Rugby sailing prodigy prepares for 1,500 mile challenge - The Rugby Observer

Rugby sailing prodigy prepares for 1,500 mile challenge

Rugby Editorial 5th Mar, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

AN EX-RUGBEIAN is preparing to set sail on a 1,500 mile voyage around European coastlines as part of a sailing championship competition.

Former Lawrence Sheriff School student Hugh Brayshaw has been training to race in the 1,525 mile solo sailing race in June.

The race, known as La Solitaire Bompard-Le Figaro, is dubbed the unofficial world championships of solo off-shore sailing, and will take more than 40 sailors between four European ports – Deauville, Cowes (Isle of Wight), Paimpol and La Rochelle.

After being selected to join the Artemis Offshore Academy – the UK’s only training school for solo offshore sailing – Hugh has been working hard in training in France to earn his place on the start line of this prestigious race.

Hugh, 22, who currently lives in Shilton, said he started out sailing alongside his father – who took him for his first outings on Draycote Water.

He said: “My dad, Russell, deserves most of the credit for getting me into sailing and it was with him I got into racing.

“However, it was also the ability to get away from him and race on my own in a Topper, making my own decisions and having a huge sense of freedom at the age of about 10 that hooked me.”

Hugh said he was reasonably confident after some promising practice races – but he knows 36 hours at sea by himself will be new territory.

He said: “Last year it was a very windy race and there were a lot of big decisions I have to make. And after two days on your own on the water, decision-making can become a little less than perfect. This first solo race will be a learning experience for me.”

Hugh will face his first competitive race of the season – a 350-nautical mile, non-stop race taking place along the French Brittany coast – in just under a month’s time – the first of three build-up races to the 2016 La Solitaire Bompard-Le Figaro race in June.

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