26 February 2021 - 17:49 • 6209 views

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Sam Davies at her Press Conference, “It’s amazing the reception I have received. I want to thank everyone, I had never imagined having so many people when I arrived out of the race. I left to do a race, sporting performance and south of the Cape of Good Hope it turned into an adventure. And it became an even tougher challenge than I had ever imagined. With my team and our sponsors we knew that there were two objectives the sports objective and also the objective of saving children by sharing the adventure. We had already talked about the possibility of abandoning. I said I wanted to finish at all costs, like Isabelle Autissier and other sailors who ended up out of the race. We even had a spare mast ready to be sent to Australia if necessary. Fortunately, we had thought about all this before because psychologically, it made things easier, even for Romain (Attanasio) and for Ruben (editor's note her son).

But thereafter it is actually easier said than done. Our boats are still very demanding to sail I was way behind everyone and I am a competitive sailor who is used to being in the fight. Suddenly I was alone, I had no more rankings, I didn't have the pressure and the adrenaline of the race anymore and then of course it is harder to get up at 3am to change a sail. Even for the team it was different, it was difficult. It took a while to figure out what it was all going to be like but then I had a blast!

Thanks to Mécénat chirurgie cardiac, I left again. You might have told me it was not very wise to leave with my boat repaired "in a hurry", even if the team did a great job. I told myself that Jacques (editor's note, Jacques Caraës, race director) might say that I was too far from everyone and that it was not very wise or even that it was stupid. But with Mécénat chirurgie cardiac, I had a real reason to leave, it was my motivation. And I felt like I had even more support being out of the race! We probably raised more money than if I had been able to carry on racing.

Third round the world, every one is different
Every trip around the world is different. You can never know what will happen to you. In my Vendée Globes I have had three totally different experiences, all incredible. I think it was during this edition that I went through the most emotions. My boat is amazing, until the collision I was having a great race in the front pack. My team has done such an incredible job preparing the boat and it’s not a new boat but it’s still very competitive. After the collision it turned into an adventure a real human challenge. The stopover in Cape Town was also an incredible adventure it was a great experience with the team. It was no small feat to rebuild stuff, to fix the keel in such a short time, in an unfamiliar place. This experience on land in Cape Town was very intense.

A cargo ship on her route
Even the last few days were not easy, I had been having problems with the rigging, my main forestay was broken, the j3 anchor point too. Fortunately I had put on a safety lashing which meant that it did not fall. The day before yesterday I thought I was almost there, and I had to do some more work to secure the mast in difficult conditions. As soon as I repaired the cable, I set the boat on course and there Jaco (editor's note, Jacques Caraës, race director) sent me the position of an overturned cargo ship which was right on my course. (https://assafinaonline.com/maritime-news/assafina-news/shipping/cocaine-smugglers-sink-their-ship-to-evade-prosecution/)  There must be some debris around. I have already hit three ONFIs, one at Cape of Good Hope, another at Cape Horn and a third in the Falklands. I really didn't want to hit anything else. And so I thank the race management for warning me. When I wanted to leave Cape Town, one of the first people I called was Jacquessand he immediately told me that he supported me – and with his team – they would to watch over me as if I was racing and so many thanks to them.

About her heart plotted on the carto last night
I knew I had some time to wait in front of Les Sables d'Olonne, I wanted to stay close to land and I wanted to give the project a final boost. I wanted to show how important it is to be able to fix the hearts of these children. I made the heart as big as possible in the time. I had fun, Tanguy also did it in 2017. He is the one behind this project, I'm trying to carry on with his great work.

What did you take away from your part of the race on the first third of the course?
The first third of the race was great but it was a big disappointment to have to abandon because I love racing, I love my boat. I was proud to be where I was in the race. It was very intense: these boats are violent when they are at 100%. But from the start, I was in the game, I had fun. Everything was going as I wanted. This is also why I was able to come back out of Cape Town, because I had no regrets. When I had the collision, I was placed where I wanted.