Photos: Christophe Breschi

Honours for Gildas Mahe

As Sam Goodchild comes home in eighth in the Solo Figaro Massif Marine

Saturday March 17th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Gildas Mahé on Vendee 1 was first back to Les Sables d'Olonne today at 10:20:45 local time to take honours in the Solo Figaro Massif Marine 2012, the season opener for the Figaro class. The start was delayed by 24 hours due to thick fog.

Mahé took 24 hours 12 minutes and 45 seconds to complete the shortened 120 mile course which he achieved at an average speed of 5 knots. The Vendee 1 skipper finished just over five minutes ahead of old hand Yann Eliès aboard Morbic and one of the most talented up and coming Figaro sailors, Fabien Delahaye on Skipper MACIF 2012, who was second in La Solitaire last year. 

"I noticed that the guys coming back on to the circuit after a short break generally make a good returns," obseved Mahé. "And it really makes me feel good to do well in this race for my return to the race course. These two years away frustrated me. Yesterday at first I felt a bit starved - even more so due to the start being postponed: I totally understand that, but I wanted so badly to get out on the water in contact with my classmates..."

Mahé said his victory came through taking a good tactical option: "Everything came about because of a choice I made yesterday afternoon. I turned myself into a laughing stock in the west. But I went with the joke and I put one mile on the guys I was with. Then I managed to keep that gap to the finish."

There were mixed results for the Artemis Offshore Academy five. After his winter of sailing, Sam Goodchild came home in eighth place, nineteen minutes off the lead.

"My highs were finishing in the top ten as I didn't expect that to happen," said Goodchild. "Generally I was quite competitive - well in parts I was and parts I wasn't. It was a real morale boost to be able to keep up with some of the top guys at times. Low points were being outpaced by the top guys at the same time. But it was good to know that I have improved since the last race. 'Don't get psyched out by the big names, don't get annoyed by the fact you have no wind, because 30 minutes later you'll have it and someone else won't, and just generally never give up - but that's Figaro racing.

"I didn't put any expectations on where I would finish I just went out to do as well as I could and to have Figaro winners in front and behind me was quite encouraging. Hopefully I can keep it up through the year and keep competitive at the rest of the events."

Nick Cherry was among the lead group in the early part of the race: "My highs were the start and the first three or four hours where I was in the leading pack, rounding the first mark in fifth. And my low was just after that when it went dark and pretty much the whole fleet sailed past me when I got stuck in a hole and after that it was pretty much a low. I learnt that I need more practise sailing in the dark and I need better lights, and I need to get my electronics sorted so I have more instrument data to reply on when it's dark. I was surprised my boat speed was quite good upwind in the light conditions."

Ollie Bond's race was the other way around: "The low for me was going around the top mark as I was in second to last place as I had a terrible first leg up there. The high was doing some good sailing through the night and catching back up with the other guys and get back into the race. The finish was really exciting as I was next to two other boats with a good run to the line, and I just managed to pip them to the line!

"The angles were really good during the beat and we got up there in one go, but there was just less wind and we were doing 3 knots, and just offshore of us they were doing 5 knots and the people further offshore were doing 5 knots as well. As the wind had already shifted we had no option but to go on. So everyone I was with, some good people were dumped.

"I learnt you should never give up, it would have been easy to give up at the top mark when I wasn't doing well. I learnt how intense the Figaro is, you've got to really fight because at the end every boat length counts. It's interesting that i don't feel too bad as I didn't sleep last night as the wind kept shifting last night which I managed to handle ok. Normally I would try and get a few sleeps but it was ok as it was just one night as I didn't make too many errors."

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Results - finish times

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1 - Gildas Mahé (VENDEE 1) – 10:20:45
2 - Yann Eliès (MORBIC) – 10:26:08
3 - Fabien Delahaye (SKIPPER MACIF 2012) – 10:28:20
4 – Nicolas Lunven (GENERALI) – 10:30:30
5 - Morgan Lagravière (VENDEE) - 10:31:39
6 - Erwan Tabarly (NACARAT) - 10:35:45
7 - Paul Meilhat (SKIPPER MACIF 2011) - 10:36:10
8 - Sam Goodchild (ARTEMIS 23) - 10:39:40
9 – David Sineau (BRITANIE COSMETIQUES) - 10:40:05
10 – Fred Duthil (SEPALUMIC) - 10:40:42
11 – Alexis Loison (VDC OFFSHORE) - 10:44:23
12 – Thomas Ruyant (DESTINATION DUNKERQUE) - 10:44:30
13 – Corentin Horeau (BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR) - 10:44:58
14 – Yoann Richomme (DLBC) - 10:45:53
15 – Vincent Biarnes (PRATI’BUCHES) - 10:47:30
16 – Damien Guillou (La SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE) - 10:48:48
17 – Oliver Bond (ARTEMIS 43) - 10:50:18
18 – Isabelle Joschke (GALETTES ST MICHEL) - 10:50:20
19 – Jeanne Grégoire (BANQUE POPULAIRE) - 10:50:21
20 – Didier Bouillard (JEHOL) - 10:52:00
21 – Thomas Normand (FINANCIERE DE L’ECHIQUIER) - 10:53:20
22 – Aaron Cooper (ARTEMIS 21) - 10:57:21
23 – Nick Cherry (ARTEMIS 77) – 11:02:49
24 – Anthony Marchand (BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE) – 11:06:40
25 – Kristin Songe Moller (KRISTIN – FOR FULLE SEIL) – 11:09:13
26 – Nicolas Jossier (IN EXTENSO EXPERTS COMPTABLES) – 11:12:23
27 – Michel Bothuon (LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS) – 11:15:01
28 – Henry Bomby (ARTEMIS 37) – 11:18:01
29 - Germain Kerleveo/J.S. Henry (VILLE DE VANNES – CLOWN A L’HOPITAL) – 11:18:05



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