Please select your home edition
T Clewring One Design

Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trial candidates revealed

by Artemis Offshore Academy on 16 Jul 2013
The best of British Artemis Offshore Academy © Brian Carlin / AOA
On Thursday 18th July, eight carefully selected candidates, will put their metal to the test through the 2013 Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trials, running from the 18th to 21st July, they include Richard Mason, Matt Brushwood, Tom Partington, William Harris, Will Robinson, Alan Roberts, Will Ayliffe and Debbie Smith.

Now heading into its fourth year, the Artemis Offshore Academy continues to strive towards producing world-class short-handed sailors, having just recorded some of the best British Solitaire du Figaro results in the history of the prestigious French race

The intensive four-day Artemis Offshore Academy UK Selection Trials are an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their ability to overcome the challenges presented by solo offshore racing and their desire to succeed on one of the most competitive racing circuits in the world. 'Not all of the candidates selected to try out for the Artemis Offshore Academy have solo or offshore experience, but have an impressive record of results and a proven sailing background either in Olympic dinghy classes or crewed racing,' explained Performance Director John Thorn. 'It is the job of the Academy to recognize potential and to help bring these already talented sailors to a level where they can be competitive against some of the best short-handed sailors in the world.'

Fresh from beating Vendée Globe winner Francois Gabart at the recent F18 World Championships, accomplished Olympic class sailor and 2013 Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trial attendee Richard Mason now has his eye on a bigger, offshore prize. 'I finished my Olympic squad training this year and was looking for my next challenge,' 25 year old Richard revealed, having worked his way up to 470s competing at international and world class level. 'The Artemis Offshore Academy looked like a great way to broaden my sailing skill set and came highly recommended by previous squad members Nick Cherry and Finn sailor Mark Andrews. Recently meeting Francois [Gabart] and hearing his round the world stories inspired me even more to move to big boats, with a hope to one day compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.

That the winner of the Vendee Globe can take fourth place in a world class F18 fleet is a testament to the alround skill of these solo sailors – he’s an inspiration. The Academy is a great stepping stone into the world of offshore sailing.' Richard will be joined by Hugo Boss and Artemis Ocean Racing II preparateur Will Ayliffe, whose experience at the Vendée Globe in November has spurred him on to pursue his own offshore ambitions. 'The start of the Vendée in Les Sables d’Olonne was incredible, I can only compare the atmosphere to a rugby or football match – it was like nothing UK sailing has ever seen,' Will recalled. 'Working to help prepare world class British skipper Alex Thomson for the Vendée Globe and now Brian Thompson for the Fastnet have been a great experiences and inspired me to now have a go at my own solo campaign. The Academy provides a unique opportunity for sailors to get a foot on the solo offshore ladder.'

The only female Selection Trial candidate Debbie Smith is no stranger to physical and mental challenges having joined the Royal Marines at the age of 16, where she stayed until the age of 21. More recently embarking on a double-handed expedition, sailing from South America to Antarctica, via the infamous Cape Horn. 'I’ve always had a bucket list of races I’d like to do and seas I’d like to cross,' Debbie reported. 'Everyone knows about the Academy Selection Trials, but you never think you’re going to be good enough to compete. However, during my short-handed expedition we managed to watch the Vendée Globe skippers rounding Cape Horn. I then realised there was no greater challenge than going solo and this year decided to apply for the Artemis Offshore Academy.'

A test of the candidates’ sailing ability, fitness levels and mental toughness, the Selection Trials are designed to spotlight sailors who have what it takes to take on the rigours of solo offshore racing. However the eight 2013 hopefuls will have to wait until Thursday to find out what is in store, as the format of the Trials remains top secret until they arrive at 14:00 BST and the testing begins.

2013 Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trials Candidates:

Richard Mason, 25, Dorset
Matt Brushwood, 19, Buckinghamshire
Tom Partington, 25, Southampton
William Harris, 19, Surrey
Will Robinson, 24, Isle of Wight
Alan Roberts, 23, Southampton
Will Ayliffe, 28, Southsea
Debbie Smith, 23, Artemis Offshore Academy

Zhik Dinghy 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Exit interview with Josh Adams, US Sailing's Olympic boss, part one
I caught up with Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing at US Sailing, for a two-part job-exit interview. While the USA is a historically strong sailing nation, the team suffered a medal-ceremony shutout at the London 2012 Olympics. A planned leadership change transpired and Josh Adams was named Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. Unfortunately, the job requires constant travel, which doesn’t mix with raising kids and Adams recently resigned. I talked with him for a two-part job-exit interview.
Posted on 26 Oct
Vendée Globe – Master of the School of Hard Knocks
Jérémie Beyou ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition. His two last attempts ended in early abandons. Triumphant in the summer's warm up New York – Vendée Transatlantic Race and three times winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, the incredibly competitive solo one design classic stage offshore race which is sailed each summer in 32-foot one design Bénéteau Figaro 2s, Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Overall winner announced
The Royal Malta Yacht Club announced that Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino is the overall winner This race crew was a mix of Italians and British sailors who have raced all over the world under the Mascalzone Latino banner and with great success.
Posted on 26 Oct
The Gitana Team Series – Awakening the senses – Smell
This week, Sébastien Josse has left the Vendée to hook up with his Breton way of life, at home, not far from Lorient. It is just eleven days until the start of the eighth Vendée Globe. In Port Olona, the public is out in force, the village and the pontoons are always full and the pressure mounts a little more each day for the twenty-nine solo sailors, who will set sail on 6 November 2016.
Posted on 26 Oct
Melges 24 World Championship in Miami – 30 days to go
This championship is anticipated to be the most crowded event of the international one-design sailing scene this year. With the day of the first start quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities must be organized down to the smallest detail.
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Will they, won't they?
Tension was heightened as the door opened by Rambler 88’s finish in the early hours was widened further by more arrivals It was a trickle of finishers rather than a flood, but there was drama all the same, where the battle to secure class wins and post a claim to the overall title raged throughout the day. With the forecast suggesting a period of fading breeze on the course area, the race pendulum was swinging in favour of the bigger, faster yachts. The incentive to keep pushing to the finish was evident.
Posted on 26 Oct
2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race - The big picture
107 yachts started 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy 107 yachts started the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy, awarded to the best yacht racing under the IRC Rating system.
Posted on 26 Oct
Atlantic Cup is first sports event in U.S. to be ISO 20121 Compliant
The Atlantic Cup announced that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing announced today that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. In addition, the Atlantic Cup’s official carbon offset supplier, We are Neutral, announced it has calculated and offset the carbon footprint of the 2016 race.
Posted on 25 Oct
Vendée Globe – A fighting spirit
Just to be in Les Sables d'Olonne preparing for the start is in itself the realisation of dream he has held for 30 years Just to be in Les Sables d'Olonne preparing for the start is in itself the realisation of dream he has held for 30 years. His race will honour the legacy of the remarkable Yukoh Tada his mentor who gave up driving a taxi in Tokyo to race in the first BOC race around the world in 1982-3, winning his class, Class two when Philippe Jeantot won the race.
Posted on 25 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Rambler 88 takes line honours for second year
It was a tough race for the Rambler 88 crew, mentally rather than physically. It was a tough race for the Rambler 88 crew, mentally rather than physically. There were several transition zones in the wind to be outwitted in order to secure the lead.
Posted on 25 Oct