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

20 minutes ago
Football generic picture

Budleigh Salterton suffered their biggest defeat to date this season in the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division when beaten 9-0 at Newton Spurs.

Read more
20 minutes ago
Brixington Blues Under-12 action

Brixington Blues Under-11s were handsome 6-0 winners when they entertained West Exe Youth.

Read more
28 minutes ago

There’s not been too much going of late up here on the common for me to report, writes John Bridgman.

Read more
16:42
Jonty Wright (second left) and Josh Findel-Hawkins (second right) with the Devon Under-14 squad that was in action at Milton Keynes.

Exmouth youngsters Jonty Wright and Josh Findel-Hawkins joined up with fellow county players this Saturday to travel to the National Badminton centre in Milton Keynes representing Devon Under-14s against Buckinghamshire.

Read more
16:40
Action from the Withycombe Under-14 defeat at Topsham

Withycombe Under-14s were beaten 43-0 by a well-drilled Topsham side who commanded most of the game.

Read more
16:39
Dave Mundy, Jane Babbage and Peter Nelson who played in the South African competition

Three croquet players from East Devon swapped the English winter for a South African summer to play in the Western Cape Open Championship held at Somerset West near Capetown, writes Colin Walls.

Read more
14:53
Football generic picture

Exmouth Town have earned themselves a lucrative Devon Bowl meeting with Exeter City.

Read more
07:57
Exmouth at home to Barnes. Ref exsp 08-17TI 7521. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth 2nd and 3rd XVs are enjoying a successful season.

Read more
07:57
Harry Webb (far left) with coach Harry Fitzpatrick

Former Lympstone ABCs Harry Webb will make his long awaited professional debut when he appears on a bill in Swindon on April 8.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:53
Exmouth at home to Barnes. Ref exsp 08-17TI 7493. Picture: Terry Ife

Cockles head coach Jon Hill spoke after the Barmnes win.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read Sport

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder


HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications