Photo: Artemis Offshore Academy/Brian Carlin

'Preparateur' program

Artemis Offshore Academy announce new scheme for shore crew

Thursday October 17th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

To coincide with the intake of the new 2014 Artemis Offshore Academy Squad, the Academy is launching its first apprenticeship scheme for budding British shore crew or as they are known in France, ‘préparateurs’, to join the Academy’s professional racing team on the Class Figaro circuit next season.

Preparation is key to the success of any sailing campaign and this year the Academy is looking to develop a structured British shore team alongside the growing number of talented skippers to support the boat management aspect of the Artemis campaign.

The apprenticeship scheme is an invaluable opportunity for the right applicant looking to become a skilled préparateur, with the Academy providing a structured programme of learning and hands-on experience. Whether their skill set comes into their own out on the race course or back on the dock, it is Artemis Offshore Academy’s aim to provide talented individuals with a leg up into the world of professional offshore racing.

Charles Darbyshire, Project Director, explains: “The Academy’s aspirations have always included creating a generation of skilled préparateurs to work along side our sailors, with the sailor programme well established now we feel the time is right to introduce the shore team training programme to the Academy’s schedule. Just like our aspirations for our sailors to one day race alone around the world, our hope is that our trainee préparateurs will one day form a valuable part of a successful offshore campaign too."

Academy Logistics Manager Phil Johnston added : “As part of his or her apprenticeship, an Artemis Offshore Academy trainee préparateur will work along side the sailing and logistics team gaining first-hand experience of what it takes to be a great préparateur while work placements will provide exposure to a variety of marine trades, including sail making, rigging, mechanical engineering, and composite repair.

“Alongside their training, the trainee préparateur will build solid working relationships with the Academy skippers and get to know the Figaro Bénéteau boats inside out. The highlight of the year will be working alongside skilled French preparateurs on the Figaro circuit, including La Solitaire du Figaro."

The job role of a professional préparateur can be taken from the translation of the French word ‘préparateur’ meaning ‘to prepare’. Trusted with preparing and repairing the boat for competition and between race legs, relieving the skipper of unnecessary pre-race stress, a préparateur is a vital cog in the running of any well-oiled solo racing team and a career well respected on the offshore racing circuit, as 2013 Artemis Offshore Academy Solitaire du Figaro Rookie winner Jack Bouttell explains: “Having worked as a boat hand in the UK I already knew the importance of boat maintenance and preparation, but this was greatly magnified when I started competing solo. Being able to rely and put all of your confidence in a member of the team to prepare your boat for racing with as much care as you would yourself is invaluable.”

In this new initiative for the 2013/2014 season, the apprentice(s) will become part of the Artemis Offshore Academy squad – living, eating and working closely with the team, as well as receiving the same benefits and subsistence allowance as the Figaro skippers.

To apply for the Artemis Offshore Academy Préparateur Apprenticeship Programme the following criteiria must be met:
 - Applicants must be available to fulfil the placement from the 2nd of December 2013 to the 26th of September 2014
 - Applicants must be prepared to work Monday to Friday, with some evening and weekend work when required
 - Applicants must hold a British passport
 - Applicants must be 18 or over

The programme will run between December 2013 and September 2014, and applications are open now, here.

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