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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

An exciting year in the making for offshore sailor Joshua Schopfer

by Joshua Schopfer 19 Jan 08:11 PST
An exciting year in the making for offshore sailor Joshua Schopfer © Joshua Schopfer

After covering 3,200 nautical miles at sea in 2023, Joshua Schopfer has started 2024 on a high by acquiring his new boat, a Maxi 6.50, which finished 4th in the last Mini-Transat, skippered by Felix Oberle. Joshua is now ready to take command of his new boat in preparation for the 2025 Mini-Transat.

The start of this year marks the first important stage in Joshua's Mini-Transat project. Between recovering his Maxi 6.50 and settling in Brittany, Joshua is ready to devote 100% of his time to his project: competing in the Mini-Transat in 2025.

Since settling in Lorient Joshua has joined the Lorient Grand Large offshore training centre, which supports, trains and develops sailors. Over a hundred sailors are part of this organisation, ranging from Mini to Ultim including the IMOCA class.

"Coming to Lorient is the first big step in my project," explains Joshua, "I am going to spend the next few weeks getting to know my boat and how the Lorient Grand Large training centre operates. It is truly special to be part of this environment, I have been looking forward to it for a long time!"

After a season of sailing, the new boat will undergo a few weeks of maintenance before heading back on the water. The first training sessions will take place at the end of January and throughout February.

The racing season will start at the beginning of March for Joshua. He will be taking the boat to the Mediterranean sea for the first three races of the year. "I will be taking part in my first solo race, from Roma to Barcellona," he explains. "It will be the first edition of this race, and I can't wait!" The Swiss sailor will also be taking part in the Arcipelago 6.50 and the Roma 6.50. Preparing for a Mini-Transat also means clocking up as many nautical miles as possible in offshore races.

After his time in the Mediterranean sea, Joshua will bring the boat back to Brittany at the end of April. He will then devote himself entirely to his training with Lorient Grand Large. His goal will also be to complete the 1000 nautical miles qualifying course, a mandatory step before he can take part in the main race of the year.

Joshua hopes to qualify for Les Sables - Les Açores - Les Sables (SAS), the major race of 2024. Covering a grand total of 2600 miles, the race consists of a round trip between Les Sables d'Olonne and the Azores. Taking part in this race would be the best training for his ultimate goal: the Mini-Transat 2025.

"I would like to thank my partners for their trust," concludes Joshua, "In addition, many individuals have also supported me of which I am very gratefull. It is thanks to them that I am able to make this dream come true."

More information at joshua-schopfer.com

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