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. I
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.