One day, one skipper - Like his partner Sam Davies, Romain Attanasio is a skipper. Specialized in Figaro, the French yachtsman reckons Sam can do really well in the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, and he has nothing but admiration for her and her courage. Along with his son Ruben, he is organizing and preparing for what their life will be like while Sam is sailing around the world.
Do you often talk about the Vendée Globe with Sam?
It’s her thing, really, she’s completely into it. We’ve mostly talked about how to get organised because Ruben is only one year old, but I’ll get help from Sam’s parents and a nanny. And the timing of the « Vendée » is perfect for us because in Figaro, we work on preparing the boat in the winter, so I’ll basically have regular office hours. But it will be more difficult in December, because of the Paris Boat Show, and then in the end of January, with the Mer et Montagne Trophy. That is when my in-laws will help.
« If it could last forever, she wouldn’t mind! »
How would you describe Sam as a sailor?
Sam is into sailing because she loves the sea. I’m different, I love boats. She has no problem spending a lot of time on sailing or preparing to sail, she feels great when she does. If it could last forever, she wouldn’t mind!
How did she prepare physically after giving birth to Ruben?
She doesn’t have the same physical strength as four years ago. Her figure is different, she’s never been as thin as she is now. She’s been training for several months but physically speaking, it will be more difficult for her than it was four years ago.
Have you prepared some surprises she’ll take with her?
I’ve taken care of her Christmas dinner, just like I did four years ago. Finding food that is different from what she already has and that will not go bad is not an easy mission! There are some more things, too, but I can’t tell you about that…
How will you communicate during the race?
Sam tends to write emails, and she usually calls on Sundays. In the last Vendée Globe, she called more and more often as days and weeks went by. But we won’t be in contact that often because, once again, sailing makes her feel so good she won't necessarily need it. Yet this year may be different, no that Ruben is here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she called much more often. And we’ll probably Skype more too.
« To me, she is a top 5 contender »
Do you look up to Sam?
Yes, of course I do. She is so strong mentally. To me, she is a Top 5 contender, especially since she’s leaving in conditions that are perfect for her. Her boat is not the fastest, so she’ll do things at her own pace. Boats have never been as fragile as they tend to be nowadays and we all know the favourites are going to go as fast as they can right after the start line. In the Vendée Globe, you either break something or do really well, basically. So I’m glad to see her go in such conditions.