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Interview Samantha Davies - Initiatives Coeur

Samantha Davies: "I'm so happy with my result" or "it's the first time I've felt really free".

Crossing the finish line 5 hours and 48 minutes after the winner of the race, Samantha Davies (Initiatives-Cœur) climbed o

nto the 3rd step of the podium (before the jury) in the 15th edition of The Transat CIC. A magnificent performance for the British sailor, who has achieved one of her best results in the IMOCA class.

How do you feel a few minutes after finishing the race?

I'm very tired, but I've felt the same tiredness at the end of lots of other races, so that's part of the fun. I'm so happy with my result. It's my best IMOCA ranking in a major ocean race.

What do you think you did best and which contributed to this result?

There are a lot of skippers playing for their qualification for the Vendée Globe, but it's also a race that can eliminate some of them. I had a great race and I'm proud of it. I managed to push the boat harder than ever before, because before, I always had other reasons for finishing races. It's the first time I've really felt free. I wanted to push and really test the boat before the Vendée Globe. The team also did a great job. I had a few problems which forced me to slow down a few times, but hardly anything. I hardly ever opened the toolbox. That helped a lot.

All the experience you've gained on The Ocean Race and with Jack Bouttell has paid off...

Yes, being comfortable with the boat was very important, bearing in mind that I broke a few things, which were repaired and reinforced. I'm feeling more and more confident. She can handle as much as I can, probably more.

Boris said that he had enjoyed having the world within range on the AIS to measure himself against them. Do you share that sentiment?

It was good. I spent a good part of the early part of the race with Damien Seguin. Then, I caught up with Paul Meilhat but I had a foil problem and he got away before hitting anything. I overtook him. After that, Boris and I were pretty close for quite a while.

Do you feel you did well?

It's a short race so you push really hard. I'd never have been able to carry on like that for a whole round the world. We've worked a lot on the skipper's comfort and well-being. It makes a real difference to be sitting somewhere where you're safe. Last year, I couldn't sleep anywhere safe on the boat. We've made real improvements in that area.

Did it help that you already knew the route?

Of course it did! I was a bit frustrated yesterday because I felt I wasn't prepared enough for the Gulf Stream, but then I told myself I hadn't done too badly because I'd done a lot of sailing in the area in The Ocean Race and the Volvo Ocean Race.