5 minutes: Phil Sharp


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What are you up to now?
Currently I?m training towards the Figaro Transat, the big event in France?s premier league of offshore sailing.  This is an Atlantic race from Concarneau to St Bart?s in the Caribbean and it?ll be my first one double-handed. The previous two have been solo, so it?ll be pretty nice to race with someone else for a change – we are both very competitive so will push each other hard when the going gets tough, and the off-watch can feed the helmsman copious amounts of tea when the weather?s cold. We?ve definitely got our work cut out for a top result since some French guys have been sailing the boats for 10 years, as opposed to 10 days for us, but we?ll race hard and fast and see what happens!

What is in the pipeline?
This current race I?m doing is really training towards the Open 60ft race circuit, the F1 in sailing, which is the class I hope to step up to early next year. These boats are just awesome: they can pull 500 miles a day off nature alone, and skippers can fulfill some of the most extreme and arduous adventures in the world today. Every four years Open 60 skippers can compete in a race called the Vendee Globe, a race non-stop, around the world, solo, which involves being on your own in the hostile Southern Ocean for 2 months in freezing conditions and pushing the boat to its limit.  My aim is to compete in the 2012 edition and be the first skipper to beat the French! Of course a campaign of this magnitude is heavily reliant on sponsorship (you?re well into the millions for this), so around the racing I?m looking for the right sponsors to come onboard for next year.  All go!

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