Thursday, August 22, 2013
Exmouth-based sailor Sam Matson spoke with the Exmouth Journal having completed his third Fastnet Race.
The 22-year-old, born in Ottery St Mary and now based at the family home in Exmouth said: “It was a cracking race this year. What made it so special was that we were racing in a one-design category which meant all the craft were very similar and it was very much down to seamanship as to who finished where. It’s a 600-mile race that takes every ounce of your concentration for most, if not all the five days it lasts for”.
Matson and his co-skipper Robin Elsey worked a one-hour-on, one-hour-off routine throughout the race.
Matson said: “It was hard racing, but thoroughly enjoyable and we were delighted to finish less than half-a-mile behind the eventual winner.”
So what next for the young yachtsman?
“I am fortunate to have been given a one-year contract by the Artemis Offshore Sailing Academy and that will mean training in UK waters until later this year when we will move across to France. They (the French) are the leaders in the sport and it’ll be so beneficial to be working with them prior to our next serious races which come next March.”
So a switch to warmer climes and a period in France, how good is the young man’s French? “I am, working hard on it and intend to get more fluent. The thing is if I am to succeed in this sport then the French really are the market leaders so the more I can converse with them the better.”
He continued: “The sailing fraternity really are like one big family. Only last week I was having a drink and a chat with the last winner of the Vendee Globe. The help and guidance I am able to get from fellow sailors, some with vast experience, really is invaluable.”
Of course, like all sportsmen, Matson has one particular ultimate challenge, something he explained saying: “My target is to take part in the vendee Globe (the round-the-world race) and that is something I would hope to be able to do by 2024, that is my goal.”