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.


Other Sport Stories

Action from Somerset Rebels versus Glasgow Tigers

A week ago the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels had pulled of a stunning victory when they produced a brave and gritty second leg performance to lift the Premier League Knock Out Cup at the home of the defending Champions, Edinburgh, writes Dave Thompson.

Read more
N1 Tri Club members were in action in Barcelona

Ten members of the East Devon N1 Tri Club travelled to Spain to compete in The Ironman Barcelona Triathlon 2015, writes Dennis Elliot.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:05
Exmouth V Bournmouth. Ref exsp 0224-40-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Exmouth head to Brixham on Saturday (October 10) for their latest National League Three (SW) fixture.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:18
Lester Willmington (chairman of Sidmouth Rugby Club), with Bill and Hilary Beaumont and John Barnard, (captain of Sidmouth Golf Club).

Sidmouth Golf Club was delighted to play host to Bill Beaumont, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) chairman and his wife Hilary last week.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:13
Withy rugby action

‘Everyone loves a cup run’, as the old adage goes, and that never rang truer at Stafford Park on Saturday as the undefeated Withies took on Western Counties West basement boys Cullompton in the Devon Intermediate Cup, writes Dave Richards.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:13
Exmouth Under-16 action vLlaunceston

A fixture gap for Exmouth Under-16s was filled last Sunday when Somerset side Taunton agreed to come and play a friendly match at the Imperial Ground.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:13
Exmouth Cockles are pictured in their game with Newton Abbot at the Imperial ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 2761-41-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Exmouth coach Jon Hill spoke after the 39-27 success over Newton Abbot.

Read more
Thu, 10:51
Football goalnet. Ref shsp 7216-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Budleigh Salterton Under-15s were 3-1 winners when they entertained Whipton Youth at Greenway Lane, writes SpursTom.

Read more
Thu, 10:51
20151004 Copyright onEdition 2015©
Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition

Withycombe RFC U12's team at The Land Rover Premiership U11's Rugby Cup, Exeter - Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Roverâ We Deal In Realâ campaign aims to champion grassroots rugby on the global stage during Rugby World Cup 2015. Follow @Land RoverRugby #WeDealInReal

For press contacts, contact: Michael White at Fast Track on E: michael.white@fasttrackagency.com or T: +44 (0)20 7593 5200

If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com
This image is copyright onEdition 2015©.
This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not grant

Withycombe Under-12s started their season in style, finishing runners up in the Land Rover Cup held at Exeter Saracens last Sunday.

Read more
Thu, 10:50
Exmouth Cockles are pictured in their game with Newton Abbot at the Imperial ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 2754-41-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Exmouth scored five tries as they eased into the last four of the Devon Cup with a 39-27 success at home to Newton Abbot.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life

Great British Life

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

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications