Skandia is to sponsor Sam Davies' 2003 Figaro campaign

Skandia, long term sponsors of Cowes Week, has announced title sponsorship of Sam Davies’ 2003 Figaro campaign, the latest addition to their global Set Sail campaign. The new 32ft Figaro Beneteau race boat was officially named ‘SKANDIA’ by Ellen MacArthur in Cherbourg this morning.

Twenty eight year old Sam is the rising star of the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team, following hot on the heels of Nick Moloney and Ellen MacArthur. Her big aim is the French dominated Figaro circuit, a series of six two-up and solo events that culminate with the Solitaire du Figaro – 2000 grueling singlehanded miles between France, Ireland and Spain. Racing in identical One Design 32 foot Beneteau Figaros, the highly competitive 40 strong fleet stays so close together, the intensity is like that of round-the-cans inshore racing – except of course they are on their own, and offshore. Sleep deprivation is at an extreme level, and the all round skills of the sailors are tested to their limit.

The Figaro circuit has been the launch pad for just about every famous French offshore sailor – including the winner of the Vendée Globe 2000, Michel Desjoyeaux who has twice won the event. Sam’s big goal is to win the ‘Rookie’ title – the coveted trophy for the newcomers to the event in 2003.

Sam will be the first British female to compete on the Figaro circuit, since international novelist and former offshore sailor Clare Francis competed in 1976.

“Skandia’s support is fantastic news for me, as well as for sailing in general. Skandia is giving me a great chance to progress in the sport and race against the top solo sailors in the world – now it’s all up to me and my team.”