13 May Team Concise support Jack Bouttell’s Solitaire
The first British sailor to take home the coveted Solitaire du Figaro Rookie prize in 2013, a then 22-year-old Jack Bouttell, was deemed the shining new star of solo offshore racing. Now aged 24, Jack has added a second Solitaire du Figaro and a Volvo Ocean Race leg win to his offshore arsenal and is sailing fast towards his third season on the Classe Figaro Bénéteau circuit. With less than two weeks until the start of the Solitaire du Figaro, Jack is working hard training and preparing for the 2015 racing season at Pôle Finistère Course au Large on the north west coast of France. Jack has already competed in a total of three warm up races securing a number of Top 10 and Top 15 places ahead of the 2185-mile Solitaire du Figaro starting 31st May.
“It’s great to be back in the Figaro this year, especially with support from, Team Concise, a new sponsor for me in 2015, GAC Pindar who supported my campaign in 2014 and the Artemis Offshore Academy, my long term sponsor since 2012,” Jack explained. “Team Concise is a great initiative set up in 2006 by Tony Lawson and Ned Collier Wakefield to help British sailors like myself compete in ocean racing. It can be very difficult to get a foot in the door in the offshore sailing world and then it can be even harder to keep it there, but with the support, dedication and mindset from Team Concise they are really a big part of propelling me to the Solitaire du Figaro start line in 2015”.
Beginning his offshore racing career at just 17 years old, Jack soon pinned his dreams on the epic Vendée Globe – a 24,000 mile non stop round the world solo race, known as the Everest of sailing. Following his successes on the Figaro circuit, Jack was invited to race Leg 3 of Volvo Ocean Race with fellow Figarists Charles Caudrelier (Skipper), Pascal Bidégorry, Eric Peron and Thomas Rouxell aboard Chinese entry Dongfeng Race Team, bringing the combined number of Solitaire races/entries onboard to 28. Spurred on by the words of his friend and mentor Charles, winner of the Solitaire du Figaro Rookie class (1999) and the race overall in 2004, Jack returns to the Classe Figaro circuit in 2015 with a host of new offshore skills and experiences, plus Charles’ winning Figaro – no 19.
“I discovered Jack while he was working as Dongfeng shore crew. I very quickly found that not only was he an excellent préparateur, but also a fantastic sailor,” Charles enthused. “Jack has great potential and a motivation that is rare, especially for his age – he is mature beyond his years. I have no doubt that he has the potential to be the first non-French sailor to win the Solitaire du Figaro race. Jack deserves to find sponsors that will enable him to follow his ambition, improve, fight within the top 10 and realise his dream. I wish him all the best.”
With a new confidence bought about by his Volvo Ocean Race experience, Jack is back and on track for a well-prepared and successful season on the Figaro circuit. Stepping back from his position with Dongfeng Race Team wasn’t easy, but Jack’s return to the 33ft Figaro Bénéteau II was a considered decision he hopes will further cement the foundations for his future in ocean racing:
“It was not only a big task but a big decision to return to the Figaro circuit in 2015 without a title sponsor, but everything is coming together well now. It was very hard for me to leave Dongfeng, especially having sailed Leg 3 and being shore crew for the opening legs of the race. It was a fantastic experience and I loved every second of it, but I know in my mind that experience racing the Figaro is a big part of the reason Dongfeng crew are currently joint leaders in the Volvo Ocean Race overall standings. So for me, the Classe Figaro Bénéteau circuit is the best place to push myself, build on my experiences and put me in good stead for future Volvo Ocean Race and Vendée Globe campaigns.”