One of solo offshore racing’s brightest up-and-coming stars, Sam Goodchild has signed a two-year deal with adidas Sailing. The famous global sports apparel brand recently unveiled its plans to enter the sailing market.
“It’s a perfect fit,” said the 23-year-old British sailor who aspires to follow in the footsteps of other great offshore racers such as Ellen MacArthur. “I’m at the start of my career in the short handed offshore sailing world, and it’s a new beginning for adidas Sailing.”
After two years with the Artemis Offshore Academy, Goodchild is now committed to building his experience on the road to the Vendée Globe. He is currently participating in La Solitaire and at the end of the penultimate leg was in 10th position overall and on course to deliver the best performance by a British Sailor since Clare Francis' five place in 1975.
“The Figaro is a good place to test every aspect of a clothing range because we do everything from inshore racing around the cans, where you’re running around the 30ft boat on your own and that can be in the sunshine so you just need shorts, shoes and a T-shirt," said Goodchild. "But then we’re offshore at night when we need as many layers of clothing as you possibly can get on to keep warm, so it’s a good test for the whole of the adidas Sailing range. It’s already excellent kit, and hopefully over the years we can work together and fine tune something that gets even better - for everything from short-course inshore racing to long-distance offshore racing.”
Goodchild was attracted by the different approach to technical sailing apparel. “Adidas has taken a fresh look at things, and has used their experience from so many other sports applying new technologies like climalite and climacool, and different ways of cutting a fabric so that it works better with movement -, lifting your arms and making sure the rest of the jacket doesn’t rise up with you, for example.”
The focus in the adidas Sailing range on minimising weight and bulk is especially relevant for singlehanded offshore racing, says Goodchild. “There are some interesting ideas, I like that you can adjust the sides of the smock to tighten it into your body. Innovations like this will be useful for the Figaro, especially where you’re jumping around on the bow dropping sails, then next you’re sitting at the helm non-stop for six hours. You need to be able to move about without feeling too restricted, so having something without bulk is pretty important.”
Goodchild is also attracted by the low-cut boots which can be interlinked with the bottom of the waterproof salopette trousers for a totally waterproof seal. “The adidas sailing boots are a low cut which means they’re light and comfortable for hotter conditions as well as being waterproof for the rough stuff.”
Comfort - staying warm and dry for long periods - is essential to performance offshore. Goodchild’s long-term goal, the Vendée Globe, is perhaps the biggest test for any kind of sailing gear. “It’s 90 days at sea, and it’s been proven in the Vendée that if you’re not comfortable you’re not going fast. I’m looking forward to working with adidas Sailing to continue creating the best possible clothing for the job.”
Thomas Fochler from adidas Sailing said “ We’re very proud to be working with Sam who in the last few months has proved he’s a rising star in the solo offshore sailing world. We’ve been glued to the Solitaire tracker, and will be closely following his progress as he approaches the finish in Dieppe on Sunday. We hope to celebrate our first great result together, and I hope and expect there will be many more.”