Whilst just 160 nautical miles separate Perros-Guirec in Northern Brittany from Caen in Normandy, the first leg of La Solitaire du Figaro will run 320 miles from start to finish.
The fleet of 47 Figaro sailors are set to start on Sunday 31st July at 11:00 on a course that sees the fleet across the Channel to Plymouth Bay, then eastwards along the south coast of England to Fairway Boy off the West of the Isle of Wight before the return channel crossing to the finish in Caen.
The forecast light wind together with the strong tidal coefficient for the coming days has led the Race Committee to leave out one of the early mark, close the the pink granite Armor coastline.
Whilst the 320 mile leg is the shortest of the 42nd edition of the race, it is likely to complex to sail due to the light wind conditions and Sunday's tidal coefficient.
The general consternation among the sailors is going to be how best to negotiate the strong current and tidal effects together with the light winds predicted for the race and how to limit the loss of ground to these and fellow competitors to a minimum.
In partnership with ICOM France and the race directors, the GeoGarage team is leading some experimental development to follow the departure of the race online.