The Roxy Girl

The Roxy Girl

We received an invitation to a little homecoming bash for Samantha Davies on Wednesday night, so we sent ‘Presuming Ed’ down to meet the lovely rock star and get some intel from the girl herself.  Here’s Ed’s report:

Roxy held a little event on Wed night in their London shop to welcome Sam Davies back from her Vendee, and after getting a note from Mr. Clean, I popped along.

My first job, of course, was to congratulate Sam on her amazing performance. "Hi, I’m Ed, from Sailing Anarchy,” said I.  Her immediate, and somewhat surprising reply, was, “Great!  All the time I was going around the world, my Mum and Dad were on Sailing Anarchy every day, sending me the news about what was on your site and how great it was!  I’m a big fan!”  Well, we had to get that on tape – which we did, but unfortunately we didn’t have much time to talk as the room was filling up fast with folks Sam had to chat with. Obviously, she’s had much to do since finishing; after spending the day in London, she was off to Paris for the day, and her schedule doesn’t get any easier for some time.

The big question is "what’s next?” and you’ll all be excited to know that the plan if for a new boat for the next race. It’s obviously still early days in terms of planning, so no details just yet.  Sam mentioned the possibility of a Figaro campaign this year, but that would mean starting training almost straight away, so maybe she’ll just watch from the sidelines this time ’round. But I did get a firm commitment from Sam for a phone Innerview – so we’ll find out everything soon enough!

I then spoke to briefly to Xavier David, the project manager whose primary job is to look after the boat.  I was curious to learn about Roxy’s mainsheet system – as Mich Desjoyeaux’s old PRB, it has the system that he’s also put onto Foncia, with a U shaped track for the vang and the mainsheet to the centre of the transom. David doesn’t understand why everybody doesn’t go with this system.

David also said that Mich carried two Cuben Fibre trinquettes (jibs), putting up the new one once out of the South – Sam carried just one.  According to Xavier though, her sail was still in great shape and he didn’t really see the need to change it.

I Finally had a word with Maritxu Darrigrand, Roxy’s head of marketing. I asked her how the relationship with Sam came about, and she explained that Roxy had sponsored Anne Liardet in the last Vendee (03/04), but that effort had been very much last minute, with only about a month between committing to Anne and the start of the race.

This time round, the idea – all the way through the Figaro campaign – was to do the Vendee. And when they met Sam, they felt that the fit with the brand was very good – and she’s the main focus of their sailing effort.

Roxy are, unsurprisingly, delighted with the coverage, in both England and France, with things like front page coverage in the UK broadsheets. It’s far too early to get numbers for the coverage, but from what they’ve seen, they’re immensely pleased.  That’s saying a lot considering the significant investment that even a second-hand Open 60 required.

I asked Maritxu what was next, and she said they are definitely keen to do the 2011/2012 Vendee with Sam, and with a new boat.  Roxy won’t be able to finance the whole campaign themselves, so it’s a question about lining up suitable partners and making it happen.  Considering the exposure that Sam won from her fans and the international press, it’s hard to see it not happening.

I asked Sam if she’d like to say anything final to the Anarchists, and she did.  “I’d like to give a huge, huge thanks to Sailing Anarchy and all the readers!”

That’ll do.