Phil Sharp prepares for the final event of the 2016 Class 40 Championship with the Normandy Channel Race.
Sunday the 11th of September will see a record 30 Class 40 boats on the start line of the Normandy Channel Race, a double-handed 1000nm zigzag endurance adventure starting and ending in Caen.
Connecting Normandy, the UK, and Ireland, teams will not only face intense close racing, but also considerable geographical, meteorological, and tidal challenges. Strategy and tactics will play an essential role in performance, with fierce competition from top sailors of this year’s two transatlantic crossings geared up to hunt down a competitive edge first.
Phil Sharp comments, “The race is very technical and navigation is tricky as we are sailing around some of the most difficult tidal waters in the world. This means that speed alone will not win, instead there will be a lot of tactics to play, and being one step ahead is what will win the race. I am looking forward to the challenge and enjoying what I know will be a great experience.”
An offshore race dominated by the French has this year attracted eight other nationalities all fighting for podium, crews include, Norwegian, Dutch, German, British, Swiss, Belgian, as well as Italian and Spanish. Phil on Imerys is one of two British entries, with Miranda Merron skippering Campagne De France.
Phil has teamed up with experienced offshore sailor and boat designer Sam Manuard (FR) for the race, Sam comments, “I expect the race will be difficult, with lots of changes in the wind and currents. Competition is high and no one should be underestimated, we will be working hard and staying focussed on the goal, aiming for a clean race and to perform when it really matters.
“I am looking forward to racing with Phil, he is a determined and competitive, and I am glad to team up with him for these reasons.”
As Phil’s first full year in the Class 40 Championship, he has made quite the impact with two competitive transatlantic races and a podium position despite a torn mainsail in the unforgettable solo Transat. Phil and Imerys are currently in 3rd place, but on equal 2nd points with the Spanish Tales II, a target to finish ahead of in order to move up to 2nd place in this year’s Class 40 Championship. The current race record is 5d 2h 50m 50s, which all 60 crew will have their eyes firmly set on breaking in this year’s 7th edition of the Normandy Channel Race.
The Normandy Channel Race starts on Sunday the 11th of September at 17:00 local time offshore of Ouistreham outside of the Caen canal. Follow the team throughout the race with the Geovoile live tracker, news updates, and social media, all accessed through the official website at www.philsharpracing.com. The official race website can be found at www.normandy-race.com.