Saturday, 25 May 2013

Solitaire du Figaro : Magma Structures and Rockfish to team with Academy Graduates Cherry and Bomby for 2013 Solitaire du Figaro

by Artemis Offshore Academy

Today, Friday 24th May, the build up in Bordeaux (France) to the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro really begins as the 42-strong Figaro flotilla makes it’s way up the Gironde river and into the heart of the bustling city. With Leg 1 of the Solitaire du Figaro set to start Sunday 2nd June, in the words of the Academy sailors it’s ‘game faces on’ for the spectrum of Figaro competitors, from next generation Rookies to the legends of the Figaro class, as they prepare for the first 536-mile Leg from Bordeaux to Porto (Portugal). Travelling up river with the fleet from Pauillac will be Artemis Offshore Academy newbies Ed Hill and Jack Bouttell, alongside Academy Graduates Sam Goodchild, on route to his third Solitaire du Figaro, and Nick Cherry and Henry Bomby, who for 2013 have secured two exciting new sponsors for the historic one-design race.

Magma Structures are proud to sponsor Nick Cherry in the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro © Artemis Offshore Academy/Brian Carlin

With just over a week to go until it the race kicks start from Bordeaux, Magma Structures, providers of world-class structural engineering expertise and flexible manufacturing resources, is pleased to announce their sponsorship of Artemis Offshore Academy Graduate and British sailor Nick: "We are very excited to sponsor Nick in the forthcoming Solitaire du Figaro, which is an extremely tough and challenging event,” stated Clive Johnson, Managing Director of Magma Structures. “We look forward to following Nick's progress in the Solitaire and I'm sure his achievements will be an inspiration to the 80+ people who work at Magma Structures."

Currently gearing up for his second go around the 1,938 mile Solitaire track, Nick is hoping to earn himself the 'best of British prize' and secure a top half result in the tough fleet, racing his newly named Figaro 23, ‘Magma Structures’: “It’s great to have the support of Magma Structures for the Solitaire this year. They’re an exciting company who are building some ground breaking rigs for super yachts and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of their shed next. I hope their employees will enjoy following the race tracker at six minute intervals and I'll get 80 more supporters!” For more on Magma Structures, click here.

Nick will sail 'Magma Structures' in the 1928 mile © Artemis Offshore Academy/Brian Carlin

Having put in a determined performance already this season just to get him to the Solitaire start line, Academy Graduate Henry is also excited to announce that his boat for his remaining racing season will be named after Mitch Tonks’ award-winning fish restaurants, RockFish. Well known food writer and TV chef Mitch has supported local Dartmouth boy Henry since 2010, but this title sponsorship for the 2013 season has taken his backing to a new level. “It was Henry’s charisma, ability and belief that inspired us at the Seahorse and RockFish to want to sponsor his solo sail round Britain a few years ago and we have been closely following his progress since,” Mitch revealed. “Henry’s latest challenge on the Figaro circuit, the Solitaire du Figaro, is seriously hard work and requires determination and support. He is an inspiration to those around him and we are so proud to be involved.”

Henry Bomby secures a title sponsor in long time friend and supporter Mitch Tonks © Artemis Offshore Academy/Brian Carlin

A grateful Henry continued: “To have ongoing support from Mitch is fantastic. As well as the financial support, he also brings a huge amount of passion to the project. Mitch hope’s to one day see me compete in the Vendée Globe, the pinnacle even in solo offshore racing, and for me to be competing in the Solitaire du Figaro for a second year running is a jump up onto the first rung of the ladder towards achieving this dream.” Visit the RockFish website here and find out more about Mitch Tonks here.

Henry gears up for his second Solitaire du Figaro sailing his own Figaro, 'RockFish' © Artemis Offshore Academy/Brian Carlin

The newly backed Nick, Henry and the remainder of the Artemis Offshore Academy clan will have the opportunity to show off their new race sails and livery this weekend, with the five British sailors and Irish skipper David taking part in a mandatory Solitaire speed run showdown over a 2.8 mile course as part of the Fete Le Fleuve festival, of which the Solitaire du Figaro is the centre piece. Race Coach Marcus Hutchinson detailed: “The banks of the Garonne (river) and the layout of the festival make for a perfect amphitheatre. There is no prize for the fastest boat as the conditions will be different everyday this week, but the opportunity for the crowds to watch and be introduced to the different race skippers and boats is too good to miss.”

Nick, Jack, Ed and David will be first of 42 skippers to put their tuning to the test on Saturday 25th May, with Henry and Sam to follow on Sunday 26th May.

You can follow the Academy skippers as race preparations hot up in Bordeaux via the new look Artemis Offshore Academy website