Reactions upon arrival
Romain Pilliard – welcomed by his family and his team on the Memorial Act pontoon in Pointe-à-Pitre – displays happiness and satisfaction, swallows his welcome ti-punch in one go and tells the story.
” I am very happy to be at the finish of my second Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe and to have crossed the Atlantic in almost a week less than in 2018! I experienced this edition much better than the first because I know the boat by heart after the Round the World. I could not miss this meeting which only takes place every 4 years, but it has been a very dense year.”
” Like many, I had my share of troubles, the stop in Roscoff was brutal but with the team, we immediately bounced back. Then I went on a different race. I was a bit like the little thumb of the Ultims: the smallest and oldest boat, without foils. I don't necessarily do the same race as the others, but I want to sail properly, do the best I can and sail against other boats of other classes, which is the whole point of the Route du Rum. My big game was to see how many boats I could catch, and I made a big comeback. I think I'm at 79 boats reassembled across the whole fleet. I gave everything I could despite the small difficulties. I'm happy because I was fighting a lot with the Rhum Multi that I managed to get all back together except one which unfortunately capsized two days ago, someone I really like and who had a masterful race. Gilles Buekenhout (Jess) should have arrived there in front of me, in the night. I am very sorry for him. He is also a ship-owner like me, his boat belongs to him, it changes the situation on risk-taking and on the management of a race like this, especially with the difficult weather conditions that we had.”
Offshore racing differently
“I had very bad sea conditions when crossing the fronts, then in the trade winds, I sometimes brushed against the correctional in extremely violent squalls at more than 45 knots, but I always had confidence, I feel safety on Use It Again by Extia. I'm always so proud to share new challenges with this legendary old boat. I am also happy with the work we have done with the team to get it back up and running after a trying round the world. Time was running out for us before the Route du Rhum, it is not always easy to do a job with second-hand or reconditioned equipment. It takes time and energy, but it's worth it. Each piece, each sail already has a story and I can't imagine sailing any other way. It's incredible what we have achieved in recent years to demonstrate by example that the circular economy is a solution to preserve our planet's resources and consume less.”
” Projects, my head is always full! I will start by staying on dry land for a few weeks to enjoy my family and get back to a “normal” life at home. It is necessary to work on the continuation of the Use It Again by Extia project. And in the longer term, my goal is to return to the Route du Rhum in 4 years to improve my time on the event: 10 days? 12 days ?”