Sam Goodchild: First race of the season

Sam Goodchild: First race of the season

Wednesday March 14 2012 Author: goodchild.sam Location: none selected

We’ve spent the last 2 weeks training in preparation for the Solo Figaro Massif Marine 2012, the first event of the season. It doesn’t count towards the Championship of France (like the Figaro and Izmir Cup) but, it is the first time we get to race against the majority of our competition and see how we are doing after the winters training.

Unlike the previous few weeks, last week Nick Cherry and I went to St. Gilles where the Vendee Globe sponsored Figaro's train from. We had three very productive days training with four boats and a bunch of really nice guys who welcomed us openly when it came to sharing thoughts and tricks in debriefs. And for the bits we didn’t understand, we at least were learning french.

Sam goodchild
Training in St.Gilles

15 miles down the coast from St. Gilles is Les Sables d’Olonne, the home of the single handed round, non-stop round the world race, the Vendee Globe. It has been the host port of the start and finish line for every race including the next one starting this November. As a result the local's appreciation for single handed sailing is like no where else. This is where the Solo Massif Marine starts from on Thursday. It is 320 mile course in a loop on the north-east shore of the bay of Biscay. We expect to finish on Saturday and probably not sleep much along the way…it's back to the joys of single-handed coastal racing in Figaros for the first time since the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro.

The challenge for this race starts on Tuesday when we have to get passed by a safety equipment scrutineer for the first time this season. I don't think anyone expects to pass first time but with the check list in hand we are hard at work trying to improve our chances.

In the past couple weeks I’ve also been in touch with some great kids from back in Grenada. Grade 5 and 6 and their teacher, Mrs. Fletcher from the First Choice Junior School have sent me some great questions and feed back about my sailing so, thanks a lot to them and look forward to meeting them next time I'm out there.

Grade 5 & 6 of First Choice Junior School

That's all for now, I'll try and update you before the start on Thursday.


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