Mark Lloyd / Artemis Offshore Academy

Goodchild commits to four year solo sailing program

Former Artemis Offshore Academy scholarship winner heading for Vendee Globe 2016

Friday November 9th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

After an active short-handed racing programme over the last 12 months which included the Transat AG2R, Global Ocean Race, Solitaire du Figaro and Normandy Channel Race, Sam Goodchild has formed of Sam Goodchild Racing Ltd – a new business set up to professionally manage the next step in Sam’s career with the long-term goal of racing in future editions of the legendary solo Vendée Globe.

“This year has been a great success for me and I am happy with the results I have achieved and progress I have made,” explained Goodchild. “The highlights for me were winning the Class 40 double-handed leg two of the Global Ocean Race and the Normandy Channel race, as well as achieving a good finish in the final leg of the Solitaire du Figaro.”

Mike Golding, who is about to embark on his fourth consecutive Vendée Globe race, is keen to follow Goodchild’s success and agrees he has the making of a future star: “Determined, focused and most importantly talented – key attributes which will take Sam to the top of the solo sailing world.”

In 2013 Goodchild will be competing in both the Figaro, Class40 and IMOCA 60 classes with the long-term aim of having an ‘entry’ level campaign for the 2016 Vendée Globe. His four-year programme will focus on continuing to sharpen his boat on boat skills on the match racing circuit, competing again in the Transat Jacques Vabre on an IMOCA 60 or Class 40, and racing in the famed annual Solitaire du Figaro for at least the next three years. Alongside this Sam will be continuing to secure funding for an ‘entry’ level 2016 Vendée Globe campaign with the hope to progress to a new boat in the 2020 edition, which would see him on the start line looking to win at the age of just 31.

One of the first jobs of the newly formed company was to acquire a Beneteau Figaro II, the cornerstone of the next three years of competition. An investment by private partners has enabled Sam Goodchild Racing to acquire Figaro 85. The boat was previously campaigned by Mini Transat winner, Francisco Lobato for the last two seasons. “I have been incredibly lucky to have the support of private backers and jump the first hurdle in starting your own campaign,” said Goodchild. “I now have to work hard to secure further sponsorship to finance the ongoing costs of insurance, new sails, campaign logistics and training expenses. The boat is in great condition with a good racing history, and fully equipped for an intensive Figaro campaign, which means that training can start immediately with no initial boat work to do. ”

This weekend Goodchild is in Les Sables d’Olonne to bid farewell to the 20 solo Vendée Globe competitors. “Everything I have done in the last two years, and will do in the next four years will be about getting myself to the start line for the next edition of the race in 2016. It’s going to be incredible to be amongst the 20 single-handed skippers as they set off on this epic race because next time it will be my turn.”

He has been part of the Artemis Offshore Academy for the past two years, first selected for the Development Squad in 2010 then making the transition to a Graduate Sailor, and he will continue to work with the Academy as an Associate sailor on a programme specifically designed to help develop the commercial aspect of his campaign: “At this early stage of my new campaign it’s vital to receive the advice and support of the Academy, by working with the management and media teams I’ll ensure my project is up and running efficiently from the very beginning, and should help me avoid the ‘school boy errors’ that occur when you try to do too much on your own for the first time. We’ll continue to build on the good media results over the last two years that included over an hour of TV news coverage on BBC and ITV regional TV channels, Seamaster Sailing, Sky Sports and CNN Mainsail, and over 50 print articles and hundreds of online articles.”

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