‘IMERYS’ Crew looks ahead to the Rolex Fastnet


‘PS Racing‘ will be sailing the Fastnet with a crew of four aboard ‘ Imerys ‘.  Rebecca Linder, Team Commercial Director, spoke to them about their influences and sailing careers to date prior to the start of this world-famous ocean yacht race. All are super-competitive and will push themselves to the limit as they attempt to be first home in the Class 40 fleet.

Phil Sharp
-Have you sailed the Fastnet before, if so when, and position?
Finished 3rd in Class 40 in 2015, sailing with Mike Gascogne on his Akilaria RC3 design.

-Who inspired you to start sailing?
I sailed with my parents from a young age, but it was my mother in particular who opened my eyes
to the oceans and the fulfilment of offshore sailing.

-What do you love most about sailing?
The navigation and routing strategy is something I find most interesting. A forecast is just a forecast, so understanding the weather and balancing risk vs reward to try and outsmart competitors is something I find challenging but highly rewarding.

-How do you keep going when you’re on the limit / what drives you?
I am driven entirely by the competition. The will to win is important for pushing you through those long, dark nights, so that at the finish you can look back and are satisfied you have given it

-Your career highlight?
Winning the 2006 Route du Rhum in Class 40.

-What was the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
Reef earlier, plane earlier!

-What’s your favourite quote?
Obstacles are what you see when you take your mind off the goal.

-Which food do you crave the most whilst offshore? (that you cant take on the boat)
Red meat

-And your must-have food whilst racing?

-What are your favourite racing conditions?
Windy, downwind, offshore. The most exhilarating sailing is the long offshore passages, hooking into the right weather system. The Quebec-St Malo race last year was unbelievable for this – we had daily averages of 15 knots, tallying over 350 miles per day.

-What is your first priority when returning to land post-race?
A dram of Bruichladdich on the dock!

Pablo Santurde

Pablo Santurde
-Have you competed in the Rolext Fastnet Race before?
2nd in 2013 and 1st in 2015!

-Who inspired you to start sailing?
My parents showed us the ropes and taught us how to enjoy the sea and the environment.

-What do you love most about sailing?
The environment at sea and managing all the different aspects of sailing.

-How do you keep going when you’re on the limit, what drives you?
Competition motivates me the most, and staying assured that difficult times will soon be over.

-Your career highlight?
2nd in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2013

-Best advice given to you?
Always give 100% no matter what you are doing.

-Your favourite quote?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression…

-Your must have food whilst racing?
Fruit and Tabasco!

-Your favourite racing conditions?
Fast conditions at night under a full moon.

-When returning to land post-race, what is your top priority?
A good shower and a good meal!

-Your objectives for the Rolex Fastnet Race?
The Rolex Fastnet Race is a very famous offshore race and is growing still. This year will be a record for Class 40 boats racing with over 34 entrants. Moreover, sailing around the Fastnet Rock is always a special achievement.
Imerys is a fantastic project. It promotes efficient sailing using renewable energies, but also aims for victories so it´s really a very attractive proposition. I am happy to be part of the team again!


-Have you done the fastnet before, of so when, and position?
Yes, Class40 2015, crew of 3, pos. 10th out of 23.

-Who inspired you to start sailing?
Nobody specific in terms of inspiration, in terms of learnig I’m here becouse of Massimo. In 2012 I was a nobody of sailing and even less in offshore sailing. All those who have given me the opportunity to sail and learn more about offshore racing.

-What do you love most about sailing?
I love shorthanded sailing because you are not just a racer, but an electrician, a rigger and a meteorologist. There is always something new to learn, something new to try.

-How do you keep going when you’re on the limit / what drives you?
Knowing that my competitors will be ready and waiting for any opportunity to gain miles on me. I don’t want to lose a metre on my opponents, I don’t want them to gain a metre on me if behind. Knowing that the boat is not at her right speed is annoying.

-What have been your career highlights?
1st in 2014 Italian Offshore Championship 2014. 1st in the 2015 Armen race

-What has been the best advice given to you?

Keep your head down while gybing…

-What food do you crave most while offshore?
Good pasta and, more important, good wine.

-What food must you have while racing?
Crackers, tons of them. And some candies for night watches.

-What are your favourite racing conditions?
Fast downwind, not too fast. The kind of conditions where you are more focused on pushing the boat rather than on keeping the boat in one piece.

Robin Marais (left)

Robin Marais 
-Have you done the Fastnet before, ff so when, and how did you finish ?
Yes, 9th in 2015. This was also in a Class40 but it was really different. It was a very good race. We had a very clean passage in light winds till the rock. After the Fastnet, it was a long reach in medium wind to the finish so it was not so confortable for us.

-Who inspired you to start sailing?
My grandfather, he used to take me sailing on his catamaran. Warram design.

-What do you love most about sailing?
The adventure of going from A-B and making a boat go fast!. Pushing the boat to the limits, finding it, keeping it…  Preparing the racing boats to allow them to be pushed to the limit

-How do you keep going when you’re on the limit / what drives you?
Just thinking that’s the best way to go

-Your career highlight?
2nd in the 2015 Tour de France à la voil. 1st Vintage in the 2017 Les Sables-Horta.

-What was the best advice ever given you>
Be prepared to be disappointed and you’ll never be

-Your favourite quote?
“Connais-toi toi-même” Socrate

-The unattainable food, the one you crave the most when offshore?
Fresh fruits, salads

Your must-have food whilst racing?
Chocolate and apples.

-Your favourite racing conditions?
light, medium, strong winds…

-What is your priority when you return to shore after a race?
1)Have a real shower  2)Spend a real night asleep  3)Plan the next race

-Finally Robin, a quote about your objectives for the race.
The Fastnet is an important meeting for the Class40, particulary this year with more than 30 boats… To race aboard ‘Imérys‘ is a great opportunity. The crew is really international.  We hope our different sailing tactics will make the boat very fast! This is a great race, and I am with a great boat and a great crew, I’m in a hurry to go…!!

The race starts at 11.00am Sunday 6th August.


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