A newcomer among the contenders for the next Vendée Globe, Alan Roura is however certainly not inexperienced. After a few years being brought up on Lake Geneva, he spent his teenage years on the Atlantic and Pacific swell. At the age of 13, he decided to give up going to school to go through the school of life. Boatyards in South America, maintaining yachts and luxury charter boats in Tahiti, working on tin in Grenada, a solid all-rounder, he developed a solid character with a passion for the sea handed down from father to son.
When he began to talk about sailing around the world, he was told to try sailing a Mini to begin with. Speaking several languages, his young face has already been tanned and scorched by the years spent sailing around the oceans. In 2012 he moved to Brittany with the clear intention of racing. He achieved this at the age of twenty, finishing in an honourable eleventh place aboard his small 6.50m boat in the big transatlantic race for beginners, although he had the smallest budget in the fleet.
In the following year, he was back solo racing. This time in Class40 and in the legendary Route du Rhum. Setting out from St-Malo, in late October 2014 aboard his boat, Exocet, which he had enthusiastically prepared with youthful energy in spite of having little funding. However, he was to suffer some damage, which stopped him in his tracks and dashed his hopes in the Bay of Biscay.
A blow for the Swiss sailor, who continued to dream of sailing around the world. In 2015, he was off again in the double-handed transatlantic race. He would complete this long crossing. With a pit stop, it was to teach him a lot on his journey to the start of the eighth Vendée Globe, where your worth isn’t determined by your age.
Alan will be the youngest competitor in the Vendée Globe. He will be racing against many sailors who are as old as his father and some who are as old as his grandfather. He will be exactly a third of the age of Rich Wilson, for example. But what difference does it make to be 44 years older or younger in this big adventure?