Falmouth's sailor Sam Goodchild win Normandy Channel Race
Falmouth sailor Sam Goodchild and his co-skipper, Ned Collier Wakefield were celebrating at the weekend having won the Normandy Channel Race 2012.
The young British sailors, aboard their Akilaria RC2 Concise 2, pipped Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron's, Pogo40 S2 Campagne de France, to claim victory in the Class 40s doublehanded race.
After the leading out of the start, Collier Wakefield and Goodchild, 24 and 22-years-old respectively, remained in contact with the leaders throughout and the match race took off as the two boats came into the Tuskar Rock off southeast Ireland on Wednesday evening.
They then match raced back towards the French coast and only took the lead as they punched the tide on Friday night just off the northeast part of the Cherbourg Peninsula, ironically where the Mabire-Merron land-base residence is. They then hung on to the lead, crossing the line off Ouistreham at 1737 UTC, just 10 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Campagne de France.
The result was vindication for last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre when the duo were forced to retire into the Azores while jockeying for the lead of the race.
Speaking after the race Sam Goodhchild, said: “We really enjoyed ourselves. The duel with Halvard and Miranda was very intense. They’re very fast and we really had to battle to stay in contact. We didn’t think we’d be able to get past them. Four hours before the end of the race, we still didn’t believe we could win.
“Ultimately we got lucky enough to overtake them this morning (Saturday) after Cap de la Hague. We snapped up that opportunity with both hands and here we are.
“This race is fabulous. It’s the best, really the best I’ve ever competed in, with strong opposition, a very good boat and a double-handed configuration.”
Of the outcome Halvard Mabire, said: “I’d rated Concise 2 among the dangerous boats prior to the start and I wasn’t mistaken in my forecast.
“We made the mistake of following them whilst preceding them. We’ve learnt loads of things in this race. It’s always enjoyable to be at the front. We’re now awaiting an edition of the Normandy Channel Race where the wind is in the right direction with the good visibility that coloured this year’s event. I can better understand now why the Normandy Channel Race is written with a Y here. Three Britons are among the top two Class 40s in the overall standing.”
Miranda Merron added: “Second is superb. The line-up was a really high standard with some very fine sailors at the start. We lost the lead at Land’s End on opting to cover Concise 2. Marking a team is too risky over a race spanning nearly 1,000 miles.”