Sam Davies sailing Skandia crossed the finish line of the Solitaire du Figaro off St Nazaire at 02:02:16 BST yesterday morning as first Rookie home
Sam Davies sailing Skandia crossed the finish line of the Solitaire du Figaro off St Nazaire at 02:02:16 BST yesterday morning as first Rookie home in seventh place on this final 500-mile leg, nine minutes 52 seconds behind leg winner Lionel Pean.
Davies saved her best till last to finish her first Solitaire du Figaro race in second place in the overall Rookie standings. Skandia is placed 19th overall – five hours behind the winner Armel Le Cleac’h after more than 327 hours of racing. Top Rookie Marc Emig finished behind Sam in ninth place at 02:11:09 but had already done enough on the previous three legs to secure the overall Rookie slot and fifth place overall.
Sam had a close-fought battle with Marc Emig and Yves Le Blevec for a Rookie podium place throughout this four-leg 1,979 mile race that started on 30 July from Les Sables d’Olonne. Emig quickly proved his reputation dominating the ten Rookies from the beginning, while Davies and Le Blevec were constantly trading places. Commenting at the finish, Davies said: “It has been a really close battle with Marc and Yves and this time, perhaps, I got the luck a bit more getting the advantage with the wind shifts. I did not know where they were all the time and, as usual, I was just racing for the best position overall on this leg. But I also knew in the final stages that I had a good advantage on Yves and could get second Rookie overall. But for me, it is fantastic to finish ahead of both of them in this last leg and some of the other top guys as well. I am really happy for Marc – he deserved to be top Rookie as he has sailed brilliantly.”
Armel Le Cleac’h won the 34th edition of the race beating Alain Gautier by just 13 seconds in what has to be one of the closest ever finishes in the history of this race. Loick Peyron finished in 12th place and Michel Desjoyeaux in 16th on this final leg which was enough to secure third overall for Desjoyeaux and sixth for Peyron.
Overall Positions (after four legs) provisional
1st Armel LE CLEAC’H / Créaline / 327:08:19
2nd Alain GAUTIER / Foncia / 00:00:13
3rd Michel Desjoyeaux / Géant / 01:26:17
4th Pascal BIDEGORRY / Région Aquitaine / 01:49:39
5th Marc EMIG/ Espoir Total Course au Large / 01:56:32
6th Loick PEYRON / Fujifilm / 02:24:52
7th Marc THIERCELIN / Bermudes / 02:28:58
8th Laurent PELLECUER / Cliptol Sport / 02:29:21
9th Erwan TABARLY / Thales / 03:27:08
10th Eric DROUGLAZET / David Olivier / 03:37:10
19th SAM DAVIES/ SKANDIA / 04:59:01