Briton is one of five international skippers to compete in the Solitaire du Figaro 2009

British round-the-world skipper Jonny Malbon will compete in the Solitaire du Figaro 2009.

The solo racing circuit – spanning 1,706 nautical miles, over four legs, from 28 July to 22 August – is one of the most respected single-handed offshore competitions in the world. The event has been the launch pad for the careers of some of the greatest talents in the sport over the last 40 years and continues to attract the best. Malbon will be racing in the ‘Rookie’ (first-timers) division but will be lining up against previous Figaro champions – Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and podium finisher Armel Le Cléac’h.

Speaking from his current training base in Lorient, France, Malbon commented: “Although I have done a lot of miles on IMOCA 60s, my competitive solo racing experience remains limited. I now have an opportunity to go back to school as it were, and learn some of the techniques and skills that are only available through the kind of close racing found on the Figaro circuit.”

“If you look at the background of the top sailors who participated in the Vendée Globe, you will see the Figaro on many of their résumés. I know it will be hugely competitive, but I also know it will help me progress up the learning curve.”

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