On Wednesday 17 June, the Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire Race Village will be open to the public on Beacon Quay, Torquay.
The world’s premier annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire, is coming to Torbay between 17 and 21 June.
Open weekdays from 11am until 9pm (17 to 19 June) and 10am until 10.30pm on the weekend (20 and 2 June), the Race Village is free to the public and boasts a range of fun activities to keep the whole family entertained.
With food experiences, sailing taster sessions and expert sailing talks, live music, martial arts displays and workshops, magic shows, an 80s disco, face painting, a bar, a climbing wall, food market and fireworks – there really is something for everyone.
Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “The Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire Race Village on Beacon Quay will be open daily to the public from 10am on Wednesday, and a grand fireworks display is planned in the Bay on Saturday 20 June after the Leg 3 prize giving.
“There will be a wide range of fun and interesting activities which will appeal to everyone. We will, of course, be providing an English Riviera warm welcome for the visiting sailors and the large number of spectators expected to attend to enjoy the delights of the free race village. It is real coup for us to be able to host such a prestigious high profile event.”
Alongside the daily offerings in the Race Village, there are a number of events on site for the local Torbay community to come along and to get involved in.
Ladies Day – 1pm, Thursday 18 June
Dig out your best hat and get down to the Race Village on Thursday 18 June, because it’s Ladies’ Day! In line with Royal Ascot Gold Cup, ladies (and gents if they please) are encouraged to don their most impressive headgear and get down to the Solitaire du Figaro Race Village for a ladies day parade.
Registration for the competition starts at 1pm at the Palm 105.5 FM DJ booth next to the stage, followed by a Ladies Day parade and photo call at 1400. The lady with the best hat will win a bottle of Pol Roger Champagne for her and her friends to enjoy. Cream Teas will be available in the Race Village, as well as ice cold drinks at the bar. Media partner to the event, Palm 105.5 FM, will host the day and provide the sound track to the afternoon. Following Ladies Day, Palm will carry on spinning the discs into the night, hosting an 80s night in the Race Village – 7.30pm to 9pm. Come on down and boogie!
Pro-Am Race – 3pm, Friday 19 June
A Pro-Am race will take place in Tor Bay. The Solitaire competitors will be joined on board their Figaros by media and guests in a once in a lifetime opportunity for amateurs to rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of the sailing world – visit www.Palm.fm for your chance to win (entries close Friday 12 June). Providing an exclusive insight into the sport of solo sailing and Figaro racing, the Pro-Am race is the equivalent to a weekend golfer going a round with Rory Mcilroy, or taking on Lewis Hamilton on the track. The Tor Bay Pro-Am race promises to be an exciting event, whether you are on land or at sea. For your chance to win two spots on the VIP Pro-Am spectator boat and a three night stay in Torquay thanks to Blue Chip Holidays, click here – entries also close Friday 12 June.
Largest Cream Tea World Record Attempt, 3pm Saturday 20 June
Help set the record for the largest Cream Tea party in the world in Torquay, just 600 to beat! Taking place in the Solitaire du Figaro Race Village on Haldon Pier a, we need you to come and enjoy a delicious Devon Cream Tea with the rest of the Torbay and help set the world record! In order to make the attempt an official Guinness World record, everyone who takes part must be in the same designated area and eat their cream tea at the same time. Torre Abbey Tea rooms will provide cream teas on the day, with a £2 recommended donation going to the Official Event Charity – the Torbay Youth Sailing Trust. Should more than 600 record breakers turn up looking to make history on Saturday, the cafes along Beacon Quay and Victoria Parade will be primed and ready to provide you with the tasty supplies you need to be a part of Torbay History.
Multi-faith blessing of the Solitaire du Figaro fleet, 11am Sunday 21 June
In a multi-faith service held by Reverend Cannon John Herve, Torbay is invited to bless the 39 Solitaire du Figaro skippers and their boats before setting off on the final stage of the race to Dieppe on Sunday 21st June. Taking place on the morning of the race start, the blessing is a service for everyone, no matter what your beliefs. At 2185 miles, the Solitaire du Figaro is a tough and challenging race and by the time the fleet reaches Torbay, the sailors will have already sailed 1585 miles solo aboard 33ft yachts. By then tired, broken and exhausted, they will still have 600 miles of the race to sail. The blessing is a chance for Torbay to come together and wish the skippers well and safe sailing for their final and arguably most arduous journey to the finish line.
Host Venue Manager Becci Barrie explained: “We’ve been working really hard as a team to lay on entertainment for the local community and visitors to Torbay, as well as sailing fans. It is really important for Torbay and the future of this prestigious sailing event in the UK that the Race Village is full and the people of Torbay are out in force and having a good time.
“We hope that there is something on the schedule that will appeal to everyone. Torbay is a great venue, and we’ve really enjoyed putting the event together. Now we are looking forward to seeing the crowds out and having fun in the sun next week.”
See the full event schedule and more on the Official Torbay Stopover website – www.lasolitaireuk.com.