Exmouth sailor Matson is first Rookie over the Plymouth finish line in the 2014 Solitaire du Figaro

00:33 12 June 2014

Sam Matson on board his Artemis boat

Sam Matson on board his Artemis boat


Exmouth sailor Sam Matson finished the first leg of the 2014 Solitaire du Figaro 12th overall and first Rookie after three days, three hours and fifty two minutes and 39 seconds at sea and after 484 miles of racing aboard Artemis 21.

Sailing through the lock at Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, 23-year-old Sam’s smile was visible from the marina wall, as he sailed home to his University town of Plymouth to be welcomed by his family, friends and local Plymouth supporters. After showering the crowds with his first bottle of Pol Roger (and hopefully not the last) in celebration Sam announced:

“I am totally overwhelmed, I don’t know what to think right now! I wasn’t sure I’d done it or really where I was in the fleet until I crossed the finish line – I’m so happy. It was so exciting to be told I’d won the Rookie division, as it’s a class highly regarded within the race.”

“It was really tough out there, the conditions were totally up and down. We had shut downs and then too much breeze at times – rounding Wolf Rock yesterday evening when Yann Elies lost his rig was all pretty scary, you kind of just hope yours is going to stay upright when something like that happens.”

“I’m feeling pretty good right now, I’m sure I’ll start to feel it later, but right now I feel pretty good because I’ve just sprayed Pol Roger champagne all over my face!”

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be sailing into Plymouth this afternoon. In fact for most of the leg of the race we were sailing along the south coast, which was where I learned to sail – so it was pretty special for me. I nearly had to tack off of Exmouth, (Ottery St Mary) where my parents live – but then I got a lift on the wind, and when I realised I was a little bit disappointed that I wasn’t going closer to home!”

“It was great to race along a coastline that I knew, and I think that really gave me confidence. Sailing into Plymouth Sound just now – I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face.”

Watch Sam’s entry into Sutton Harbour and his finishing interview online here. (From mobile)

Artemis Offshore Academy skipper Sam finished 12th overall and first of the seven boat Rookie division, behind French podium finishers; Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva) – the overall leg winner, Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) in second position and Jérémie Beyou (Maître Coq) in third.

Leg 1 of the 2014 mile Solitaire du Figaro saw the fleet race 484 miles from Deauville, France to Plymouth UK. The 38 strong Solitaire du Figaro fleet, which includes eight British sailors (the most the race has ever seen), will now rest and recuperate in Plymouth for two days ahead of the start of the 535 mile leg 2 – from Plymouth, UK to Roscoff – starting on Saturday 14th June.

You can track the British fleet on their next leg via the Artemis Offshore Academy and Solitaire du Figaro websites, as well as following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Exmouth Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Exmouth Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Exmouth Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories


Exe II went down by the odd goal in three in a close contest with Falmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:26

With the Indoor season now well underway, Budleigh men played their first Over-60s fixture against Axminster and ran out comfortable winners with wins on three rinks resulting in an 89-71 overall victory putting them in second place in the league table, writes David Roberts.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:26

Brixington Blues Under-13s were good value for a 5-2 victory over Copplestone Cobras.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:26

Brixington Blues Under-10s played two very different games against two West Hill teams.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:25

Exmouth Town Reserves were 3-1 winners when they visited Colyton for their latest Macron League Division One outing, writes Dave Butler.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:25

Exmouth Town have been drawn away to Gillingham Town in the second round of the FA Vase their reward for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Tavistock last Saturday, writes John Dibsdall.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:25

Budleigh Salterton Reserves won a thoroughly entertaining, fiercely competitive, but sportingly played local derby, when they beat neighbours Woodbury by the odd goal in five at Greenway Lane to bank three Macron League Division Two points, writes SpursTom.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:24

Withycombe Under-15s travelled to Plymouth to play their part in a three-way friendly with Plymstock Oaks and Devonport Services.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:24

Withycombe Under-11s emerged from their derby visit to Exmouth with a victory, writes Mark Long.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:24

Withycombe Under-13s were emphatic 60-15 winners when they travelled across town to play neighbours Exmouth, writes Tony Willis.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read Sport

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications