Solo sailor Pip Hare, author of our Advanced Sailing Series, shares her experiences with Yachting World in this blog


23rd April 2012

In Brittany the crowds will be descending on Concarneau on
Sunday (29 April) for the start of the next big transatlantic race, the AG2R.

16 teams will race in 31ft Figaro 2’s from Brittany, through
the Canaries and then on to St Bart’s in the Caribbean.

It’s a tough race attracting some of the top sailors from
the Figaro class; the competition will be full on, identical boats pushed by
identically driven and talented sailors all with the sole goal of making it
there first.

Among the entries this year is our own British Team of Sam
Goodchild and Nick Cherry, sponsored by Artemis and trained through the Artemis
Offshore Academy; these guys have been living Figaros for well over a year now.

Like me, Sam and Nick’s primary focus has been on Solo sailing, the main event of
the year will be the Solitaire de Figaro but double handed racing runs
alongside most single handed campaigns. With all the dedicated solo classes
having double handed races as well; they provide a different dynamic, a chance
to compete alongside instead of against some of your competitors and keeping
the calendar alive and interesting.

So what is it that makes a good double handed crew?
Naturally a good balance across the board of all the skills it takes to make a
distance sailor and expertise in different areas is primary, however after that
most of it comes down to personality.

A small annoying tick can escalate to mammoth proportions
after a couple of weeks together in a small boat; an inability to communicate
can destroy team spirit, ruin strategy and potentially lead to basic mistakes.
Losing trust in a co-skipper will result in lack of sleep, a culture of blame
and ultimately this will have a detrimental affect on the boats performance.

So how will our Brits get on? Here’s my take from the

Two very different people driven by a common goal; Nick
Cherry has a mind which goes in a thousand different directions at a time,
slightly chaotic but very effective. He is dedicated and interested in many
things, lives life at a breakneck pace and gives his all. His sailing
credentials are impeccable and he will take to this campaign a mentality that
will always be looking for ways to improve, to go faster to push harder.

Sam Goodchild the youngest of the pair has a slightly calmer
air; equally talented but with his experience lying in short handed and
offshore Sam is unbelievably focussed. His attention to detail is never ending;
having already suffered a retirement from the TJV last year he is leaving no
stone unturned and no eventuality unconsidered to make damn sure they will make
it across the pond this time. Sam’s dedication to the sport is immense and
seldom does he allow his gaze to ever waver from the end goal; the Vendee globe
– and I for one am sure he’ll make it.

So these guys have complimentary and diverse skills, they
know each other well having trained and lived together for over a year but
above all of this they are friends.

Yes we are professionals, we are all serious about what we
do; driven to succeed and take the investments of our sponsors seriously but
that does not mean we don’t have fun.

We sail because we love it and sailing with friends is some
of the best fun that can be had.

I believe that Sam and Nick are a fiercely strong team, they
are motivated and I believe capable of winning.

However more
certain than that I am also sure they are going to have a blast.

Good luck guys, I look forward to seeing the videos when you
get in.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Demi Cle race
  3. 3. Who pays?
  4. 4. The Calendar
  5. 5. Fiddling with the fit-out
  6. 6. Page 6
  7. 7. Page 7
Page 1 of 7 - Show Full List