Last week, Eric Bellion’s co-skipper for the Transat Jacques Vabres was finally revealed. It is the young British sailor Sam Goodchild that Eric Bellion has chosen to embark on the next Transat Jacques Vabre.
As the most famous double-handed race, the Transat Jacques Vabre was the perfect opportunity for Stand as One to launch the second stage of its approach: trust.
The two navigators, in addition to their cultural differences, have very different profiles. Sam is a well experienced professional navigator for his young age. Eric himself is new to the world of ocean racing. They might not have the best record or the best boat to shine on this transatlantic but those two have decided to stake everything on the quality of their cooperation and first of all, trust between both of them.

Follow us and meet Sam Goodchild…

Sam, can you introduce yourself in just a few words?

I'm Sam an offshore sailor from England, I have spent the last 4 years sailing in the Figaro circuit, I am a member of Pole Finistere Course au Large, slowly but happily being frenchified into offshore sailing.

How did you meet Eric? How did you come to decide to sail for the Transat Jacques Vabres alongside a french man? Was it a difficult decision to make?

We were introduced by Michel Desjoyeaux who suggested we sail together. My ambition is to do the Vendee Globe, so the Transat Jacques Vabre is a fantastic opportunity and experience for me. Thanks to living in France for 4 years now, sailing with a french man isn't too scary. Thanks to our introduction by Mich and meeting Eric and hearing his enthusiasm about his project I didn't have to think very long before deciding to join him for this year.

Why did Stand as One's project appeal to you?

Meeting Eric and hearing his story, ambition and reasons, I have been motivated by the project and it's message. It is nice to be part of a project that has more reason behind it than just the competitive side. Myself and the other members of the direct team have already started learning and improving working together and I hope we can spread the message as far as possible.

What does diversity means for you? In your profession?

One of the best things about sport and sailing especially is the diversity. People of different ages, cultures, wealth and social upbringings come together and once you're all on the same boat, there are no differences. We learn to work together to be as strong as possible. And that is the same from Amateur weekend sailors all the way up to professionals. All connected by one passion : to go sailing.

What do you expect to gain from this experience?

Already with Eric and the team we have started learning how to live and work together as a team, which will obviously be very important to sail well, safe and fast for the 3 weeks of the TJV. Also a TJV on an Imoca is a fantastic experience for us both to progress as all round sailors, for Eric and his Vendée Globe 2016 and hopefully one day I will get my opportunity.

Thank you Sam. And good wind!