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INTERVIEW: Paul Meilhat VS Gwénolé Gahinet on SMA

Paul Meilhat VS Gwénolé Gahinet

You have already won a double-handed race; does that give you an advantage over others on this race?

I think that we already won together does not give us a particular advantage, the fact that we have not sailed a lot together is more important, we know each other well, this is what give us confidence


Paul, following the Vendée Globe, have you rested?

Not much, but still a bit. Since the end of my Vendée Globe in January I still took a little holiday. We had a rather heavy pre-season with IMOCA (GP Guyader and the Armen Race) and some training with our foil project, followed by a lot of PR sailing (12 days I think). We made a round trip to Lisbon for activities with the subsidiary of SMA there. Personally I prepared well myself by sailing in Diam 24 and participating in the first 3 stages of the Tour de France too. I return from ten days off to resume the season and to prepare the IMOCA for the Fastnet.


Are you ready to start a new season?

New season? It's already been 5 months that we're on the water so it's not really a new season for us. Regarding IMOCA races yes, we just put the right drifters on the boat and we changed our ballast configuration. We'll take a little rest after the Fastnet and go on with training sessions in Port la Forêt, and the Défi Azimut in September, so a rather heavy program.


How did you prepare to sail in double-handed configuration?

Sailing, sailing, talking together, working on the boat together, there is not too much recipe apart from that.


Have you made any changes on the boat?

Yes we modernized our system of ballasts in order to comply with the new measurement requirements, simpler, more efficient, less heavy.


What is your state of mind?

Determination, do things well, not over complicate life neither on board nor on land.


Describe your partner in 3 words

Paul about Gwénolé: Fun, hardworking, motivated

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