SOLITAIRE DU FIGARO: Henry Bomby ‘at home’ in Torbay but admits he is just about ready for bed
HENRY BOMBY sailed into Tor Bay this afternoon disappointed with his third leg in the Solitaire du Figaro but absolutely delighted to be ‘home’
The 24-year-old sailing sensation from Kingswear knows these waters well after being taught to sail in Tor Bay – but local knowledge isn’t always a good thing, as he found out, when he swung wide of Berry Head to avoid the usual wind shadow, which on this occasion, wasn’t there.
“I was pretty down with my result but coming in to the Bay really put a smile on my face,” he said after finishing 25th in the La Cornouaille to Torbay leg at a couple of minutes before 2pm this afternoon.
Friends, family and fans applauded Bomby, who waved back from his Rockfish Red boat, as he steered into Beacon Quay where the fleet will be docked until the fourth and final stage of the race – Torbay to Dieppe – on Sunday.
With just six hours sleep in three days – such is the life of a solo-sailor – Bomby will now find time among media and sponsorship commitments to rest and recharge his batteries.
“The result didn’t really matter too much to my friends and family and I was just so happy to see them – so that was really nice,” he said.
“It was a good feeling coming into a bay that I recognised rather than a Spanish or French one.
“I train here so it was fantastic but I actually made an error on the way in.
“Going around Berry Head I knew there was a wind shadow there so I left it a bit wide and the guy who was a mile and a half behind me just went straight through on the inside not really knowing that there was a wind shadow – and at that time there wasn’t.
“But I have been stuck there for 20 minutes before, so local knowledge doesn’t always help.
“But it is great to be here and we have arrived early and the stopover will be great.
“People will get the chance to come down and see the boats and see what it is all about. It should be good.”
Bomby had a decent first leg – from Bordeaux to Sanxenxo – but an absolutely cracking second at the end of which he was the fourth competitor to finish. His time made him the fastest British sailor in the race in 35 years.
So he shouldn’t be too down on himself for finishing 25th of 39 (or 38 now as there was a pull-out on this leg after a collision with a rock). After all, Bomby is still young and learning big the lessons of competition racing.
“I still can’t believe how well the second leg went to be honest,” he said. “I just had very good pace and I made the right decisions – but for this leg my pace was all right but 24 hours in I just started making wrong decisions.”
From Beacon Quay, the sailors head for food and recuperation at the nearby Royal Torbay Yacht Club – but still everyone wants to talk about the race, despite that lack of sleep. Bomby is fine with that.
He said: “What happens is you are about 20 miles out and you are unbelievably tired and you are nodding off and then when you get in the adrenaline kicks in when you see everyone.
“But if I just went and sat down on my own now I would be asleep within a minute for sure.
“I can feel that I am about ready for a shower and bed.”