Leg 2 expected to be mentally exhausting for the Solitaire du Figaro skippers

After only 48 hours of resting and refueling in Portugal after Leg 1 of the Solitaire du Figaro, Nick Cherry (Magma Structures) set sail on Leg 2 of the Solitaire du Figaro from Porto (Portugal) to Gijon (Spain).

Nick also put in a repeat performance of his Leg 1 start, making a clean getaway to hold a top 20 position around the 5-mile windward/leeward course ahead of the drag race north to Gijon. Conditions for the start were light and dreary, with a meager 5 knots of wind building to 10 under a grey sky of rain-laden clouds. The light conditions for the off look set to be the trademark of this Leg, with the 452-mile course already having been shortened (298 miles) by the organisers, cutting out a course mark in the Bay of Biscay.

The second stage of the 1,938 mile Solitaire du Figaro will see the 41 skippers retracing their steps south over Leg 1, taking them back up the Spanish coast to, once again, take on the tricky patches of no wind that burned so many skippers on the approach to the Leg 1 finish line. After getting trapped in an area of no wind, Ed dropped from 3rd to 30th overnight, a once bitten, twice shy Ed is looking forward to a second chance at negotiating the tricky area of coastline: “I’ve been building on what went wrong in the first stage, which was mainly getting caught out by a wind hole, but hopefully it’s something that I’ve learned from and won’t happen again. This is going to be a tough race mentally, with so many decisions to be made that could result in the smallest gain, or a huge loss – it’s one extreme or the other in the Figaro.”

Magma Structures skipper Nick continued: “It’s going to be hard to stay sane for three days in no wind, especially on the back of a good start in Leg 1, but I’m aiming just to sail conservatively and try and keep a view of the bigger picture wind wise.”

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