Photo: Soline Le Grand

Phil Sharp back in the Figaro

Talented British solo sailor returns to solo sailing

Tuesday February 4th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Jersey offshore sailor Phil Sharp will return to solo sailing through a training programme in sailing’s highly competitive one-design racing class, the Figaro. Sharp last raced in the Figaro class in 2011 when he successfully took part in La Solitaire, an event in which up until his record was beaten last year, he was the highest ever British finisher (save for Clare Francis...)

Winner of the 2006 Route du Rhum in the Class40, Sharp is now training in France, part of a group of 10-12 skippers coached by reputable offshore coach Tanguy Le Glatin. This is being held out of Lorient. Sharp has chartered a boat for a three month period as he looks for additional partnerships to take the campaign forward to this summer’s La Solitaire, where he aims to be the first Brit to finish inside the Top 10.

Phil commented on his latest programme: “It’s very exciting to be back into such a competitive solo sailing environment and starting a winter training programme will be crucial in order to be in good form by the time the races start in spring.

“The Figaro is an ideal training arena for developing and honing many of the skillsets required in the bigger ocean racing classes such as strategy, navigation, tuning, and sleep management. The next few months should hopefully enable me to move my game forward following what has been a two year break from solo sailing.

“So far the training has gone really well and it’s encouraging to be close to the pace of some more experienced French Figaro sailors. However I’m not underestimating the amount of work on the water that I need to put in over the next couple of months before the races start, in order to be consistently near the front of the fleet.

“Training through the winter is always more demanding, having to go out sailing each day in the cold, the rain, and the wind. Some mornings there is even ice on the decks! But heavy wind training I think is so important, in order to learning how to keep sailing your boat fast and comfortably and to avoid mistakes. If you want to do well in the Figaro Class there is no room for mistake, so preparation is everything.”

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