Solo Arrimer - British offshore sailors ready for first race of season
by Sam Joseph on 9 Apr 2013
British offshore solo sailors, Sam Goodchild and Henry Bomby are all set for Thursday’s (11th April 2013) start of the Solo Arrimer in Les Sables d’Olonne. The fleet for this 320 nm race is exceptionally strong. Amongst the 26 Figaroists are six previous winners of the Solitaire du Figaro including Michel Desjoyeaux, the only sailor to win the Vendee Globe twice.
Solo Arrimer 2012 Christophe Breschi / ricochets17
Sam Goodchild, Vasco De Gama: 'This is the first chance to tell how my winter training has gone. The quality of this fleet is high and although 14 other competitors are sailing in a Transatlantic race at the moment it’ll be great for me to see how much work I have to do in the next 6 weeks before the start of the Solitaire.'
23 year old Goodchild and 22 year old Bomby have spent the last few months racing alongside, and learning from many of the top French sailors at the Pole Finistere training centre in Brittany. This race will be the first time both Brits have competed onboard their new boats for the season.
Henry Bomby, Zhik - Made for Water: 'To be starting in Les Sables is always special. It's really exciting to be going into my first race with my own boat and campaign. It's given me the freedom and independence to make my own decisions which I much prefer. Maybe last year, in my rookie season, it was all too new and I wasn't ready for that, but I am really enjoying this added factor this year'
The Solo Arrimer begins and ends in Les Sables d’Olonne and takes the fleet on a 48 hour race North around the island of Belle-Ile and back again. This race is one of qualifying races ahead of the 44th Solitaire du Figaro that starts in Bordeaux on 2nd June.
There are a growing number of British sailors taking part in this French-dominated racing circuit. Goodchild and Bomby, both graduates of the Artemis Offshore Academy, will be among five young English sailors taking part in this week’s race. The academy was set up to support and encourage offshore sailing in the UK. Now in its third year, it hopes that one day there will be a British winner of the Vendee Globe. Doing well in the Figaro has been an important training ground for many solo sailors with global racing ambitions.