Generali Solo Mediterranée – Artemis Offshore Academy Alumni Nick Cherry, Alan Roberts and Sam Matson aim to conclude the 2015 Classe Figaro season with success in a solo race between Sete, Nice and Barcelona through the Mediterranean Sea.
Comprised of six inshore races and two offshore legs, the Generali Solo is a three-week long solo sailing marathon. The race starts in Sete on 18th September and finishes in Barcelona on October 4th.
“In the Mediterranean it’s all or nothing – light winds or 40 knots, nothing in between,” Roberts (Magma Structures) explained. “There’s a smaller fleet, but there’s still plenty of tough competition. We will race inshore as well as offshore, and different sailors will have different strengths and weaknesses.”
Twenty-three skippers will take part in the race. (See the full entry list below). The inshore and offshore elements of the competition are equally weighted in points, meaning the sailors will need a consistent performance across the board if the Brits are to fulfill their top-10 objectives.
“If you have a good inshore leg and a bad offshore leg, you still wouldn’t be able to balance it out,” commented Cherry (Redshift). “That’s pretty tough. I’m definitely motivated after having had a bad Solitaire du Figaro. I want to go and prove that I can still do it.”
Spanning a total 774nm between France, Spain and the island of Corsica, the multi-stage Generali Solo poses new challenges for the British trio, who are more familiar with the rugged French Atlantic coast than the fickle winds of the Med.
Matson (Chatham) explained: “Many of the skippers won’t be familiar with the area, making the Generali the most level field we’ve played on. Results will be based on sailing ability and reacting to the twists in the race.”
As first-timers to the race, Cherry, Roberts and Matson are eligible for the coveted Rookie title – despite boasting 10 Figaro seasons between them. The Brits are three of 16 talented sailors reverting back to Rookie status, among them top French competitors Charlie Dalin, Alexis Loison, Gwénolé Gahinet and Isabelle Joschke, laying the foundations for one of the hottest “Rookie” battles yet.
Following the Solo Maître Coq and the Solitaire du Figaro, the Generali Solo is the final race in the Classe Figaro calendar counting towards the ‘Championnat Elite de course au Large en solitaire’ – a series of point scoring Championship races. The results of the Generali Solo will determine who is titled “Champion of the year” for 2015, an accolade won by Dalin in 2014.
“I want to finish in the top-10 in the race and in the Championship – that is my main objective.” Matson concluded. “It’s not going to be easy, but I know I can do it.”
Racing kicks off in Sete on the 18th September with the “Grand Prix du Languedoc” – the first of six days of inshore racing . The first 354nm offshore leg to Nice starts on the 20th September. The final offshore race to Barcelona starts on 27th September.
Generali Solo Mediterranée entry list
1 – Camprubi Laurent ‘Janie Philip’*
2 – Chabagny Thierry ‘Gedimat’
3 – Cohen Michel ‘Tintorel’*
4 – Dutreux Benjamin ‘Team Vendée’*
5 – Gahinet Gwénolé ‘Safran – Guy Cotten’*
6 – Gautier Alain ‘Generali 40’
7 – Gbick Gwen ‘Made in Midi’
8 – Godart Philippe Arnaud ‘Faun Environnement – Afrikarchi’*
9 – Joschke Isabelle – ‘Generali – Horizon Mixité’*
10 – Loison Alexis ‘Groupe FIVA’*
11 – Macaire Xavier ‘Skipper Herault’
12 – Mallaret Marc ‘Montpellier Business School’*
13 – Morvan Gildas ‘Cercle Vert’
14 – Prat Arthur ‘Guadeloupe Grand Large 2’*
15 – Pruvot Claire ‘Port de Caen Ouistreham’
16 – Roberts Alan – ‘Magma Structures’*
17 – Simon Sébastien ‘Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Espoir’*
18 – Thomas Nicolas ‘Guadeloupe Grand Large 1’*
19 – Biarnes Vincent ‘Guyot Environnement’*
20 – Cherry Nick ‘Redshift’*
21 – Dalin Charlie ‘Skipper Macif 2015’*
22 – Matson Sam ‘Chatham’*
23 – Richomme Yoann ‘Skipper Macif 2014’