© Alexis Courcoux

© Alexis Courcoux

Ultim Challenge, Marchand: It was 64 days of training for the next one


11/03/2024 - 20:33

You have just completed a round the world race in 64 days, how does that feel?
I have dreamed of this finish I also feared it. It's always weird to see faces again, my family, the team, the partners, the public. I know they supported me throughout this race and I'm delighted to be here. It has not been easy. After Cape Town, I couldn't use my two foils and these boats are really not made for sailing without a foil. You get used to everything. And we realize really when we cross the finish line here in Brest and that we had to put so much energy in to get back here to the finish. 

It is a solo race but it is about teamwork? 
Yes, these projects are completely about teamwork but also we really realize that there are people out there supporting us. For every small problem, the team is there all the time, day and night. Every thing that is repaired is the result of collective team work and it’s great. We race around the world solo but this really is achieved as a team. These are great adventures. You can only have grown from this experience, that includes everyone at Actual, the team and me. It took longer than expected but for me it was 64 days of training for the next one.

Did enjoy yourself during this race?
Inevitably you get a lot of pleasure because these really are fabulous boats. Sailing sometimes can be a thankless and painful sport, but that’s what we come for. It’s never easy, always hard, but that’s what we sail for, to be pushed back to our limits and see how far we can go.

Were you able to follow the rest of the race?
I watched all their Live broadcasts, they were my own little moments. I'm proud for all the guys who have finish these are three great projects, three magnificent machines. I think it wasn't easy for them but this has been a real round the world race for everyone and well done to everyone. Everyone has traveled the world in their own way and there is still Eric arriving on Wednesday. These are great stories!

How did you feel at the finish line?
I didn't expect to cry but when I saw that I cut the line, I couldn't control anything, I started crying, almost out of the release of nerves. I think it's a relief. Not because it’s a relief but because we go to great lengths to race around the world. We spend two months on a boat with alarms going off every five minutes, always, always, always listening on high alert is a constant stress. You know when you cross the finish line that everything is finished, it is done. You de-stress and you enjoy.

Did your own ability to stay the course surprise you?
Yes and no, I had already learned how tough I am on the Solitaire du Figaro

What are the strongest images from your round the wolrd race?
There are two. The start and after the start line, these were magnificent moments where we were all pushing hard on the helm, that was magical. And then the finish.  There were lots of important passing images like Cape Horn. 

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