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Sam Goodchild

Sam Goodchild's 2012 Solitaire du Figaro campaign postcard

Read Sam's blog online here.

“It’s exciting to be competing in the Solitaire du Figaro, there’s no place like it to gain experience. I’m quite new to offshore racing so I’m fortunate to be able to enter this class and type of racing and hopefully it will benefit me in the future whether I fulfill my ambition to do the Vendeé Globe or carry on in offshore racing, it’s invaluable experience.”

Sam Goodchild
D.O.B: 19/11/1989
Hometown: Falmouth, Cornwall
Status: Graduate
Time spent with Academy: 2010 - 2012

What is your biggest challenge in solo offshore sailing?
The biggest challenge is sailing on your own, looking after the boat, keeping it in one piece whilst also making yourself go fast. A lot of people can make a boat go fast but it’s knowing how to keep it going fast over three days and when to sleep, when to push and when to rest - it’s a really fine balance. And, getting enough dried mango onboard...

What does the Solitaire du Figaro mean to Sam Goodchild?
It's the best place to become a better offshore sailor. Testing and discussing our skills with some of the best in the offshore racing world.

What do you hope to take away from the Solitaire du Figaro?
A good time, a good race and a good result.

What is your favourite sleeping position?
On the spinnaker next to the engine - warm, secure and in sight of the navigation equipment.

On average, how many times do you brush your teeth during a long haul race?
Twice a day on a good day, never on a bad day.

It's 3am, it's cold, it's dark, you're tired, alone and just want to curl up in a ball- What do you do to keep going?
I'll let you know when we get there...

Worst thing to have happened to you at sea?
Falling in the water 60miles from new zealand, learnt some serious lessons that day. It will effect the way I sail for a long time.

Favourite snacks?

What home comforts do you take with you?
A little grenada flag and dried mango.

If you weren't a solo offshore sailor (or any kind of sailor) what would you be?
A man selling coconuts on a desserted island with a kite board.

What's the best thing about being a solo offshore sailor?
The challenge, the variety and the unexpected.

What is the worst thing about being a solo offshore sailor?
Not knowing what's next in each race and which sponsor.

What has been your highlight of the 2012 season?
A good leg and decent result in the last leg of the Solitaire du Figaro. The third leg seemed to go the way more the way I imagined the race would and it is a lot more fun racing near the front of the fleet.

What was your low point of the 2012 season?
The second night of leg two of the Solitaire du Figaro, not doing very well with virtually no sleep and having to drag myself out of an emotional and motivational low of all lows.
What was your stand out race of the 2012 season and why?
The Solitaire du Figaro is always great close racing and although we had a great time doing the Transat AG2R, it is a type of racing in the Figaro that is unique and can't be found anywhere else.

In what area do you feel you have most improved during your time with the Academy?
All-round ability. To not just be a sailor in one specific position, but have an understanding of all of them on the water and running a campaign ashore.

What is your yacht racing plan for 2013?
Securing my own campaign, sponsors and partners to compete on the Figaro circuit again. Then aim for the Transat Jacques Vabre.

What are your long term sailing plans and have they changed since joining the Academy?
Still the Vendee Globe, but it has just become slightly more realistic.

Why would recommend the Academy to anyone wishing to get in to short-handed racing?
It's a fantastic opportunity to see if you like solo sailing and test your skills in a lot more areas than just sailing a boat fast.

If you had to sum up your time with the Academy in one sentence what would you say?
The most productive two years sailing I've had the opportunity to do and a fantastic kick start into further offshore sailing.

Of the 2011 - 2012 Development Squad who is...

The best chef?
Nick - he actually enjoys it

The most competitive?

The messiest?
Nick - organised chaos.

Eats the most?
Me - quite quickly

The funniest?
Nick - self confessed Bantersaurus Rex.

The most driven?

Sleeps the most?

Sailing Achievements

24th - Solitaire du Figaro
12th - Transat AG2R La Mondiale
8th - Solo Massif Marine

19th – La Tour de Bretagne Figaro/Skipper
34th – La Solitaire du Figaro Figaro/solo
Winner of the Artemis Offshore Academy Figaro scholarship
Training at the CEM offshore Figaro sailing school in France
2nd – Solo Basse Normandie Figaro/solo
3rd – La Transmanche Figaro/solo

2008 - 2010
2010 Double-handed Round Britain & Ireland Race (Class 40), 16th place
2009 Fastnet Race, 8th place (crew)
2009 RYA National Match Racing Championships, 4th place (helm)
2009 Morbihan Mondial (Class 40), 1st place (helm/crew)
2009 Selected for Espoir Region Bretagne Challenge
2009 Danish U23 National Match Racing Championships, 3rd place (helm)
2008 RYA Youth National Match Racing Championships, 1st place (helm)
2008 National Schools Match Racing Championships, 1st place (helm)

More information can be found on Sam’s website www.samgoodchild.com.

  • Age:19-11-89
  • Hometown:Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Status:Development Squad Graduate
  • Time spent with Academy:2011 - 2013