Exmouth sailor Sam Matson and British Solitaire du Figaro competitors hit Plymouth

10:34 08 April 2014

Sam Matson on board and setting his course

Sam Matson on board and setting his course

Tom Gruitt

As the sun in set in Plymouth last Wednesday, six British, one Irish and five French solo offshore sailors and their fleet of 12 identical Figaro Bénéteau IIs sailed into Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, as part of a 400-mile Solitaire du Figaro training exercise.

Sailing from Lorient, France to Plymouth via Cherbourg, British skippers Alan Roberts, Rich Mason, Jack Bouttell, Ed Hill, Phil Sharp and Exmouth-based, Plymouth University graduate Sam Matson, spent two days familiarizing themselves with the stretch of water separating the UK and northern France in preparation for the 2014 mile solo ‘Solitaire du Figaro’, which, for the first time in it’s 45 year history, stops in Plymouth.

Plymouth’s inclusion in the course marks the first UK Solitaire stop over in 11 years.

Making the most of their time in Britain’s Ocean City, Britain’s next generation of solo ocean racers and their French counterparts braved the English rain and headed out into the Sound for a solo training session.

Getting to grips with the tides, conditions and features of the south-west coastline, the fleet of 12 Figaros were an impressive sight as they lined up against Plymouth’s coastal land marks. The most Figaros Plymouth will have seen since the finish of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race, the training group treated the sail to and from Plymouth as a valuable familiarization session, preparing both first timers like Artemis Offshore Academy Rookies Sam, Alan and Rich and French Figaro veterans alike for what lies ahead out on the 2014 Solitaire du Figaro course this June.

Kicking off from the historic French port of Deauville, France on June 8, the iconic French race will take 45 skippers and their 33ft keelboats (differing only in cosmetic design and the ability of the skipper) 484 nautical miles to Sutton Harbour, Plymouth. Here the fleet will rest, recover and make any repairs to the boats between the June 11 and 14, in preparation for the 535 mile leg two Roscoff, France.

In 2014, there are a total of nine British sailors expected on the Solitaire du Figaro start line, all born and bred of the Artemis Offshore Academy – the UK’s only solo offshore training school.

From ‘Team Plymouth’s’ Sam Goodchild going into his fourth year on the Figaro circuit, to Plymouth University graduate and Artemis sailor Sam Matson making his debut - 2014 is set to be a big year for Britain and it’s growing number of budding solo offshore sailors.

0 comments

Other Sport Stories

11:09
Lukasz Kieruczenko (left) and Dave Herbert (right) before they flew solo flights with Devon and Somerset Gliding Club out of North Hill

Friends and work colleagues Dave Herbert from Exmouth and Lukasz Kieruczenko from Exeter both flew solo from North Hill, writes Jill Harmer.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:15
Somerset Rebels duo Jake Allen and Charles Wright either side of a Peterborough Panthers rider during the meeting

A force of nature swept through the Oaktree Arena on Tuesday night, and blew away the Peterborough Panthers in this first leg of this Knock Out Cup quarter-final, writes Dave Thompson.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:15
Sidmouth Running Club members at the Blackdown Beauty meeting

Wearing the ‘Mighty Green’ seven members of Sidmouth Running Club headed off to the Blackdown Hills to run the Blackdown Beauty, writes Terry Bewes.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:15
Louis Spalding (red board) getting set for the 15yrs final

Sunday saw Sidmouth Surf lifesaving club hosting their first open event on Sidmouth Beach.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:14

Sidbury were narrow winners in their latest match, the St John’s School sponsored meeting with Seaton, writes Barney Stone.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:09
Running

Two Honiton Running Club members, James Denne and Gemma Collier had a busy few days last week, with two races in four days, writes Judy Davey.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:09
Running

Quite a number of Honiton Running Club members were involved with the club’s own Blackdown Beauty last Saturday, writes Judy Davey.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Sidmouth bowlers who did so well at the National Veterans Championships held at Budleigh Salterton.

Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club hosted The National Veterans’ Championship over the final week of June, writes David Butler.

Read more
Wed, 20:29
Sam Matson who is taking part in his third Solitaire Bomprad Le Figaro and sitting a healthy 12th as the first British sailor to complete leg two of the 2016 race.

Exmouth sailor Sam Matson crossed the finish line in Paimpol in his boat Chatham at the end of stage two of the 2016 Solitaire Bomprad Le Figaro sitting a healthy 12th and the first British sailor home.

Read more
Wed, 09:51
AVR duo Terry Emmett and Duncan Staddon at the Torbay Half Marathon

There was much AVR success at the inaugural Lyme Regis Poppy Run, writes Dave Mutter.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications