After a sluggish start to the season, with the express launch of his new boat and races coming in quick succession, in July, Alan Roura finally managed to buckle down to work. The young sailor was able to start his physical and mental preparations and continue familiarizing himself with his IMOCA Hublot.
But that is not all, to make sure he is good and ready for the Route du Rhum this autumn, the Swiss decided to leave nothing to chance, setting himself an intensive training program and surrounding himself with experts in their fields.
Two days offshore and one technical sailing per week. This has been Alan Roura’s typical schedule since his return from the Vendée Arctique - Les Sables d’Olonne, at the end of June. Training sessions with varied and focussed objectives, from departure phases to sail adjustments, in calm weather and on windier days. A complete program for a month of July entirely dedicated to preparing the skipper for the Route du Rhum, the headline race of the season, which departs in November. “The idea was to really go for it, to put in as much as possible before the summer holidays, explains Team Manager Allyson Mousselon. We are particularly satisfied, because every sailing has been really enriching and informative and we have already discovered several little secrets about boat…” A consistent and concerted effort which has brought its rewards, with no ordinary performance boost: the presence of a renowned training partner in the shape of Sébastien Josse.
A peerless sailor who has proven himself in all kinds of craft, particularly lMOCA and every size of multi-hulled boat, “Seb” Josse quickly proved to be an invaluable asset. “My learning curve hasn’t stopped rising since we started working together, says Alan. Seb helps me improve my performances at sea, to gain speed and efficiency, but also on dry land, from a tactical and weather strategy point of view. He has already taught me so much and I love the way he shares his experience with me: he doesn’t tell me what to do, he encourages me to find solutions for myself. It’s extremely informative and I am delighted to be able to benefit from his expertise and his attention to detail, which is what sets the greatest sailors apart from the rest.” Alan intends to make the most of the battle-hardened perspective and knowledge acquired from his new consultant to better understand his new boat and rapidly learn the ropes. “Alan is a good sailor, he is determined and physically strong, he has an excellent boat… he has everything it takes to succeed and I am here to help him save time on his quest, confides the seasoned professional. Alan is a real enthusiast, he does this because he loves being at sea and that is really refreshing. However, Hublot is a more complex and more demanding IMOCA than anything he has sailed before. He has already mastered certain aspects of it and he is still learning others. That’s fine, he has time, because the Vendée Globe remains the main objective and Alan has begun his preparations very early. He is also like a marathon runner: he likes long distance sailing, but I can help him to make a faster start. My role is to get him on the right path straight away, to help him progress and perform more efficiently. But without disrupting his habits: I don’t just show up with a ready-made method, I try to respect his way of doing things.” And what Alan does best is sail. All that remains now is for the 29 year-old sailor to adapt his methods to his new boat, which Seb claims needs “a near perfect skipper” and a different kind of energy. This means managing physical effort during manoeuvres. For this reason, Alan now consults a nutritionist, has regular sessions with his mental coach and continues his physical training with various winter and water sports. After such perfect preparation of body and mind, time for a relaxing holiday before returning refreshed, ready and raring to go!