Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet (SMA) are the first sailors to have their names on the top prize as winners of the Globe Series, the new IMOCA world championship. The duo won the Monaco race early this Thursday morning, June 7. They were welcomed back to the dock by Prince Albert II. After more than 3 days and 19 hours of sailing, on a shortened but nonetheless exhausting course which was made all the more nerve wracking because of the unstable weather situation, they beat Isabelle Joschke and Alain Gautier (Monin) to second with Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Péron (Newrest - Art & Fenêtres).
"It was extremely physical and tough on the nerves", explained Meilhat, who won the Bermudas 1000 Race just a few weeks ago. "It reminded me of what I experienced racing on a Figaro in the Mediterranean. In terms of the race, it was crazy with a lot of action! Whether you were ahead or behind, it was never over. But there's nothing more interesting in terms of adrenaline. You feel alive when you race in the Med!" It is a first big win of the season for Paul Meilhat on his conventionally configured foil-less IMOCA. Meilhat is on the look out for a replacement partner to participate in the next Vendée Globe.
Monaco Globe Series :
1/ SMA (Meilhat/Gahinet) in 3d 19h and 17m
2/ Monin (Joschke/Gautier) 3d 21h 3m 50s
3/ Newrest – Art & Fenêtres (Amedeo/Péron) 3d 21h 11m 10s
4/ Kilcullen Team Ireland (Mulloy/Ruyant) 3d 22h 25m
5/ Boulogne Billancourt (Le Diraison/Maslard) 3d 23h 45m 03s
6/ Groupe Setin (Cousin/Roura) 3 d 23h 32m 38s (+15 mins)
7/ Malizia (Herrmann/Casiraghi) 4d 00h 03m
8/ Bureau Vallée 2 (Burton/Hubert) 4d 01h 29m 26s
9/ 4MyPlanet2 (Barrier/Quiroga) 4d 02h 44m 30s (+5 minutes)