No sooner had he arrived in Lorient with his new boat than Alan Roura had already left again! No time to waste: media and partner meetings await the Swiss sailor, whose main mission is now to finalise his budget. Interview.

Alan, you haven’t given much news since announcing you’d bought the last Hugo Boss IMOCA, and now another surprise! You moored her Friday evening at her new home port in Lorient’s submarine base.

We kept a low profile in the weeks that followed the big announcement, it’s true. We made the most of the Transat Jacques Vabre to make progress on our side, without being in the spotlight. Alex Thomson and his team had some final partner sailing to honour with the boat, before passing her on to us. That’s why we joined them in the south of France, to carry out the last structural checks before the handover phase with Alex.

How did the first sailing go ?

I had sailed her on a delivery between Portugal and Spain in October, so I soon found my bearings and continued to get to grips with this new vessel. After a few days in the bay, we soon headed for Brittany, because the forecast predicted a long trip.

What conclusions did you draw from this experience?

It was incredible, she’s very fast! The boat is extremely powerful and I was impressed by the sailing comfort in a closed cockpit. It’s quite pleasant to drink coffee, nice and dry inside, while going over 30 knots (haha). But I was a little frustrated because we went upwind a lot, which is the least comfortable speed. I can’t wait to set sail again in better conditions, so that Alex can show me how to fully bring out what the beast has inside her!


What's the program me for the weeks to come ?

The plan is to sail, sail, sail! Before winter in the boatyard. I want to get the most out of these first moments on board, to learn from Alex and benefit from the experience of other training partners. To save time and learn to get to know this new boat, and gain in performance. It all takes place at sea. I will also need to enlarge my team, a recruitment phase will soon begin. But currently I’m devoting myself to several important meetings to finalise the last partners.

You need to finalize your budget ? 

I need to complete it, yes. We managed to buy this wonderful boat thanks to the investment of a patron, who’s supported me for many years now, and the commitment of a new title partner – whose name will be communicated early next year – that will ensure the majority of my running budget. But I still need to find some funding. Until then, the aim is to assign the remaining secondary partners’ places to companies who want to associate their name with this wonderful project and enjoy wide scale communications. Once the budget is finalised, I can devote myself entirely to the athletic side, heading for the 2022 season.

Which IMOCA races do you intend to run ? 

The idea is to do them all. If I want to tackle the Route du Rhum in the most competitive way, I must spend time at sea and confront the rest of the fleet as much as possible. I’ll take the start of the Bermudes 1000 Race in May, before the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne in June. I’ll then take part in the Défi Azimut in September and then it’ll be time for the major race of the year: the legendary Route du Rhum, which I intend to approach as a favourite!

Photo © Cédric Vincent