by Sam Joseph
Ned Collier Wakefield looks to defend his title
Talented British offshore sailor, Ned Collier Wakefield is all set for the notoriously competitive double-handed Normandy Channel Race that starts in Caen on April 14th.
Collier Wakefield won the race in 2012 on the Cllass 40 Concise 2 with his co-skipper Sam Goodchild. This year, the 25 year-old will be joined by Brieuc Maisonneuve onboard the Hamble-based AL BUCQ.
Ned Collier Wakefield: 'I’m really excited to be back in the race this year, I still believe it’s one of the best Class 40 races on the circuit. However, this year will be really different for me, the new boat (Akilaria RC3) is the next generation on from Concise 2 and we haven’t had long to get her ready. I have actually only had the chance to sail her for a few hours, slightly different to the 20,000 miles sailed on Concise 2.'
The Anglo-French pair will be one of 21 crews racing the 1000 miles from Caen, across the channel to the Isle of Wight, along the South coast of the UK out to Tuskar and Fastnet rocks before heading back to Caen.
Ned Collier Wakefield: 'One of the biggest changes this year is having the race in April. There’s the real chance of some interesting weather. A big high, or a couple monster lows, we will have to wait and see. The RC3, as with many of the new generation boats is very powerful, carrying more volume forward, this makes her faster reaching but slightly sticky in the light. With this in mind I think we will be hoping for a breezy race.'
The Normandy Channel Race is one of the qualifying races for November’s Transat Jacques Vabre. Ned is planning to race in that on his new Forty(1) Design boat. The new KER Yacht Design boat is currently being built at McConaghy’s but will be on the water in time for this year’s Fastnet race.