the end of a Vendée Arctique with several plot twists, Alan Roura
speaks about his experiences during his second race on board Hublot.
The weather, the unexpected race instructions and the sensations at
the helm of his new boat… the young sailor from Geneva tells us
what a start back on June 12th!
The first time you got off to a start like that in the front
positions from the quay…
had my heart set on proving to my team and to myself that I was
capable of making a good start and being well placed on the line. It
was one of the areas that I was able to work on between the Guyader
Bermudes 1000 Race and the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d’Olonne,
I’m really happy it paid off!
a good start allows you to stick with the leading pack straightaway
and to really bust a gut from the off. That really helped me to get
into the match, it was quite a tight start to the race! I was then
slowed down by several technical glitches during the first night,
while the leaders were all still flying along, but I’m very happy
with the start in general. It is the first time that I was with the
the two ridges, you chose an option to the west which didn’t help
your position in the race: mentally, how did you manage to continue
with that route?
didn’t look at the positions on the board, I looked at my position
in relation to the other boats, not the numbers. I knew I was miles
off in terms of my place, but that option, I was totally convinced by
it from the beginning! I just had to accept that I needed to stick to
my idea, I knew that it would then only take one day to climb back up
the places, and everything went as planned. A lot of careful
consideration went into that strategy. I thought I might even have
got a bit higher, but it didn’t work out too badly!”
you were never in any doubt?
are obviously transitional phases when you ask yourself questions…
Benjamin Dutreux and I were the only two to have really pushed that
option all the way, it was almost fun in the end. You always have
that doubt in your mind of whether you’ve made the right choice or
not, but basically, in for a penny, in for a pound. Better to see it
through and have no regrets. You have to remember this is just a game
at the end of the day!”
end up climbing progressively up the places as the boats regroup and
you eventually find yourself in seventh place, just as the race
organisers decide to stop the race. What did you feel at that moment?
the sensation of leaving something unfinished. This race is not over
and it never will be for me deep down. I’m missing something. The
plan I made for myself in my head was a long term plan, it was meant
to last longer and suddenly the rug is pulled out from under me! It’s
tough! (Laughs) It is also a situation you go through, where you know
you could maybe have moved up a couple of places. But hey, it’s the
same for everyone in the end!”
are you taking away from the Vendée Arctique ?
had a real Eureka moment in this race. The Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race
signalled my return to the rest of the competition and, above all, it
allowed me to get warmed up and to get to know Hublot.
On the Vendée Arctique, I trusted myself and my boat a lot more, I
was able to park my thoughts and press on with my head down. Because
that’s what you have to do! Depending on the wind conditions, the
boat’s only limit is the human sailing it: when it is really
blowing, the boat is going to go! You just have to brace yourself and
let her do her stuff. I had to prove to myself I was able to do
that, and I am.”
feels like you are finding your feet on board and finding the
controls of your boat. Can you see yourself possibly competing in the
Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe?
hard to think that far ahead today… The top three are amazing,
almost untouchable right now. They have the advantage of having had
their boats for several seasons and knowing them by heart, as well as
being excellent sailors with lots of experience. It is inspiring for
me and for the next stage of my project.
will also be quite a few new boats, so they will be on the same level
in terms of knowledge, but I’m still learning about being at the
helm of a high-performance boat at just 29 years old. For now, I
prefer to concentrate on myself and making sure I give my very best
before comparing myself to other people. That is the spirit I hope to
carry into the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe: crossing that
line and telling myself that I did everything in my power to perform
as well as possible. Knowing that the level will be a notch higher.
That makes me even more determined to continue what we’ve started
and to keep learning and getting to know my incredible boat Hublot.”
@ Jean-Louis Carli / Alea / Vendée Arctique