After a weekend at home catching up with friends and family and getting some well earned rest the training phase is over and now the serious business of selecting the one sailor for the Artemis Figaro scholarship begins. In a process based largely, but not entirely, on a series of single handed races ranging from 40 minutes in length to 40 hours one person will be chosen to sail the Artemis branded race boat in the Solitaire du Figaro and a number of other solo events this summer. The benefits of this position include a well funded campaign, lots of extra personal coaching and a healthy salary for the summer. Whilst the rest of the squad will end up with a decent program of races there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that second place won’t do.
The first race in this series starts later today around a roughly 60 mile there and back costal course. The last two days have been spent preparing safety kit, food and drink, looking at the weather with Sylvian Mondial of Meteo France and several rounds of informal but incredibly serious boat equalisation checks between the four sailors racing for the prize. Weather conditions look extremely light and variable with heavy fog to deal with over night and a total race time for the 60 mile course likely to be more than 24 hours. So long as my phone stays dry then I’ll try and give regular updates from the race on twitter.