Clipper winner to compete in two-handed cross channel triangle race

Single-handed offshore racing’s most competitive class, the Figaro, will be visiting the UK from 7-10 September on a two-handed race called the Course des Falaises.

This event runs on a triangular circuit from Le Havre to Cowes and on to Fecamps and then home. The boats will finish the first leg to Cowes on 7 September. On the 8 September they racing on triangular courses off course and on 9 September will be racing to Yarmouth and back to Cowes. The following day (Southampton boat show press and preview day) the fleet will race up Southampton Water, before starting the final leg from there on to Fecamps at around 1530.

Although the fleet is predominantly French, the Course des Falaises will have one British competitor in the form of Alex Thomson, the recent winner of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Clipper Round the World Race. Aged 25, Thomson is the youngest person ever to have won a round the world yacht race and now has his sights firmly set on moving up the single-handed ocean racing ladder in the same way as Ellen MacArthur has so successfully done.

Thomson will be crewing on one of the one-design 32ft Bénéteau Figaro Solos in this event and then hopes to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre, the French two-handed transatlantic race from Le Havre to Cartegena which starts on 16 October.

The Course des Falaises has been encouraged to come to the UK by SOLO, the RYA’s single-handed offshore racing committee which has been responsible for getting Thomson on board a boat in this event.

The event is also a prelude to the single-handed Solitaire du Figaro, the effective world championship of single-handed offshore racing, which stops at Falmouth next year.

See also Course des Falaises website