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Kenny Rumball displays on La Solitaire du Figaro 2022

Kenny Rumball displays on La Solitaire du Figaro 2022

by Offshore Racing Academy 18 Sep 07:14 EST

Kenny Rumball – La Solitaire du Figaro 2022 © Alexis Courcoux

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A variety of planning and preparation went into this years Solitaire, from as early as January I used to be out in France coaching, primarily within the Heart Excellence Voile in La Rochelle below the tutelage of coach Etienne Saiz whereas additionally below the watchful eye of mission supervisor Marcus Hutchison.

The early season occasions and performances outcomes sensible and on the water have been very promising with stable leads to the Solo Maitre Coq, Allmer Cup and Solo Concarneau.

To not point out nice crusing in different courses, primarily within the 1720 class in Eire and an offshore marketing campaign on Darkwood the J121 which yielded a category win within the SSE Renewables Spherical Eire earlier within the season.

Consequently, I felt higher ready than ever going into the Solitaire. Properly thought out sail choice, a terrific backup group, climate evaluation with Christian Dumard and training from Etienne all with important substances obligatory for a unique format this 12 months. Three versus 4 legs, all 600nm with then two days ashore to relaxation earlier than heading out on the subsequent leg. This meant stopovers can be as essential because the precise races.

Leg one was north from St Nazaire round Bishop’s Rock to a digital waypoint midway to Skockholm Island earlier than heading south to Port La Foret. A really gentle begin had us drifting north below gennaker earlier than the wind settled in from the North West bringing the fleet North with the wind finally shifting to the North East giving stable speeds in direction of Bishop’s Rock. At Bishop’s Rock we had our first transition with the wind dying earlier than filling in from the South West. As much as 25 knots within the evening gave quick speeds to the waypoint. The following day we encountered the subsequent transition with no wind leaving the fleet drifting to the north of the Scillies. Finally within the late afternoon, the wind stuffed in from the North West to propel us south to Port La Foret. Many climate forecasts stated we’d get a North Easterly so I took a path to the South East to capitalize on this.

Approaching Quessant, I had the primary of what would transform persistent digital points. The wind devices displayed an error as we have been screaming downwind in 25kts by means of the evening. Primarily this meant hand steering the final 16 hours of this leg. I arrived in Port La Foret with the pack, shattered however comparatively content material with my efficiency. Straight into a lot wanted relaxation, I left Guillaume my preparateur to take care of the boat and search readability from NKE on the problems with the wind devices.

Leg two would convey us North once more from Port La Foret to a mark simply west of Guernsey, throughout to Eddystone lighthouse after which all the best way south to Royan which is simply North of Bordeaux. Beginning in a sea breeze within the afternoon, there was a great breeze at the beginning earlier than the wind went gentle and fickle all the best way to the Pointe du Raz. Initially within the gentle airs approaching Penmarch, I used to be not quick however figuring out the wind would fill in from the East by means of the evening, by the ‘Raz’ I used to be again within the combine with the pack. In a constructing Easterly with winds of 25kts and tastes touching 30kts, the fleet was beating all the best way to the Channel Islands. Rounding the cardinal mark to the South East of Guernsey within the wee hours of the morning, it was a tricky name for the dash to Eddystone between the massive spinnaker, small spinnaker or gennaker. Initially beginning off with the small spinnaker it was quick and really moist however apparent that it was close to unattainable to remain excessive sufficient to make Eddystone. Peeling to the gennaker, speeds have been a lot the identical and simply making Eddystone. By the, winds had constructed to 28-32 knots so the tempo was fast! Approaching Eddystone and for the leg from Eddystone again to Quessant we have been anticipating tastes of 35 kts. Round Eddystone, it was a peel again to the small spinnaker. Some boats round me hoisted large spinnakers and located themselves overpowered and on their sides in a short time so it was the proper name!

Approaching Quessant the wind was because of die and we have been anticipating a transition with North Easterly winds all the best way to Royan. This being the Solitaire, life was to not be really easy and so with many transitions and the fleet unfold extensively out over the West Coast of France, we drifted round for practically 24 hours desperately looking for any tiny little bit of breeze. The wind finally stuffed in from the North West and, frustratingly after being within the center a part of the pack, I discovered myself within the latter half of the pack as we approached Royan. Nonetheless, with one other leg executed with no main breakages and having survived the 35 knots within the channel in a single piece, it was relaxation time once more earlier than the final leg! The devices had behaved effectively, it was one robust leg to go!

Leg three was shaping as much as be the hardest: a pleasant spin to the Farallones Islands off the North Coast of Spain with a constructing sea state as much as 4m and wind speeds between 28 and 38 knots for a quick however difficult sail house to St Nazaire. In good spirits and feeling prepared, I left Royan staying very a lot with the pack to the protected water mark off Archachon. Crusing quick by means of the evening, I used to be in a great place within the fleet the subsequent day and crusing quick within the lighter winds. Every part was going effectively on board till I used to be awoken from a fast nap to a wind warning message from my devices at round 3pm.

Having encountered these points earlier than I adopted the directions I had been given from TEEM and NKE to restart the system to see if the problem would resolve itself. Monitoring the devices, the problem turned extra persistent and I began to have doubts as as to whether I’d have the ability to proceed the leg given the forecast for the return leg of 35knts and 4m seas. A name to the race director Yann who allowed me to name TEEM on the satellite tv for pc cellphone to get recommendation on probably fixing the problem at sea. Keep in mind within the Solitaire, we shouldn’t have our cell telephones and are forbidden from receiving exterior help whereas racing. I additionally mentioned the issue with fellow Irish competitor Tom Dolan. Sadly the prognosis from TEEM was that my wind pace and route sensor on the high of the mast was failing and the scenario would worsen…

With the forecast and an absence of dependable wind devices, after a lot deliberation I made the tough resolution to retire from the final leg and finish my Solitaire for 2022. Whether or not or not it was the proper resolution, I’ll by no means know. Nonetheless when you’re by yourself with little to no exterior help coupled with the stresses of racing, retaining the boat and your self in a single piece and given the circumstances on the time, that is the choice I took.

And so began a lonely 200 mile supply again to Lorient. Messages from the opposite skippers got here in one after the other on the VHF after the race committee knowledgeable the fleet of my resolution. I phoned Marcus to let him know the scenario and my household on the sat cellphone and pointed the boat at Lorient.

Abruptly it was throughout, 9 months of coaching, racing, logistics, health, vitamin and a objective, the solo season was over. I spent two days in Lorient placing the boat away which given how a lot crusing had been executed on quantity 20 during the last three years was not a simple process. I headed all the way down to St Nazaire to have a good time with the opposite skippers, and go to the prize-giving to wrap up the occasion.

Then it was time for a a lot wanted vacation, away from crusing boats, the wind, solar and seas of Naxos have been calling for a kitesurfing vacation…

So what’s subsequent for Kenny? I am definitely in want of a great relaxation from offshore crusing and the intensive coaching and crusing regime that goes with it. Nonetheless, I’ll proceed to develop the Offshore Racing Academy to assist in constructing and supporting the abilities of all ranges of offshore racing in Eire. Keep tuned for some developments for subsequent 12 months on this space!

With that in thoughts there’s nonetheless the chance for younger Irish offshore sailors within the Figaro to hitch Kenny to compete within the Figaro Nationals in Lorient from the Sixth-Ninth of October…. Please e mail Kenny if you’re , simply bear in mind that is solely if you’re significantly occupied with competing on the Figaro circuit in 2023. This occasion is sailed with 4 individuals on board every Figaro. There’s a combination of brief inshore races and a tour of Ile de Groix the island off the coast of Lorient. It’s good finish to the season and a chance for these significantly occupied with competing within the Figaro circuit subsequent 12 months to realize priceless perception into the category, skippers and be taught what’s required to compete on this skilled class.

I’m wanting ahead to doing a little completely different crusing for the tail finish of the season. The RS 21 World Championships are on the playing cards for November and I’m wanting ahead to the Turkey Shoot within the acquainted environment of the 1720. After 11 Center Sea races, regardless of many gives, I’m taking a break from heading to Malta for this 12 months …

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