After four months arduous training and racing in the UK with the Artemis Offshore Academy, sailing single handed in the Figaro II yacht, it was announced last week that Exmouth sailor Sam Matson has been selected for further intense training from January in Lorient, France, with the aim of competing in the Figaro race circuit in April of next year.

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The Figaro season consists of three offshore races before the race finale, the 1600 nautical mile Solitaire du Figaro takes place.

The Solitaire du Figaro is widely regarded as the unofficial world championship of solo Figaro offshore sailing with many of France’s top sailors competing.

The 2014 edition will feature a stop in Plymouth, the first visit to the UK in 10 years and almost home turf for Matson who graduated from Plymouth University last September.

The racing is dominated by French sailors, known world-wide as experts in single-handed sailing.

However, the Artemis Offshore Academy, Britain’s first and only elite solo sailing school, was launched in 2010 to promote British solo sailing talent and produce a sailor capable of winning a major offshore race such as the Vendee Globe.

Matson says: “Our UK training has been hard work and pretty intense, but I’m so happy it has paid off and that I will be progressing to France. I’m under no illusion the next chapter of our training will be easy, but I am now really looking forward to the challenge of the season ahead and our first Figaro race”.

The first race of the season, the Solo Maitre Coq, starts on April 10th.

You can follow the Matson progress at www.sammatsonracing.tumblr.com

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