Artemis Offshore Academy squad member Henry Bomby will compete in the 2012 Solitaire du Figaro alongside Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry. Both Goodchild and Cherry have known since end of last year that they would be competing in this notoriously competitive solo race, but a third and final place was available to the remaining Artemis squad members – Bomby, Ollie Bond and Aaron Cooper. It was just a question of which one of them could prove they deserved the final place.
Bomby is the third Artemis Offshore Academy sailor to be selected for the Solitaire du Figaro © Lloyd Images
After this weekend’s Solo Basse Normandie (see report below) it was confirmed that Henry Bomby would be given the final spot after his solid and improving performance over the last few months, including finishing fourth in the Solo Basse Normandie just behind Nick Cherry: “It was never a ‘given’ that the third available place for the Solitaire du Figaro would be allocated,” said Artemis Offshore Academy Performance Director, John Thorn. “The advisory board decided that the place would only go to a squad member who had convinced us they would benefit from the experience, as well as proving that they had harnessed the required skills to take on this arduous race. Henry has proved that and now it’s important that he competes to the best of his abilities and learns from the experience racing alongside some of the best solo sailors in the world.”
Bomby will join Goodchild and Cherry on the startline, 24th June © Lloyd Images
Now in its 43rd season, the 2012 Solitaire du Figaro has attracted 36 sailors – the first-timers like Bomby and Cherry are also ranked in the ‘Rookie Division’ as well as overall – and is based on elapsed time over three legs from France to Spain and back. Over the years this race has a roll-call like no other, graced by many solo sailing legends – Alain Gautier, Michel Desjoyeaux, Vincent Riou, Jean Le Cam, Christophe Augin and Philippe Poupon. Out of six editions of the ultimate non-stop solo round the world Vendée Globe race three of those have been won by Solitaire du Figaro victors – Gautier, Augin and Desjoyeaux. So it is no surprise that the Artemis sailors will face some of their stiffest competition yet in the Solitaire du Figaro which grants them an incredible opportunity to learn from the masters.
The 43rd edition of the Solitaire du Figaro starts on 24th June.