Waterfront alive with French flair

Absolutely wonderful to see the harbour bustling with activity as our neighbours at the National Yacht Club play host to prestigious French yacht race La Solitaire du Figaro. The scene in front of the lifeboat station is impressive to say the least!

The near-50 strong fleet departed the Normandy port of Ouistreham last Sunday on the 470 nautical mile course to Dun Laoghaire. Also joinng the yachts in Dun Laoghaire is the French naval vessel Commoran which has acted as a guardship throughout the event, patrolling the fleet during the passage and offering assistance if and when required.


An exhausted French sailor, Jeremie Beyou (35) from Lorient, won this leg win of the race, despite losing his spinnaker a couple of miles from the finish.  Jeremie -- who won the overall event six years ago -- crossed the line in first place, 65 gruelling hours after leaving Caen.

To mark the stopover of the four-stage single-handed race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have combined to host the Festival des Bateaux.  A fireworks display on the East Pier is planned for Friday night (at 10pm) and a market is present on the Carlisle Pier.

The third leg of the race starts at Dun Laoghaire on Sunday at midday and a good turnout is expected to see the yachts off as they head for Les Sables d'Olonne.