Cold, wet, frustrating, tiring and insane were just some of the words the Artemis Offshore Academy squad used to describe the Solo Concarneau Trophée Guy Cotten. Finishing the 330-mile course on Saturday 9th May, the Solo Concarneau was the sailors’ toughest race yet and their final test ahead of the 2185 mile Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire at the end of this month. Comprised of long legs between islands, through rough waters and around rocks and fish farms, the Solo Concarneau course allowed for very little sleep. Add to that shifty winds and 30-knot gusts caused by two weather systems passing over the course, the skippers were lucky if they got a 10 minute nap in almost 48 hours – a real baptism of fire for the 11 Rookies taking part, including Northern Ireland’s Andrew Baker.
Andrew finished 25th overall, the second British Rookie in the ranks. Wet cold, tired and exhausted, this was Andrew’s first solo offshore race in ‘proper’ offshore conditions: “Sailing 50 miles at the same angle isn’t fun when you can’t move from the seat. It was really hard to sleep because there were so many tight reaches. It was wet and cold for the whole race, and I can’t tell you how good it was to take my socks off. I’ve made it sound like it wasn’t enjoyable, it was. It was just tiring.”
The Solo Concarneau Trophée Guy Cotten was won by Corentin Horeau (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance), with Gildas Mahé (Qualiconfort The Beautiful watches) in second and Yann Eliés in third (Groupe Queguiner Leucemie Espoir). The race spanned 330 miles and took just under 48 hours to complete. The Solo Concarneau was the final warm up race for the Classe Figaro Bénéteau skippers competing in the 2015 Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire, starting 31st May from Bordeaux. Eight British skippers will take part including Andrew Baker.
See the Solo Concarneau Trophée Guy Cotten results in full here.
The British results:
- Conrentin Horeau/Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance/ 1d, 20h, 38m, 02s
- Gildas Mahe/Qualiconfort The Beautiful watches/ 1d, 20h, 43m, 38s
- Yann Elies/Groupe Queguiner Leucemie Espoir/ 1d, 20h, 44m, 30s
- Sam Matson/Chatham/1d, 21h, 11m, 37s
- Henry Bomby/Rockfish Red/ 1d, 21h, 15m, 12s
- Jack Bouttell/GAC Concise/1d, 21h, 31m, 40s
- Robin Elsey/Artemis 43 *3rd Rookie/1d, 21h, 38m, 19s
- Nick Cherry/Redshift/ 1d, 21h, 39m, 13s
- Alan Roberts/Magma Structures/ 1d, 21h, 48m, 46s
- Andrew Baker/Artemis 23*/ 1d, 21h, 52m, 02s
- Rob Bunce/Artemis 37*/ 1d, 22h, 20m, 22s