Tom Dolan teams up with Alan Roberts to capitalize on the Banque Populaire Grand Ouest Trophy race


Tom Dolan teams up with Alan Roberts to capitalize on the Banque Populaire Grand Ouest Trophy race

by Tom Dolan Racing Apr 30 10:11 PDT
May 1, 2022

Tom Dolan and Alan Roberts – Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan – Banque Populaire Grand Ouest Trophy © Alexis Courcoux

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Irishman Tom Dolan is teaming up with Englishman Alan Roberts who is looking to take advantage of the new 800-mile Banque Populaire Grand Ouest Trophy race.

Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan teams up with England’s top in-form racer Alan Roberts tomorrow (Sunday) when the pair look to clinch an Anglo-Saxon victory in a new French 800-nautical-mile double-handed race for the Banque Populaire Grand Trophy West.

The race will start on Sunday at 1.30pm (local time) from Dolan’s adopted Brittany home port of Concarneau, and is expected to take the 13 competing duos around the northern coast of Brittany between the Chausey Islands to the north and the islands from Aix to the south. what will be the longest race of the 2022 season.

Light winds are expected to prevail throughout the crossing, which is expected to take approximately four days. Although the number of entries was relatively low for this new event, it attracted a very high level, including three-time La Solitaire winner Yann Eliès who sails with young French skipper Basil Bourgnon and former La Solitaire winner Pascal Bidégorry who sails with Gaston Morvan. The only other non-French couple is German Vendée Globe skipper Boris Herrmann who is sailing with English racer Will Harris.

“The thing about this race is that out of the 13 entrants, at least half of them have a good chance of winning. It’s a good level and a chance to stretch your legs and put in the miles at a higher intensity because there are two of us on board.” Explain Dolan.

The Irish-Anglo duo will race Dolan’s Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan and the Irish sailor feels they have a strong partnership:

“I have known Alan for many years and we get along very well. I even worked for him as a trainer before starting in Le Figaro. solo scene – and so it will be nice to team up and see how we do. Plus, it’s a nice little bonus to start from Concarneau where I live!”

The duo have complementary backgrounds. Roberts is a former British dinghy champion who cut his teeth in high performance dinghies before turning to single handed offshore racing while Dolan started as an offshore sailing instructor who moved straight into the Mini class 650. Roberts is in great form, winning the last race of the Solo Maître Coq last weekend to take third place overall. Dolan tore her spinnaker in the long offshore run and finished 19th.

“I’m still a bit frustrated after last weekend so I can’t wait to get back on the water and go again. Alan had a good race so hopefully here we can do something. thing good. He’s stronger at the start and is one of the best in the boat for the boat stuff and so he’ll helm early while I trim and get the boat going fast because I know the sails and the trim because it’s It’s my boat that I know well, said Dolan.

“I think when we get to the north of Brittany in those light winds where we’re jumping off rocks to avoid the tidal currents, then we’ll have to be really clear-headed and strong and so we’ll try to be disciplined enough to take care of everyone . other and not get tired too soon.” summarizes sailor Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan.

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