Published on 24/01/2018
The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, the unofficial world championship of solo offshore ocean racing, is delighted to announce that one of its first entries for the 2018 renewal is Hugh Brayshaw, the event’s reigning Amateur Champion.
Brayshaw, aged 24 from Swanage on the English south coast, will be taking part in his third consecutive Solitaire on board his Figaro Beneteau 2, The Offshore Academy, and will be looking to follow up his strong performance in 2017 when he was top amateur and 25th overall.
“I am excited to be confirming my place in the 2018 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro,” said Brayshaw. “The Solitaire is an enormous challenge and 2018 will be no different. Having taken up sailing full time at the end of 2017, I no longer classify as an amateur and so I’ll be competing in the general classification against some of the greatest solo sailors in the world. I have no illusions about this and will look to continue to learn and better my past results.”
Brayshaw is supported by The Offshore Academy, based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and has been able to start his training programme for this season, even though he has yet to secure his full budget.
The young British sailor welcomed the later start of the Solitaire this year with the championship setting sail from Le Havre on August 26. “This gives me additional training and preparation time,” he said. “Leaning on my two previous race experiences in the Solitaire, I know much better now how to use this effectively.”
Although there is no stopover in Britain this year, the first leg from Le Havre to Baie de Saint-Brieuc is scheduled to run along the English south coast to Wolf Rock, a familiar challenge for Brayshaw who is also relishing the fact that leg 2 finishes in the Ria de Muros Noia on the Spanish Galician coast.
Brayshaw started competitive dinghy sailing at the age of 10. In 2010 he won the British Youth National Championship in the 420 class alongside Mike Wood and the pair then represented Great Britain at that year’s ISAF Youth Worlds where they finished sixth. Brayshaw and Wood went on to finish runner’s up at the 470 Junior European Championships in 2012 and 2013 and eighth at the Junior Worlds in 2013.
In 2016 at his first attempt at the Solitaire, Brayshaw finished 35th overall after his forestay broke on Leg 3. Last year he was 25th with a total elapsed time of 10 days, 13 hours and 57 minutes.