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Alan Roberts is a professional sailor who has sailed a variety of dinghy classes, sports boats and keel boats where he has gained a reputation for being a hard worker with a very focussed, methodical mind-set.

SMC

April 23, 2015

It's been a full on couple of days, inshore racing Monday and Tuesday, with three 20+ mile races that would have had you coming off the water knackered and tired even if you were sailing in a crewed boat... After a day of rest and preparation, today is the main component of the Solo Matrie Coq... a 320 mile offshore race. Starting from Les Sables de Lone, heading south towards La Rochelle and around the Ile de Ray ,then heading north to Bell Ile just west of quibron round to port. Next is to a check point back off less sables before heading back south for another lap (the other way this time) of ile de ray to the finish off les sables. The forecast is looking light and mainly from the west with high pressure sitting just off Spain in the south, that is predicted to be moving north then east. Following this is then a low pressure system coming in from the west very slowly. We will have a few fronts pass over with a few wind shifts, but generally staying westerly making the courses a good reach with kites at times, and without at others. The islands are going to be places where non speed related gains can be made, or losses can be had if you negotiate the tides incorrectly. As usual there are some top names in the fleet, including Morgane Le Gravier (Skipper of Imoca 60 Safran) who has won the last two races and is very fast, Gwenole Gainet (also Safan winner of AG2R last year), Jermy Beyou who is ballistically quick (winner of La Solitaire last year), Yan Ellies - multiple figaro winner who is also currently leading the event, and Nick Cherry - currently top brit in 5th place in his 5th year of the figaro, who is giving the frogs a pretty good run for their money. The list of guys that could win goes on and on..... For me, I am still just looking to get the basics right and keeping learning and improving. It has already been a fantastic week racing against 40 boats in a short course with lots of manoeuvres and has given me a great opportunity to see how the other guys tackle the course, and try some things out myself.

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