Biotherm skipper Paul Meilhat unveils a multinational crew for The Ocean Race
Biotherm skipper Paul Meilhat unveils a crew for The Ocean Race
Immediately after his partnership with Biotherm was announced in March, Paul Meilhat expressed a wish to take part in The Ocean Race – the crewed round the world race with stopovers widely recognised as the toughest test to a team in sport.
Indeed, The Ocean Race’s boasts a unique pedigree. Originally known as the Whitbread Round the World Race, before going on to become the Volvo Ocean Race, this legendary competition is regarded as one of the greatest challenges in professional yacht racing. Equally, with a course spanning seven stages this global marathon is the perfect way to prepare for the Vendée Globe. Last but not least, The Ocean Race through its ‘Racing with Purpose’ initiative is a strong advocate for environmental causes – a message which aligns perfectly with that of Meilhat and his partner Biotherm.
Today, with the new Biotherm IMOCA fresh out of the Persico yard in Italy after an eight-month build, the campaign has reached another key milestone with the announcement of the men and women Meilhat has chosen to support him for six months of intense racing around the planet.
This international mixed-sex crew is an experienced and highly motivated group made up of top names with impressive CVs and career paths and is sure to be a potent force.
An additional crew member will be announced in the coming weeks.
Expertise and positive energy
“I wanted to have people on board who share the project’s philosophy," says Meilhat. “I’ve tried to strike a balance with a combination of energy, pleasure and expertise. I also had to be pragmatic because we will have precious little time to prepare before the start of the race. As such, I had to surround myself with people who are already prime candidates and with whom I am 100% sure it will work out.”
Several of the crew have a great deal of experience of IMOCAs and are campaigning for the next Vendée Globe. For them, like Meilhat, the crewed race is an opportunity to rack up the miles necessary to secure their entry ticket for the solo race. Others have already competed in the crewed around-the-world race – and some even tick both boxes. All of them are great sailors and racers with remarkable track records and are capable of running a boat efficiently and independently. In a bid to fulfil The Ocean Race’s criteria for gender equality, the Biotherm skipper was also keen to share this sporting adventure with an international group. The crew will call into nine countries and three continents in its voyage around the globe. This multicultural aspect has always been a trademark of the race and really adds to the event’s appeal for the sailors.