Sam and her French boyfriend brave storms to train for their Atlantic ‘love match’ next month

Solo sailor Sam Davies has had some tough training this weekend for her next ocean race. She is realising her long-held ambition of teaming up with French boyfriend Romain Attanasio by taking part the two-handed Transat AG2R race from Brittany to the Caribbean island of St Barths in April.

They are joining forces up to race in the 30ft Bénéteau Figaro 2 one-design class with which they are both so familiar. The pair met through racing in the Figaro solo circuit in France and now live together in Brittany close to Port La Forêt, the epicentre of French offshore solo sailing.

Sam and Romain were out training this weekend despite the huge storms that swept through France. They were taking part in a course organised by Pôle Finistère Course au Large, a training group that has honed the skills of some of France’s top solo sailors.

They pushed their boat Figaro Savéol in waves of up to 6m and admitted to bouts of seasickness and some problems with lifejackets auto-inflating during a 47-mile offshore course.

“When you are doing manoeuvres in waves of more than 5m it’s pretty sporting,” Romain commented. “I haven’t helmed a Figaro for a long time but my reactions quickly came back. It was tiring but very useful.”

Sam and Romain will be up against some top names in short-handed ocean sailing, such as Bernard Stamm, Kito de Pavant, Bertrand de Broc and former Mini Transat winner Adrien Hardy.