Paul Meilhat (Biotherm), sixth in IMOCA
Paul Meilhat on Biotherm crossed the finish line in Pointe-à-Pitre in sixth position of the twelfth edition of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe at Monday, November 21 at 19:33:33hrs local time (23:33:33UTC), His race time is 12 days, 10 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. He finishes 16 hours 42 minutes and 8 seconds after the winner Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut).
He covered the 3,542 miles of the course between Saint-Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre at a speed of 11.87 knots on the great circle (direct route). He actually covered 4267.46 miles at an average speed of 14.31 knots (on the water). He arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre.
PAUL MEILHAT'S REACTION
"I'm very happy, all my objectives have been achieved. I didn't expect to do so well, it's great. I had a lot of problems with the boat throughout the race, but I always managed to find solutions. The last two days I was not in race mode anymore. I was going on average 5 knots slower than before. I had a problem with the sail locker, the boat filled up with water about ten times. It was very difficult to empty. Then I had a problem with the starboard rudder, I broke a part, it kept coming up. I had to do about twenty bulkheads, even around the island.
My level of preparation was low, I had only sailed the boat for 15 days before starting this Route du Rhum. Biotherm has enormous potential, she goes super fast. The team has done an incredible job. This result is beyond my expectations. In the back of my mind, I was hoping for this. As I hadn't sailed single-handed for four years, I was clearly lacking in preparation so I couldn't put myself in a state of advanced fatigue, which wasn't bad. It wasn't like four years ago when I could push hard. But in the end, the result is more or less the same in terms of fatigue.
These boats are demanding. When you're sailing upwind you think it's going to be better downwind, but in fact it's worse! There is no time when you can sleep well. For me, the limits will always be material, not human. We can go beyond fatigue, we'll look for mental limits. This requires a huge commitment."
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