In the life of a project, there are certain milestones. Registration for The Ocean Race is one such occasion. It reaffirms the ambition of the skipper from Brest: to lead an international project which reconciles performance and purpose.

Between sessions out on the water sailing an IMOCA alongside Sam Davies, Paul Meilhat gives Voiles et Voiliers the low-down on this race which nourishes and inspires him: The Ocean Race! Extracts.

A teenage dream

Paul Meilhat: “Since I was a teenager, I’ve dreamt of doing The Ocean Race. What’s always fascinated me about this event is the international offshore racing aspect and the high-level competition. You come up against the world’s top racers, who have a background in Olympic sailing, the America’s Cup, The Ocean Race and the Vendée Globe… It’s great!”

Performance and purpose

P.M. “My absolute quest is performance whilst giving purpose to something that is an essential cause to my mind. I want to make the most of the race to embrace this change. These values must be a driving force in our team. We want things to change and to show that we can do things differently. The Ocean Race has adapted to these new circumstances. It’s all systems go for it to work.”

An ambitious project, a quest for partners

P.M. “We have a few avenues open to us with a main sponsor, but nothing has been signed, as well as a pool of partners ready to take on this adventure. One nice, reassuring element is that the organisers of The Ocean Race really want my project to succeed.”

A Dream team

P.M. “The project manager is likely to be Antoine Mermod. The idea is that I’ll work with the naval architect Guillaume Verdier too. There will only be five of us aboard (plus a media man), which means we need sailors who are all-rounders. Yoann (Richomme) is an excellent choice. My favourite duo combo is still Gwéno (Gahinet). We’ve done a lot of double-handed sailing together. I can really see him fitting in with this race! We have Anthony (Marchand) and Nico (Lunven) too, who are Figaro sailors through and through and have also competed in the Volvo and do Imoca too. We mustn’t waste any time in ‘locking down’ a crew, as I’m sure that the overseas competitors will soon come headhunting, which means they’ll be ‘shopping around’ in France.

See the full interview in Voiles&Voiliers (FR)