The next three weeks at Figaro school in La Grande Motte will be all go for the four Artemis Academy members left in the running for the one scholarship place. As far as prizes go this one is up there, a place in the Solitaire du Figaro this summer along with the rest of the solo circuit, full coaching and support program, choice of sail maker and a healthy salary too. This position is mostly (although not exclusively) decided based on a series of selection races some of which have already been sailed. A selection committee made up of big hitters from the world of solo sailing and OC Thirdpole will decide the winner based on the outcome of the racing and other factors such as media friendliness and chance of success etc etc.
Three separate series are being run simultaneously, 10-15 inshore races of around an hour each with a multiplier of one, 4-5 longer coastal races of around 24 hours with a multiplier of three and then crucially up to three solo offshore races carrying a multiplier of five. These results also include up to 11 extra French skipper who can’t win the scholarship but can certainly put us through our paces on the race course.
Having completed three inshore and two coastal races we are approximately 15% through the series. I am currently lying a close second overall to Phil Sharp with Sam Goodchild having made a convincing start to the inshore series with three wins. Next up is three inshore races tomorrow afternoon where the forecast looks windy and then a 200 mile race over to Marseilles and on to an offshore buoy. My routing currently says this will take 2 days 21 hours!
Updates to come.