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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Sam Goodchild unveils new IMOCA: For The Planet

by Agence TB Press 15 Apr 09:24 PDT
Two sailboats promoting the same FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET project © Pierre Bouras / TR Racing

One month on from the launch in Lorient of Thomas Ruyant's new boat, FOR PEOPLE, today it's the turn of British sailor Sam Goodchild to unveil his new steed FOR THE PLANET (Ex LinkedOut).

Two sailors, two sailboats, two partners, Advens and Leyton, a collective united in setting in motion and engaging in global action for the benefit of the People and the Planet, two causes that are inextricably linked: FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET is born.

Sam Goodchild, who was recently competing in The Ocean Race, takes the helm of the 2019 Verdier design, which won the Route du Rhum and the Transat Jacques Vabre with Thomas Ruyant.

The sailor is looking forward to pitting himself against Class IMOCA's stellar line-up. The Transat Jacques Vabre, which is due to set sail from Le Havre on the 29th October 2023 bound for Martinique, will be the first major race meet for Sam, as well as preparation 'in real conditions' for his first non-stop, unassisted singlehanded Round the World race in 2024.

Impressions about FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET

Alexandre Fayeulle, Founder of Advens: "50% of the Advens group's capital and resulting financial profits are intended to champion people and planet. Companies and their associates have the power to change the course of things and now's the time to do just that! Advens + Leyton + TR Racing, the FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET collective, has been launched to rally together and call to action as many people as possible."

Caroline Villecroze, Marketing Director at Leyton: "Day in day out, Leyton's teams support thousands of organisations in a quest for sustainable performance. By facilitating access to funding, which enables a reduction in their environmental footprint, by providing funding for their renewable energy plans and by accelerating training programmes for their employees, we are enabling our clients to develop a more sustainable business model.

Our sports campaign champions the same goals: combining sporting performance with social and environmental performance. Since we joined the offshore racing scene, we've always targeted the podium, whilst promoting change through really practical actions favouring gender diversity with the Magenta Project and green innovation with Héole in particular.

After a 4-year rollercoaster ride alongside Sam Goodchild and his team in Class40 and then Ocean Fifty, we're enthusiastic at the prospect of supporting Sam with his Vendée Globe dream, and at the chance to do so alongside Thomas Ruyant. Above all though, together with Advens, we're keen to champion a sports project associated with a unique community-based collective by the name of FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET"

Three questions for Sam Goodchild, skipper of the sailboat FOR THE PLANET:

Q: Sam, you've only recently got back from 5 weeks in the Deep South aboard a latest-generation foiling IMOCA; what are your thoughts?

A. "The 5 weeks in the Southern Ocean were a fantastic, intense adventure! The stress, the fatigue and the intensity of the experience were all positive. I've learnt a great deal that I will be able to use going forward. It was my baptism of fire on a foiling IMOCA. I learnt a lot from being in contact with Kevin Escoffier. It was very instructive. It was good to do it in crewed format and I'll draw on what I've learned for the Vendée Globe.

The boats are a bit crazy. Their ability to perform is far superior to what we need. We spend our time deciding how to strike a balance between speed and caring for the boat. She will have to go the distance. The power and the capacity for acceleration are massive. I'm in awe of what Thomas has managed to do by winning two transatlantic races on this type of boat.

The inertia of the manoeuvres is significant, and you really have to calculate your moves and get the timing just right when you decide to tack, gybe or make a sail change. You constantly need to be on top of the weather, the human and the machine. whom makes the fewest mistakes wins, therefore gaining experience is a fundamental part of the build-up. Clocking up miles, getting out on the water over and over again, knowing yourself and the boat inside out.

Q: Your ultimate goal remains the Vendée Globe?

A: "For a long time, the route I've taken and my life choices have been geared around running a successful Vendée Globe campaign.

I wasn't necessarily destined for this, but it's been a goal I've been striving and working towards from a very early age. I've never taken my eye off the Vendée Globe since. I have a great opportunity to chase this dream and feel incredibly fortunate.

A great many people have helped me on this long journey, it would be difficult to name them all. Assistance has come on a technical level as much as and human one, and most recently Kevin Escoffier. I have complete respect for him. When I arrived in England as an adolescent, a sailing instructor took me under his wing. Similarly I owe him and many others a great deal.

I haven't set myself any objectives in terms of performance. The idea is to do my best and to understand what doesn't work well, whilst continuing to raise my game. It's a challenge to complete the Vendée and perform well. I need to go about things the right way, with humility.

We have 18 months to prepare for the Vendée. I want to start and to finish it. As such, I need to make sure our campaign is reliable and finish races, whilst continuing to learn.

There's so much to do! You have to manage your campaign with the energy you have at your disposal, both ashore and at sea. I have to make choices and decide how to manage my time most effectively, which means I must be versatile and demonstrate good judgement."

Q: How will you make the transition into your role within TR Racing?

A: "I'm joining an experienced team, with a way of working that appeals to me, which is great. As a result, I'm happy with the choices I've made in the past. I started out from a young age and I've been involved in a lot of different projects. I love learning and challenges. I'm proud to be able to count on the unfailing support of Leyton, my historical partner, and Advens, which share the same societal and competitive DNA.

I'm on a steep learning curve here. Thomas has done a lot of work on this boat. I have limited experience of IMOCA, but I like the challenge. It is my greatest challenge to date. I'm going to learn with real passion and respect. I do not underestimate the work ahead of me to reach Thomas' level. My schedule taking on this challenge is immense. I have two very busy years ahead of me.

I've had little chance to spend time with the team, which has been working relentlessly on FOR THE PLANET the past few months. I've been talking about the Vendée Globe for 15 years. Now I need to go about things in the right order.

As someone who's competitive, I'm keen to do things well and quickly, but we'll need to take things step by step and be smart with our time management. It will be a swift takeover, with a need to make the right decisions at the right time. I won't have had much time on the water prior to the Bermudes 1000 Race. It'll be important to sail intelligently, so as not to make silly mistakes.

During this time where lots of people are striving to have a positive impact, I'm happy to be joining a project which, together with LinkedOut over recent years, has demonstrated that it has what it takes to keep things real for others. Together with Advens and Leyton, two companies with significant community commitments, we have a common desire to punctuate our campaign with positive initiatives for People and Planet. That's something that's really important for me."

The words of Thomas Gavériaux, TR Racing Managing Director: "It's with great emotion that we bring this unique project to light with two boats and two skippers. I can't wait to see our two IMOCA boats side by side on the water. The launch of FOR THE PLANET is the culmination of the first major technical phase - which was quite short - where we worked together to set up the team and manage the end of the construction of FOR PEOPLE, Thomas' new boat, and the preparation of FOR THE PLANET for Sam.

"Sam arrives in the IMOCA class with an accomplished boat of which he is the new boss. We are doing everything to put him in the best conditions so that he can be competitive quickly. The coming months are going to be intense and exciting. It is a whole team that will continue to build, to push itself, and to take our two skippers and their boats to the top. See you on May 7th for the start of the first FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET event, the Bermuda 1000 Race in Brest."

Sam's track record:

2022

  • 1st - Dhream Cup [Ocean Fifty]
  • 1st - la 1000 milles des Sables [Ocean Fifty]
  • 2nd - Pro Sailing Tour [Ocean Fifty]Route du Rhum - withdrawal due to injury [Ocean Fifty]

2021

  • 1st - Pro Sailing Tour [Ocean Fifty]
  • 3rd - Transat Jacques Vabre [Ocean Fifty]

2020

  • 1st - Dhream Cup [Figaro]
  • 2nd - Solo Maître Coq [Figaro]
  • Attempt Jules Verne Trophy attempt with Sodebo [Ultim]

2019

  • 2nd - Transat Jacques Vabre [Class 40]
  • 3rd - Rolex Fastnet Race [Ultim]

2018

  • 2nd - the 1000 milles des Sables [Class 40]
  • Route du Rhum - withdrawal following a dismasting [Class 40]

2015

  • 7th - Transat Jacques Vabre [IMOCA]

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