UK Figaro National Championships 2011 came to a close last week at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy which is also the sailing venue for 2012 Olympics.
Some of the competitors took a few minutes earlier this week to share their thoughts…
Three of the seven entries total were from ranks of the Artemis Offshore Academy including Conrad Humphreys sailing with Ollie Young; Nigel King, supported by his new sponsor E-Line Orthodontics, with Stephen Hogson; and Artemis Offshore Academy Scholarship winner Sam Goodchild racing with Nick Cherry.
'Being able to competitively race the Figaro in the UK is a great step forward,' explained Sam Goodchild. 'Especially as we had some of the French Figaro sailors racing here as well. I think now the French really understand that the Artemis Offshore Academy is serious about Figaro racing.'
The seven double-handed teams competed an overnight offshore race on Monday (23rd May) and a series of inshore races on Wednesday (25th May); however, the planned coastal race for the final day on Thursday (26th May) had to be called off as the 40-knot breeze refused to abate.
The British duo on DMS, Conrad Humphreys and Ollie Young, vied for victory with the Frenchmen Jean-Charles Monnet and Alexandre Toulorge on Paris 15ème who finally secured victory on countback after the coastal race was abandoned: 'It was great to win this Figaro race. In France, we tend to sail on the same racecourse and it’s interesting to change location. The English have different patterns and techniques, and they have much to teach us.'
The second staging of the UK Figaro National Championships demonstrated that the British Figaro sailors are progressing well on their learning curve in this highly competitive class which bodes well for the future: 'All agreed the racing had been very closely fought and of a high standard. Next year we hope to attract more French sailors to the UK event staged only a few weeks ahead of the 2012 Olympic sailing regatta on the same waters,' concluded John Thorn, Artemis Offshore Academy Performance Director.
Next on the Figaro calendar is the solo 220-mile Transmanche (cross Channel) race between the 10th-12th June – Sam Goodchild, Nigel King and Conrad Humphreys will all compete. The race, held by the Yacht Club des Abers, will take the competitors from Aber Wrac’h, to Plymouth breakwater and back to Aber Wrac’h.
Becky Scott’s Mini campaign took a temporary setback when she tore a ligament of her right index finger. Fortunately, it will heal with time and does not require an operation as first feared.
However, it did mean that Becky was unable to participate in the UK Fastnet earlier this month so still has not qualified for the Mini Transat.
But Becky will be back in action soon and is planning to compete in Mary-Anges Trophy from Douarnenez, a 220-mile solo race starting on 9th June.
Becky needs to complete this race plus one further race in order to qualify for the Mini Transat starting on 25th September.
Artemis Offshore Academy Associate member Pip Hare had an excellent result in the UK Fastnet and finished a fantastic third place out of seven boats in the Series Mini class. Pip has now qualified for the Mini Transat later this year.
Artemis Offshore Academy website