Winning a Figaro campaign for a year

Next week RYA Youth Match Racing Champion Sam Goodchild takes on a different challenge
A British first is to take place next week when youth sailor Sam Goodchild embarks on the Challenge Espoir Région Bretagne, a selection event where the winner earns themselves a year’s Figaro campaign – a scheme it would be great to emulate in the UK. Goodchild is perhaps best known for being last year’s RYA National Match Racing Youth Champion, which might seem a million miles away from short handed offshore racing, this latter form of sailing is where Goodchild’s heart lies. “I’ve tried to stick mainly to offshore and shorthanded where possible because I don’t like sitting on the rail for hour after hour,” he admits. While his youth match racing title saw him being packed off to New Zealand and California for match racing events such as the Governor’s Cup where he finished fifth in a field of 12, aged just 19, Goodchild has already sailed across the Atlantic on the Hugo Boss Volvo 60 and this summer joined the Artemis Ocean Racing team for Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet Race on board Artemis 1. To give some indications of the diversity in Goodchild’s sailing – for the last two years he has also competed (as a sailors) in the 3 Peaks Race. The connection with Artemis came from Andy Tourell, with whom Goodchild sailed on the Hugo Boss 60, as part of the RYA Volvo Keelboat program and in fact it was Tourell, now with Artemis Ocean Race, who put Goodchild on to the Challenge Espoir Région Bretagne. “Andy said I should apply for it, because it was a good opportunity,” recounts Goodchild. “So I applied for it thinking nothing would happen, because I’m not French, but thinking I have nothing to lose. Then they got back to me last week and said do you want to