Offshore racing

Who's Who - Sam Goodchild: The rising (multihull) star!

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Despite being born in England, as his name suggests, Sam has salt water in his veins: his first ten years were spent on board a boat in the Caribbean. His return to Europe could therefore have proved difficult... In high school, he enrolled in the British Keel Boat Academy, where he met a certain Alex Thompson. From that moment on, everything happened as if in a dream. Sam talks about luck, but it takes conviction and talent to achieve his kind of success. With Alex, who obviously became his mentor, he sailed across the Atlantic and the Pacific. At just 18 years old, having passed his baccalaureate, he became Mike Golding’s preparer for the 2008 Vendée Globe race. He was captivated by the French ocean racing scene and was convinced that this would be his life. A pragmatist, Sam first considered becoming a preparer or perhaps a delivery skipper. It didn’t matter as long as he stayed in the world of sailing, as it fascinated him. In 2010, Artemis launched a selection process, looking for people to race in the Figaro and the young British sailor arrived at the Mediterranean Training Center (CEM) in La Grande- Motte to learn one-design sailing under the guidance of the excellent Franck Citeau. He spent four years learning the ropes, while doing a lot of deliveries and Jacques Vabre transatlantic races in Class 40. When he looks back on this dazzling trajectory, Sam smiles - with unfeigned modesty. He can’t believe how quickly he went from being an apprentice sailor, fixing padeyes on Alex Thompson’s boats, to a racing boat skipper. It all seems like a bit of a fairytale. However, in 2014, it was not a fairy who came calling, but a certain Michel Desjoyeaux, who offered him the chance to sail around the world with him. At first he thought it was a hoax - and the Mapfre experience in the Volvo Ocean Race was short-lived, but the teacher had indirectly planted the multihull seed in Sam’s brain. On his premature return to shore, he bought an F18 to «learn» multihull sailing, thinking that it would be useful one day. Three weeks later, Brian Thompson called him to join him on the Mod 70 Phaedo 3! From the very first sail, it was a revelation. He was impressed from the start, and immediately blown away by the crazy speeds (30-35 knots) the vessel reached. Three years of accelerated learning later, Sam has become a (highly) sought-after crew member. He will spend the same amount of time with the Spindrift team. On the program: the maxi trimaran for the Jules Verne Trophy attempts at 45-50 knots and the M32 on the World Match-Racing Tour. In addition to the experience, he gained at a very high level, the young skipper still has immense respect for the talented Yann Guichard and his ability to manage his team on such different types of boats. He then joined Thomas Coville at the launch of the new Sodebo for the Brest Atlantique race, followed by a first attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy - which was aborted in the Kerguelen Islands due to rudder damage. This last experience was extremely enriching, and he has since been entrusted with the helm of Ocean Fifty Leyton (in 2021), to which he is now devoting 100% of his time.

Sam Goodchild puts a lot of his success down to luck and the «legends» of ocean racing with whom he has worked - Alex, Brian, Mike, Mich, Yann, Thomas... But haven’t these seasoned sailors and managers seen beyond this affable boy’s smile and spotted his unfailing talent and determination? Because Sam likes nothing more than to take on tough challenges, especially those that seemed, until recently, impossible. Like winning a solo transatlantic race in a trimaran?

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