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Ahead of the beginning of the 46th Solitaire du Figaro race, which starts in Bordeaux on Sunday 31st May, we paid a visit to the 8 British sailors from the Artemis Offshore Academy who will be competing in this arduous battle against the world’s top solo offshore sailors.

Pol Roger has supported the Artemis Offshore Academy since 2010, a UK training programme of excellence for British short-handed sailors, providing a structure to bring talented sailors up through the ranks. The Solitaire du Figaro marks the apogee of their training.

The race is a gruelling test of boat-handling, navigation and tactical skills, with little opportunity for the skippers to rest or sleep.

With four legs, the Solitaire du Figaro promises to test the endurance and stamina of the skippers. The competitors will make their way down the coast of France to Sanxenxo in Spain, before crossing the Bay of Biscay to Cornouaille via Île d’Yeu. They will then sail to Fastnet Rock, into the British stopover point of Torbay, and will finally finish the last leg in Dieppe, France – a total of 2,185 nautical miles covered over the course of June.

We will be following their progress along the way via the Artemis Offshore Academy website ( and providing the sailors with a much deserved glass of Pol Roger when they reach port!

Wishing all of the competitors the very best of luck in this most exhilarating and challenging of races; here’s hoping for good sailing conditions and plenty of wind!