Paul Meilhat


Paul Meilhat never gives up and can often be seen sailing at the front. A mighty sailor, who now lives in Brest, he is up there with the best with whom he trains in Port La Forêt.

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33 years old - Brest - FRANCE


Paul Meilhat never gives up and can often be seen sailing at the front. A mighty sailor, who now lives in Brest, he is up there with the best with whom he trains in Port La Forêt. Paul Meilhat comes from dinghy sailing and the Olympic classes, having competed in the Laser and demanding 49er series and managed to hone his skills via the Figaro Bénéteau circuit. He made his first appearance in the circuit in 2008 competing in the Cap Istanbul asserting his desire to succeed in this sport. He trained hard with very few means before convincing a small partner to join him… In the following year he stood out in the 2009 Solitaire as second best rookie and in some legs was up there with the frontrunners. Very quickly, Paul went from the 10m one-design boat to a 60-ft Open. Now for his preparation, he is taking advantage of the experience of the two times winner, Michel Desjoyeaux and the Mer Agitée race team. The two have worked and sailed together. The boat, SMA, is none other than the boat used by François Gabart to smash the Vendée Globe record in the last race. If the same method gives the same result…

It is just an anecdote, but “Paulo” knows a lot of shanties, which we regularly hear when he wins. He has a keen sense of humour, but once again, let there be no mistake. When in 2014 he won the Transat AG2R (with Gwénolé Gahinet), he really asserted himself and went on to confirm his talent with a fifth place in the Solitaire du Figaro. SMA chose him to display their colours and he certainly has the means to achieve his ambitions, this time on an IMOCA, as the company gave him the boat that everyone was after. This will however be his first round the world voyage, but just like Morgan Lagravière, Paul has got what it takes to be up there with the leaders. A sailor to keep a close eye on!

His preparation got behind schedule after his serious injury sustained at sea in December in the transatlantic race between St Barth and Port La Forêt. Paul was lifted off in hellish conditions and his boat was saved at the last moment, as she drifted away from the Azores all the way up to Ireland!

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In pictures



  • French junior Laser champion
  • European Junior Laser championship – 2nd
  • French Laser Championship – 6th
  • 49er Olympic preparation French Olympic team
  • J 80 Vice european champion
  • Solitaire du Figaro – 19th
  • La Solitaire du Figaro – 6th
  • Solo Concarneau – 4th (Class40)
  • Transat AG2R – 4th
  • La Solitaire du Figaro – 9th
  • TP Med Race – 3rd (Class40)
  • Solos Concarneau – Vainqueur (Class40)
  • Generali Solo – 5th (Class40)
  • Tour de Bretagne – Winner (Class40)
  • Transat AG2R – Winner (G. Gahinet)
  • Solo Basse Normandie – Winner
  • La Solitaire du Figaro – 5th
  • Transat Saint-Barth/ Port La Forêt – Retired
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – Retired
  • Record SNSM – Retired (M. Desjoyeaux)
  • Ar Men race – Retired (M. Desjoyaux)
Paul Meilhat

Monocoque IMOCA


We’re looking at the title-holder! Paul will be sailing on the former Macif aboard which François Gabart did so well in the last race. A boat with a perfect list of successes, and which has achieved the best performances, at least until the arrival of the new generation of IMOCAs. Under the name of MACIF, the monohull achieved the Grand Slam winning the Vendée Globe, the Route du Rhum, and the Fastnet etc. We had a huge scare with the boat, however this winter, when Paul Meilhat, seriously injured was forced to abandon her at sea. However, SMA was recovered at the last moment after drifting from the Azores up to Ireland. Saved in some incredible conditions, she is now being repaired by the Mer Agitée team, which is run by Michel Desjoyeaux. With her keel and mast removed, SMA will be entirely repaired to get back on form… that is to say to become a machine capable of being up with the frontrunners in the Vendée Globe.

2D Image Technical Sheet


Technical Sheet

Boat's previous name : Macif
Designer : VPLP-Verdier
Boat Builder : CDK, Mer Agitée
Launch Date : 01 january 2011
Lenght : 18,28 m
Beam : 5,70 m
Draught : 4,50 m
Displacement (weight) : 7,7
Mast High : 29 m
Upwind sail area : 340 m²
Downwind sail area : 570 m²


Technical Plan




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