by Sam Joseph
For the very first time, Plymouth will host a stopover in next year’s La Solitaire du Figaro. ‘Britain’s Ocean City’ was named as the only non-French port for the 45th edition of the race. The announcement was made by race organisers, Pen Duick in Paris this evening (Thursday 5th December).
Sam Goodchild celebrates ’Best of British’ victory at La Solitaire Du Figaro 2013
The race will start in Deauville on 8th June, then on to Plymouth, Roscoff and Les Sables d’Olonne before finishing in Cherbourg.
For Sam Goodchild this will be his fourth Figaro season. In 2013 the 24 year old achieved the best British result since the race became one-design, after finishing 11th overall. He’s looking forward to bringing this tough, French-dominated race to the UK.
Sam Goodchild, sailor: 'To have the Solitaire du Figaro come to Sutton Harbour in Plymouth is fantastic news, to be able to sail home in the key event of the season will be exciting. I really hope we can use it as a springboard to increase the awareness of short-handed sailing to the general public in the UK.'
Sam Goodchild, skipper du Figaro Shelterbox-Disaster Relief - Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire 2013 - Bordeaux le 27/05/2013
Sam Goodchild Racing’s team has been working with a number of organisations in Plymouth under the banner, ‘A Future in Sailing’. Winning the bid to host the Solitaire in Sutton Harbour is the first major project for the consortium that sees Destination Plymouth, Plymouth University, Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Horizons Children’s Sailing Charity, Plymouth City Council and Sam Goodchild Racing all working together to promote marine projects in the city.
Amanda Lumley, Chief Executive, Destination Plymouth 'Working with our ‘A Future in Sailing’ local consortium partners we will host an exciting and engaging event in partnership with Sutton Harbour Holdings PLC. With its historic backdrop and vibrant shops, bars and restaurants Sutton Harbour is the perfect location for this event. We anticipate upwards of 30,000 people will attend the event during the days it is here from 11th to 14th June and there will be activities for the whole community including music, entertainment and opportunities to view the yachts up close.
Plymouth’s extremely proud of its maritime history, the home of many international yachting events and host to seafaring adventurers.
Jason Schofield, Chief Executive, Sutton Harbour Holdings PLC. 'From the Pilgrim Fathers to Drake to Chichester, Sutton Harbour has for centuries celebrated endeavour, enterprise and industry and this event will once again firmly place Sutton Harbour and the city on the global sailing map.
The organisers behind Plymouth’s stopover are hoping the inshore race at the start of Leg 2 will pull in the crowds as the America’s Cup did in 2011. The city’s natural amphitheatre will offer a fantastic view of the close, competitive racing by these top solo sailors.