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Sail-World.com : Sam Davies prepares for Artemis Transat

Sam Davies prepares for Artemis Transat

'Sam Davies - Roxy'    Yvan Zedda ©

Portsmouth born Sam Davies, 33, skipper of 'Roxy', has begun the biggest year of her career since being appointed as skipper of the Open 60 at the end of 2006. After a three month winter refit in Lorient, France, Her Open 60 boat 'Roxy' is now finally back in the water and being prepared for 'The Artemis Transat' and looking ahead to Sam's Vendee Globe challenge at the end of the year.

After a three month winter refit in Lorient, France, Sam Davies' Open 60 boat 'Roxy' is now finally back in the water. After a busy year of racing in 2007, 'Roxy' went into the shed in January in France in preparation for 'The Artemis Transat' and looking ahead to Sam's Vendee Globe challenge at the end of the year.

Portsmouth born Sam Davies, 33, skipper of 'Roxy', has begun the biggest year of her career since being appointed as skipper of the Open 60 at the end of 2006. After graduating from Cambridge with a BA and Masters in Engineering, Sam achieved her dream to sail full time.

She was awarded with sponsorship from Roxy and subsequently moved to France. She is the only British sailor to be part of a top level French solo racing base in Brittany where she trains on and off shore all year round alongside some of the best French skippers in the world.

2007 was a really good first year for Sam and 'Roxy' on the water. Sam was the skipper of the only all female crew in the two-handed transatlantic 'Transat Jacques Vabre' race last October and finished the race in a successful tenth place out of a fleet of 17. Sam went on to compete in her first solo race aboard 'Roxy' on the return trip to Europe in the 'Transat Ecover B to B' race and finished in an impressive 7th place.

This was a tremendous achievement as Sam battled a food poisoning during the first few days of the voyage and was one of the only skippers to finish the race without any damage. In completing the race, she became the first British skipper to qualify and the fifth confirmed entry for the 'Vendee Globe' 2008.

Prior to the 'Vendee Globe', Sam will compete in the world's oldest solo race, 'The Artemis Transat'. Dating back to 1960, the single-handed transatlantic race from the UK to USA sets the stage for one of the most exiting offshore races in history. Sam will leave French waters at the end of April to deliver 'Roxy' to Plymouth before she sets sail for the 2,800 mile trip to Boston on Sunday 11th May.

November sees the start of the 'Vendee Globe', a solo non-stop round the world race run every four years that takes up to three months to complete and the race that made Dame Ellen MacArthur a sporting heroine. Completing this race is Sam's ultimate goal and in addition to this she aims to beat the current record set by Vincent Riou on the same boat in 2004/2005. As one of only three female skippers in the field and one of seven Brits, Sam is working hard to complete the challenge that remains one of the toughest sporting trophies in history.

Over the winter, 'Roxy' has undergone a number of adjustments which Sam and her crew felt were necessary in order to adapt the boat to her style of racing. Sam has worked hard to ensure her boat is one of the most competitive in the field, despite the number of newly built boats being launched, specifically for circumnavigation. A twin daggerboard has been fitted which will allow the boat to go faster, especially upwind; new deck fittings have also been installed as well as a 'new look' exterior design. These changes will give Sam the chance to race the boat to its full potential and achieve her dream of beating Riou's record of 87 days 10 hours and 47 minutes.

Sam Davies, skipper of 'Roxy'

'I enjoyed so much the race back from Brazil last December that I was sad to have to take the boat out of the water. After three long months of refit without racing, I am now really really happy to see 'Roxy' back in her element and pleased of all the work we have done on her. It is a great achievement from the Roxy Team. I look forward to our first sail tomorrow and then to 'The Artemis Transat'. It is a key race for my program and a good test leading up to the 'Vendee Globe'. All the major replacements we have made, like the rigging, are in place so they can be properly tested! I am also delighted that the race starts from my country!'

To follow Roxy and Sam Davies progress: www.roxysailing.com




by Justine Ozoux

  

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3:12 PM Thu 3 Apr 2008 GMT






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