Banque Populaire Grand-Ouest Trophy : a long offshore sprint

Banque Populaire Grand-Ouest Trophy : a long offshore sprint

Banque Populaire Grand-Ouest Trophy is a long, long offshore sprint for Ireland’s Tom Dolan

At 735 nautical miles long, the Banque Populaire Grand Ouest Trophy race which starts Saturday 1300hrs local time, is one of the longest offshore courses of the 2024 season for Ireland’s Tom Dolan.

For the double handed course which will take between four and five days, Dolan will resume his partnership with the young French co-skipper Paul Morvan who he sailed with on the Laura Vergne Trophy race earlier in the season, finishing in fourth place.

“It is looking quite light and flukey so it will be interesting, certainly the first 48 hours all the way up to the Iles de Chausée is looking really light and flukey. It will be important to be well positioned up there because after that it will just stretch open.” Explained Dolan as he and Morvan prepared the Figaro Beneteau Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan.

The course takes the fleet out of Concarneau – where the Irish skipper lives now – all the way up the Brittany coast to turn at the Iles de Chaussée which are a set of small rocky islets just to the west, offshore of Granville, NE of Saint Malo and Mont St Michel.

 “Paul and I are ready to go. We know that we are not going to sleep much because there will be so much going on, lots of stop starts especially in the Channel.”  Dolan adds, “The first part of the course promises to be particularly challenging as we will be working between the thermal breeze and the synoptic wind which will make it interesting all the way to the Channel Islands.”

Morvan, whose background has been in Laser Olympic class type dinghy racing, enthuses,  “Tom and I complement each other perfectly. We have full confidence in each other. We are really strong together.”

“Paul brings an extra layer of confidence, he is strong on starting and boat on boat racing and I think together we are a good team.” Concludes Dolan who is looking to better the eighth overall he placed last time with Brit Alan Roberts.