Friday, 3 June 2011
Sam Goodchild downwind in 30 knots.
by Julie Royer
The second UK Figaro National Championships at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the sailing venue for 2012 Olympics, concluded last week. We caught up with some of the competitors earlier this week to find out what they thought...
Out of the seven official entries, three were from the ranks of the Artemis Offshore Academy: 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.”
Out of the seven entries, three were from the Artemis Offshore Academy including Humphreys, Nigel King with his new sponsor E Line Orthodontics sailing with Stephen Hogson and Artemis Offshore Academy Scholarship winner Sam Goodchild racing with Nick Cherry.
It was Humphreys and Young who scored the first win in the double-point overnight race from Cherbourg to Weymouth via the Needles. The Yacht Club Cherbourg started the 7-boat fleet in a brisk south-westerly force 5-6 breeze and although the wind veered slightly the Figaro boats were able to carry their spinnakers for a very fast passage finishing in Weymouth at sunrise the following morning. Second and third went to the two French teams of Nicolas Joissier and Alexis Loison and Jean-Charles Monnet and Alexandre Toulorge in thrid.
The next phase of the championship was the inshore racing on Wednesday (25th May) after the teams spent the previous day preparing the boats and catching up on some well-earned sleep. Four races were staged in a 12-15 knot southerly breeze on Weymouth bay with the spoils of victory shared between the fleet as four different boats claimed victory from the four races. The racing was close and any small mistake was quickly punished in this closely matched fleet.
Race wins for teams of Goodchild/Cherry, Jossier/Loison, Bond/Jackson and Monnet/Toulorge, brought day two to a close and first place overall was now shared by Humphreys/Young and Monnet/Toulorge.
The final day of the UK Figaro National Championships dawned for the coastal race but with 40 knots blowing, and no evidence of the breeze diminishing, the race was abandoned handing overall victory to the French duo, who broke the points tie on count back courtesy of more second place finishes than the British duo.
The second staging of the UK Figaro National Championships demonstrated that the British Figaro sailors are progressing well on the learning curve in this highly competitive class boding well for the future: “All agreed the racing had been very closely fought and of a high standard,” commented John Thorn, Artemis Offshore Academy Performance Director. “Next year we hope that more of the French Figaro sailors will join us for the UK Figaro National Championships nationals and with the 2012 Olympics just around the corner it could be a very special event.”
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 set back 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 3rd place out of 7 boats in the Series Mini class. Pip has now qualified for the Mini Transat later this year.
UK Figaro National Championships Final Results
1st Jean-Charles Monnet / Alexandre Toulorge, PARIS 15ème
2nd Conrad Humphreys / Ollie Young, DMS
3rd Nicolas Jossier / Alexis Loison, Entreprendre En Pays Granvillas
4th Sam Goodchild / Nick Cherry, Artemis 23
5th Ollie Bond / Will Jackson, Artemis 77
6th Sam Matson / Henry Bomby, Artemis 43
7th Nigel King / Stephen Hopson, E Line Orthodontics
Artemis Offshore Academy