Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson played host to three aspiring Volvo Ocean Race skippers on the third day of the race’s two week stopover in Lorient.
Young British sailors Nick Cherry, Sam Goodchild and Henry Bomby are all members of the Artemis Offshore Academy and will be competing in the classic French singlehanded race, La Solitaire du Figaro which starts from northern France next week.
After giving the trio a tour of Sanya’s Volvo Open 70, Sanderson chatted with the young skippers about their upcoming adventure.
Sanderson said races like the Figaro were a good proving ground for anyone with their sights set on skippering a Volvo Ocean Race campaign of their own.
“For these guys, if the Volvo is where they want their careers to go -- and that would be pretty smart in our sport -- then the French singlehanded races are a great starting point, absolutely,” he said.
“It would be wonderful to get these boys involved in the Volvo at some stage soon,” Sanderson added.
All three skippers said they were looking forward to the challenge ahead of them after months of training at the academy, but with so much French competition each were uncertain how the race would go.
“It’s hard to know how we will do,” Cherry said. “There is a very high standard in the fleet and a lot of the older guys have done the race a lot of times.
“We have certainly been working hard all winter and we have had a lot of support from Artemis, so hopefully one of us at least will be standing somewhere near the podium at the end.
Cherry said that visiting the Volvo Ocean race and stepping aboard Team Sanya had been inspirational.
“There is a lot of technology that’s exciting to take a look at,” he said. “We have had a lot of tips from Mike about stacking aft and reaching -- a few things I might try during the Figaro.”
“It’s very exciting to get aboard Sanya with Mike and be part of the Volvo Ocean race for the day,” said Bomby. “I’m sure it will spur us on at the start our race in less than a week."
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