IMOCA Globe Series27th
Points70 pts
Age42 (5/17/82)
Top performanceWinner of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2018, IMOCA Champion 2021
Joined Imoca on2015
BaseLorient (FRANCE)


At 39 years old, Paul Meilhat is one of the big guns of the IMOCA GLOBE SERIES. He is from the Olympic sailing (Optimist, Laser and 49er) and has been shaped with sea salt by the Figaro circuit since 2008.

Paul celebrated his first major victory in April 2014 in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale with Gwénolé Gahinet. On this promising wave, the skipper met the SMA group and achieve a great season in the Figaro, finishing 4th in the French Elite Solo Offshore Racing Championship.

In 2015, Paul Meilhat leapt from the Figaro circuit to the IMOCA circuit. After a year of experience, Paul finished fourth in the New York - Vendée and The Transat Bakerly. In the Vendée Globe, when he was one of the top three, the SMA skipper will be the victim of a keel cylinder failure that will force him to retire after 52 days of racing.  

Paul, who has changed his mind from this circumnavigation, is living a prolific year in 2017. Alongside Gwénolé Gahinet, he won the ArMen Race, the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Défi Azimut and then took a superb 2nd place in the Transat Jacques Vabre against the best foilers on the circuit.  

In 2018, he won the Monaco Globe Series and the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. While this year-end also marks the end of his partnership with SMA, Paul does not intend to stop there. The skipper is actively looking for partners.

Double-handed with Samantha Davies and then with Charlie Dalin and a title of IMOCA Champion 2021, the sailor has the carure to lead a program combining participation in The Ocean Race 2023 and the Vendée Globe 2024.

About The Ocean Race, the skipper confides: "It’s a big dream for me to do this race. I want to sail in this amazing boat with a crew. For me The Ocean Race is the DNA of sailing. To discover the world and spend time in different countries and to show our boats is very important for us."

In 2022, Paul Meilhat is joined by Biotherm and launches a new project with the construction of a new boat (Verdier design, sistership of APIVIA) with the objective of participating in all IMOCA GLOBE SERIES events. With his brand new boat, he managed to finish 8th in the 2022 Route du Rhum.

In January 2023, Paul and his IMOCA Biotherm will take part in The Ocean Race, where he will finish 4th overall. After this circumnavigation, Paul and his team returned to Lorient to take part in races in France, including the Défi Azimut and Transat Jacques Vabre, with co-skipper Mariana Lobato. However, after tearing their mainsail off the coast of Brittany, the Franco-Portuguese duo was forced to retire.

In 2024, Paul is now preparing for his ultimate goal: taking part in the Vendée Globe.

Sailing Highlights

2024 : The Transat CIC - 15th
2023 : Transat Jacques Vabre - Abandon
2023 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - 20th
2023 : The Ocean Race - 4th
2022 : Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - 6th
2022 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - ABD (crew)
2021 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 2nd
2021 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - Winner
2021 : Rolex Fastnet Race - Winner
2019 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 7th
2019 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - 7th
2019 : Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th
2018 : Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - Winner
2018 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - 4th
2018 : Drheam-Cup 700 - DNS
2018 : Monaco Globe Series - Winner
2018 : Bermudes 1000 Race – Douarnenez / Cascais - Winner
2017 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 2nd
2017 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - Winner
2017 : Rolex Fastnet Race - Winner
2016-2017 : Vendée Globe - Abandon le 24/12/2016
2016 : Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - 4th
2016 : New York Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne - 4th
2016 : The Transat CIC - 4th
2015 : Transat St Barth - Port La Forêt - Abandon le 14/12
2015 : Transat Jacques Vabre - Abandon le 30/10
2015 : Rolex Fastnet Race - Abandon
2015 : Record SNSM - Winner
Other highlights

2023: Transat Jacques Vabre - Retired
Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - 20th
The Ocean Race - 4th overall ranking
Route du Rhum - 6th
Défi Azimut - Retired
Transat Jacques Vabre - 2nd
Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération - 1st
Rolex Fastnet Race - 1st
Défi Azimut - 7th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th
Route du Rhum - 1st
2018: Bermudes 1000 Race - 1st
2017: Armen Race - 1st
2017: Rolex Fastnet Race - 1st
2017: Défi Azimut - 1st
2017: Transat Jacques Vabre - 2nd with G.Gahinet
2016: Transat NY - Vendée - 4th
2016: Vendée Globe - Retired
2016: Defi Azimut - 4th
2015: Record SNSM - 1st
2015: Ar Men Race - 1st
2015: Transat Jacques Vabre - Retired
2014: La Solitaire du Figaro - 5th
2014: Transat AG2R - 1st
2013: Solo Concarneau - 1st
2013: Tour de Bretagne - 1st
2012: Transat AG2R - 4th
2012: Solitaire du Figaro - 9th
2011: Solitaire du Figaro - 6th
2009: Solitaire du Figaro - 19th
2000: French Junior Laser Espoir Champion


Sail numberFRA 2030
ArchitectGuillaume Verdier
Construction2022, Persico Marine
Length18,28 m
Beam5,4 m
Draught4,5 m
Weight8 tonnes
Mast height29 m
Mast typeWing mast
Sail area max.
Upwind260 m2
Downwind600 m2
© Jean-Louis Carli
© Ronan Gladu / Biotherm
© © RICARDO PINTO | Bermudes 1000 Race