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NYC Tom Dolan in ‘battle of the rookies’ in AG2R La Mondiale Transat challenge

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 NYC member Tom Dolan and French co-skipper Tanguy Bouroullec have locked horns with fellow newcomers Erwan La Draoulec and Loïs Berrehar as they battle it out for the title of first rookie in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale.

Dolan and Bouroullec’s Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance was less than ten miles ahead of La Droulec and Berrehar’s Concarneau Entreprendre in the rankings on Friday.

But in reality the two boats were practically neck and neck, with Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance positioned around 15 miles north of Concarneau Entreprendre.

It is fitting that Dolan is up against La Draoulec – the pair were close rivals in the Mini 6.5 class before both graduating to the larger Figaro for the 2018 season.

With less than 1,500 miles remaining of the 4,000-mile race from Concarneau in France to St Barts in the Caribbean, Dolan said the fight for the first rookie spot was spurring them on.

“We have declared ‘the battle of the rookies’, as on the horizon we can make out the blue mainsail of Concarneau Entreprendre , our fellow rookies in the Figaro class,” the 30-year-old from Kells, County Meath, said.

“Erwan Le Draoulec, with whom we crossed paths on the same ground not so long ago during the Mini Transat, and his captain Lois Berrehar are not going to sit back and let us pass.

Twelve days into the race, the fleet has converged close to the midway point of the North Atlantic. With stable north easterly trade winds blowing, Dolan said any tactics had been temporarily put aside in favour of speed.  “Weather-wise in the coming days it is hard to see any tricks to be laid – it is once again a time not to try and win this “batttle of the rookies”, just be sure not to lose it,” he added.

“In a little less than a week we will be VMG running and gybing in and around squalls on our approach to the West Indies and the game will be on, so for now our strategy can be called the ‘direct route’.”

All is good on Smurfit Kappa Cerfrance
Tom & Tanguy

Track Tom’s progress at http://player.georacing.com/player_ag2r2018/ and follow daily updates at https://www.facebook.com/tdsailing/.