What a year 2021 has been! I have been unbelievably lucky to spend another year doing what I love and travelling around sailing with some great people. The year has been filled with lots of different projects, ranging from winning the Ocean Race Europe with Offshore Germany, to sailing my Moth around my hometown in Plymouth Sound.
The year started off with purchasing my Moth, a Mach 2 from Weymouth. I learnt a lot of new skills about foiling, but mostly about how cold it is sailing in the UK in January, especially with the amount of swimming I was doing!
Closely followed by this was the arrival of Pip Hare in her Vendee Globe finish after 3 long months away sailing solo, non-stop around the world in her Imoca 60. I previously worked on Pips campaign prior to her departure in Les Sables D’Olonne in November. It was amazing to see her and the boat arrive back into France after so much hard work by the whole of the team, it definitely fuelled the drive to be on the finish line of the Vendee Globe one day. After a short stay in Les Sables, Pip and I sailed her boat back to Poole, double handed, to crowds of people waiting on her arrival, such an amazing experience!
Straight off the back of working with Pip, I joined a new challenge, working with Offshore Team Germany, again on an Imoca 60, but with a different goal of competing in The Ocean Race Europe. This is a stop to stop race around Europe, organised by The Ocean Race (previously The Volvo Ocean Race), with Imoca 60s and also Volvo 65s racing. A huge amount of work was completed by the whole team, to get the boat race ready, and only over a few months, we managed to pull it together and the team departed Lorient in May for the start of the race. We didn’t really have any preconceptions leading into the racing as Einstein (our boat) was the only boat without foils in the fleet. However, despite this, the team did an incredible job of winning the race overall! It came down to a photo finish on the last in-port race in Genoa, Italy, but we just managed to pip Thomas Ruyants team to the victory. The Ocean Race Europe Winners, pretty cool!!
After working for Offshore Team Germany, I returned back to working with Pip Hare, however this time on a new boat, the previous Bureau Valle 2 which just finished 3rd in the 2020 Vendee Globe and 1st in the 2016 edition, a boat of pedigree! We completed a major overhaul on the boat before Pip and I sailed the boat double handed back to Poole. This also was a pretty major milestone for myself as this was when I decided to start working on my campaign to sail in the Figaro for the 2022 season. It definitely seems like I have come a long way since those initial thoughts back in July.
In October, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to sail with offshore sailing legend, Alex Thompson, aboard his boat Hugo Boss, for a trip to Germany and back. This was stuff of dreams as I’ve grown up watching Alex sail since I started myself. This was such an awesome experience that was followed by my first taste of racing the Figaro at Spi-Ouest, after being lent a boat from Marcus Hutchinson for the event. I was fortunate enough to sail with some great mates and also get a mid-fleet result against some of the best single handed sailors in the world.
The year culminated with taking over the charter for my very own Figaro, the best Christmas anyone could ask for! We managed to get over to France just before new COVID restrictions
were introduced and deliver the boat back to Plymouth.
Thank you all so much for your continued support over 2021, and I look forward to sharing 2022 with you. A special mention to my sponsors and supporters Gill Marine, The Royal Western Yacht Club, Mayflower Marina and Citybus Plymouth.
Stay tuned for more Figaro news soon!