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

Yesterday, 11:34
Hands holding rugby ball

Exeter Chiefs Academy back rower Connor O’Shaughnessy has becomes the latest addition to Exmouth’s squad ahead of the coming season.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:34
The swimmers who took part in the Exe to Exe race

The final weekend of June saw Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society stage the second Exe to Exe Swim, writes Ian Lang.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:34
Players taking part in the Sidmouth June CA Tournament this week. Ref shsp 8946-23-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Croquet Club held its annual One Ball tournament last weekend, writes David Butler.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:33

The Seaton bowlers’ week began with an away game at Tiverton West End, writes Maria Johnson.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:32
Bassetts Farms rounders team

Bassetts Farm Primary School rounders team continued their summer of success when they travelled to Plymouth for the Devon Summer Schools Finals.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:32
N1 Tri Club member Tony Spenecr in action at an Ironman event

Ironman races come in two forms.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:31

Honiton Running Club members took part in the Over the Hill and Farway 10k organised by Farway Primary School, writes Judy Davey.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:28
Budleigh's Charles Morris prepares to bowl at the Maer against on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Rerf exsp 5441-26-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Former Budleigh Salterton and Devon paceman Charlie Morris has reached a landmark in First Class cricket by taking his 100th wicket, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:19
The Exmouth Gig Club vets crew line up at the start of their race at the Bridport Regatta

The Gig Regatta season is in full swing now with events held around the region on every weekend until September, writes Phil Gater.

Read more
Wed, 09:56
The three successful Muay Thai fighters from Honiton

Honiton postman Paul Quick bagged himself a Muay Thai European title recently.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder