Mark Lloyd / Artemis

Sign up for the Artemis Offshore Academy 2011-12

The opportunity to win a Figaro campaign for a season

Thursday August 25th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

The Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trials closing date has been extended to midnight on 4 September to give potential candidates an extra week to apply after a busy summer of sailing.

The Artemis Offshore Academy provides a structured UK training programme of excellence for British short-handed sailors. The objective is to bring talented sailors up through the ranks with the ultimate goal to put a British sailor in a strong position to win the Vendée Globe in the future.

The Selection Trials provide an opportunity for sailors from any background, be it dinghy, match racing, Olympic or offshore, to try short-handed sailing and see if they have what it takes to join the Development Squad. Those chosen will train with the Artemis Offshore Academy in the south of France for the winter that then leads into a summer of training and events based in the UK and France. The trials will be held from the 26 September to the 1st October 2011 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

“This programme is an effective and efficient way of condensing many seasons of short-handed sailing experience into a concentrated learning experience,” explains Artemis Offshore Academy Board Member, Rod Carr. “It is not for the faint-hearted. It is unrelenting and physically and mentally demanding, but will equip young, ambitious sailors with the skills to win on the world stage.”

Artemis Offshore Academy graduate Nick Cherry said: “I come from a dinghy racing background and I had never really thought about solo offshore sailing until I had the opportunity to try it during the 2010 Selection Trials. Now I am hooked! The experience I have gained as a member of the Development Squad has enhanced my sailing career.”

One of the highlights the Artemis Offshore Academy is that it awards a fully funded Figaro Scholarship to one sailor who completes all the mandatory training. This includes not only sailing, meteorology, navigation and French language training, but also includes potential sponsor viability and overall performance throughout the winter. The Scholarship will enable one sailor to train full time with a Figaro coach throughout the summer whilst competing in the one-design Figaro circuit.

Sam Goodchild, the inaugural Scholarship winner, recounts: “I was very lucky to win the Scholarship as it enabled me to train full time this summer and race in the highly competitive Solitaire du Figaro. I learnt so much since I joined the Academy, which would have been impossible to do without the Academy programme and support. In the Solitaire du Figaro I was on the same start line as some sailing legends which was a bit nerve racking, but I loved every second and learnt so much from racing with them.”

This year three other Academy members Nigel King, Phil Sharp and Conrad Humphreys joined Goodchild on the start line for the Solitaire du Figaro. Britain’s Olympic 49er sailor, Simon Hiscocks, also went through the Selection Trials last year and was selected for the Development Squad as he considered his sailing future beyond the Olympics: “The Artemis Offshore Academy is leading the way for talented British solo offshore sailors, it’s a fantastic opportunity.”

The Development Squad will have a short-handed racing programme throughout the summer in both French and UK waters, whilst only the Scholarship race boat will receive a paid entry to the Solitaire du Figaro. The other Squad members will compete on their own racing calendar, but are encouraged and helped by the Academy to achieve their ongoing ambitions.

For your chance to attend the Selection Trials and have the chance to join the next Development Squad apply now! Entries close at midnight on 4 September. Apply here!

Read more about year one's initial selection trials here


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