Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Exmouth-based young sailor Sam Matson has just completed the 2013 Fastnet Race.
He combined with co-skipper Robin Elsey to finish fourth in this years race, getting home just 21minutes behind the first boat over the finishing line.
Matson is certainly a young sailor with the oceans of the world at his feet!
The 22-year-old, born in Ottery St Mary and now living in Exmouth has been sailing almost since he could walk, a member of the Exe Sailing Club he sailed a cadet dinghy before moving up to lasers.
The early sailing experiences were had with his father Neil in local waters.
Matson sailed his first Fastnet race along side his father in 2009 when, at the age of 18, he was the youngest competitor in the fleet.
The year before he had been selected for the British Keelboat Academy and crewed on their TP52 in a number of offshore races.
The father and son combination sailed the return leg of the Azores and Back Race 2011 and a couple of other two-handed offshore races. He was selected for the Artemis Offshore Sailing Academy in 2010.
The Academy aims to select, train and support talented British sailors with the intention of one-day challenging French dominance in offshore solo racing including the Vendee Globe.
Matson junior has been a part-time member of the Academy since 2010, combining the training with a full-time degree at Plymouth University in ‘navigation and maritime science.
He has just graduated with a first class honours degree and has accepted an offer from Artemis to train with them full-time; he hopes to be selected for their elite training squad in France and then to be supported in a full Figaro II Solitaire campaign next year.
The Figaro II is a 33 foot out-and-out racing keel-boat and it is the solo sailing of this boat that the French excel at and it is the boat on which all their top IMOCA 60’s and Vendee Globe winners (most recently Francois Gabart but also Michel Desjoyeaux) have sailed, and indeed still compete in, on their way to round the world races like the Vendee.
Figaro racing is intense due to the strict class rules aiming to make the boats identical so that it is the skipper’s skill that makes the difference, often races of hundreds of miles are won by a matter of seconds - in this years Fastnet Artemis arranged a separate two-handed Figaro class for the first time and the nine boats in the class virtually match-raced the 608nm.
You can keep up to speed with the sailor via his blog at; http://sammatsonracing.blogspot.co.uk/
For more information on all things Artemis Offshore Sailing Academy visit www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com/about
Now visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk to read a post Fastnet Race interview with Sam Matson.