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
you haven’t given much news since announcing you’d bought the
IMOCA, and now another surprise! You moored her Friday evening at her
new home port in Lorient’s submarine base.
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 ?
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.
conclusions did you draw from this experience?
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 ?
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 ?
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 ?
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
Photo © Cédric Vincent