more clearly.

Kojiro Shiraishi: « It is the first time I build everything from scratch »

Kojiro Shiraishi made tens of thousands of friends and fans all around the world during his Vendee Globe. Dignified, passionate with a thousand megawatt smile, the Japanese solo racer was really starting to show his potential and his ability just before the mast of his Spirit of Yuko broke and he was forced in to South Africa. When he pledged to come back and finish the job in 2020, few would have bet on Koji returning armed with a brand new generation foiling IMOCA built from the moulds of Charal. But with the backing of DMG Mori, a global leader in machine tools and their applications, Shiraishi has a top level project.

SailGP: Two down and what we know?

The second of the five stages of the SailGP season ended up in San Francisco with the same podium as the first event in Sydney. Victory to the Australians (Tom Slingsby) ahead of the Japanese (Nathan Outterridge) and the visibly improving British (Dylan Fletcher). Tip & Shaft reviews the new circuit launched by Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts.