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Vendee-Arctic-Sands. Sam Davies: “If you mess up a maneuver, it can be dangerous! “

Vendee-Arctic-Sands. Sam Davies: “If you mess up a maneuver, it can be dangerous! “


Sails and Sailboats: How is the week before the race?

Sam Davies: Well I am confined at home by the sailing instructions. There are guidelines that must be met in order to take the start in acceptable sanitary conditions. What I find most strange is that there is no village, no boats moored at the dock. Life continues but psychologically, it’s not so easy …

Sails and Sailboats: Why?

Sam Davies: Normally, we would have already conveyed Initiatives Heart Sables for a good week, with the technical team on site, in the manner and pace that we systematically. We lapped it. Everything is planned, the last technical details physical and mental prep or control measurements. the boat is made to partners visit, we meet the public, the media … It is already a bit in the race. It was very framed days, rest time, we enter the game.

We rode the new habits

Sails and Sailboats: And there it is not the case?

Sam Davies: Not really. The daily at home is not the same. I do a little physical prep. It connects the briefings with the race direction, with the technical team, press conferences, and videoconferencing. We rode to the new habits. Sometimes the briefings are quite funny, because half of the people have forgotten to use their mute, and forget that everyone hears their comments …

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For the sailor, the Vendee-Arctic-Sands will be a “mini Vendée Globe.” | VINCENT CURUTCHET / GOVERNMENT HEART

Sails and Sailboats: It seems that your fear is to forget your sea bag of clothes?

Sam Davies: That’s true. There I took the time to prepare my bag, but I do not have the right to approach the team and the boat, I had to trust them. So my fear is that we forget to earth in a container or an office, because since I race, I personally want to boarding before leaving to be sure he is there …


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Sails and Sailboats: You spend a lot of time on applications such as Zoom, Teams?

Sam Davies: Yes. Usually, we load refueling and fresh with the trainers, all we verify what embeds spare equipment, tooling … And here it is only by telephone. In addition, I want to be in the Vendée Globe configuration, and therefore we ship more things in a deckchair. I did not even attend the pot organized for the last day of our accounting. We toasted virtually.

This race is a repeat of the Vendée Globe

Sails and Sailboats: When conveying Lorient to Sables d’Olonne Friday night, you go alone?

Sam Davies: No. We will be with four team members who will accompany me to the Vendée Globe on November 8 that Paul Meilhat with whom I played the last Transat Jacques Vabre. For me, this race is a repeat of the Vendée Globe. We made all four test Covid-19, and I’ll do another Friday, July 3 before leaving the dock. It is mandatory.

Sails and Sailboats: You’re too busy with your young son?

Sam Davies: Yes. Ruben is with me, very active, demand, and scorched by the end of the school year. And as Romain (Attanasio and his companion who also prepares the Vendée Globe, Ed) is Sables trying to navigate with its partners, I’m busy as all moms “single” in the world … I also took advantage of my confinement for make infiltration knees that are in high demand on these boats, which are a little tired.

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Sails and Sailboats: At the ferry, you’ll leave the boat to your teammates and sleep?

Sam Davies: Not specifically. To notably to organize a briefing with the Port-la-Forêt pole in terms of weather strategy, recalling the fundamental … Moreover, we will probably adapt our road because it will take good 4G (laughs). There is no question of overloading the invoice satellite phone.

Even when I was pregnant with my son, I continued to play the solo races …

Sails and Sailboats: You think this protocol and this new approach might be on the Vendée Globe?

Sam Davies: Clearly, but that will depend on the evolution of the health situation in the country and the world. It is therefore to organize, to get used to something else, to adapt. We must make do. There is no choice. We have the chance to run with an audience that is not in the stadium. Sailing permits, and I see a lot of people eager to follow a run for months and months.

Sails and Sailboats: Since you sail, you had already spent so much time without setting foot on a boat?

Sam Davies: No, never! Even when I was pregnant with my son, I continued to play the solo races …

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Sails and Sailboats: And you had the apprehension of these IMOCA sailing again on too demanding?

Sam Davies: Yes, I was very anxious when returned to the water Initiatives Heart. I have the chance to virtually never have been seasick in my life, I was afraid of being sick! I thought that if I did not suffered from seasickness, it’s because I was surfing all the time. And then after three months of confinement, I thought I needed my sea legs several days.

The cockpit is relatively immune to steer. | Yann Riou / GOVERNMENT HEART

I was afraid of losing my automation

Sails and Sailboats: So?

Sam Davies: And no, everything went well. I have this boat since 2017 and I’ve done a lot of miles with him. We know well. Still, I had the fear of not knowing the lead, having lost my bearings, to break things. If you mess up a maneuver, it can be dangerous, and I was afraid of losing my automation. This was a surprise because everything went very smoothly. It was as if I went out three days after the arrival of Jacques Vabre. I immediately found the right feeling, the settings of the foils, sails, and especially as we have not changed much technically during the winter refit, but worked on the reliability and ergonomics.

In strength, we learn to absorb shocks, to move on all fours, to endure and live with

Sails and Sailboats: Exactly, everyone says that these boats have become very violent?

Sam Davies: That’s clear. The IMOCA are very violent, but you get used. You get used to shocks, to noise, high speed … In 2018, we installed a new system adjustment of the rake of foils, and suddenly we gained strength. Then we put new foils, and little by little, the boat was boosted. I’m used to more violence and brutality with the speed increases. I am always amazed when I take people who discover these IMOCA few hours. They say, “Holy shit! But how do you do to keep? “Someone even told me that I should spend an MRI because my neck was necessarily move (laughs). But hey, it is perhaps also why I exploded the knee … To force learning to absorb shocks, to move on all fours, to endure and live with.

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Sails and Sailboats: You wear knee pads?

Sam Davies: Yes, it is absolutely mandatory! And we did a lot of work on the ergonomics of the boat, mattresses, types of pillows … It is now a key issue.

Sails and Sailboats: What is your goal this Vendee-Arctic-Sands? You’re going to play to win?

Sam Davies: No, I’m not going to play to win in the sense that the boat is in the Vendée Globe configuration, with a lot of spare (spare equipment, N.D.L.R.) and therefore rather heavy. I want to play the performance, but to repair only if I break, and thus finish the race even though I am already qualified. I do not “approach it or break it! “. I want to finish the Vendée Globe, and also race to speak of Cardiac Surgery, share with the public, test me, see what works and what does not. For me it is a mini Vendée Globe.

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