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, 11:30

Exe Hockey Club is set to host another of their popular ‘half-term coaching days’

Read more
Yesterday, 09:31
East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1192-10-11SH

A riding and training double for Darren Edwards and Dean Summersby respectively brightened up the day at the Western point-to-point on Sunday, writes Granville Taylor.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:27
Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has spoken of his delight after four of the club’s highly-rated youngsters today put pen to paper on new deals.

Read more
Mon, 20:34
Football goalnet. Ref shsp 7216-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

East Devon has four teams currently playing their football in the Fresha Devon and Exeter League.

Read more
Mon, 12:19
Football generic picture

With the first Saturday in February providing a washout across the Fresha Devon and Exeter League it means plenty more re-arranging of fixtures for club secretaries.

Read more
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Football generic picture

Another soggy Saturday means more fixture re-arranging!

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Wet Wet Wet now appearing at Honiton Football Club. Ref mhsp 0055-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

The first Saturday of February was a complete washout across the football and rugby divide in terms of East Devon Clubs.

Read more
Friday, February 5, 2016
Tom Gooding receives the D Division East champions trophy from Devon League chairman Stuart Munday.

Ottery St Mary, Honiton and Kilmngton all picked up divisional titles at the Tolchards Devon Cricket League annual meeting, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more
Friday, February 5, 2016

Newton Poppleford reach the half way stage of their Fresha League Three campaign when they travel to Clyst Valley Reserves tomorrow (Saturday).

Read more
Friday, February 5, 2016
Sidmouth chiefs at home to Truro. Ref shsp 05-16TI 0081. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Chiefs went down 40-22 at home to Truro in their latest league match, writes Terry O’Brien.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 3°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 Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications