Swiss racer Alan Roura (Hublot) finished in 15th position on the Retour à La Base, when he crossed the finish line off Lorient Tuesday December 12 at 02:38:59hrs UTC. His elapsed time is 11d 10h 38m 59s.

Roura, who at the age of 30 already has two Vendée Globe finishes under his belt, achieved what he considered to be his goal, a place in the Top 15 of the fleet despite being handicapped by the loss of a key gennaker headsail and having to stay on top of small technical issues with his IMOCA which was previously Alex Thomson’s HUGO BOSS.

The sailor who grew up cruising in the Caribbean and twice was the youngest sailor on the Vendée Globe continues to show his passion energy and fortitude as he delivers a solid, important result which takes him on the next successive step towards the 2024-2025 race.

Today the dawn is coming and if I manage to have a coffee without spilling the whole thing, that will already be a small victory!” he wrote in the middle of the North Atlantic.  Added to that "small victory" on that day, his finish this morning is another good result for the Lorient based Swiss skipper, his 15th being the best result since his 7th place on the Vendée Arctic in 2022 and it is his second best ranking on a solo transatlantic in an IMOCA after the Route du Rhum 2018 (7th).

Before leaving Roura said he was setting sail “without pressure, happy to go solo again, to be able to implement the things we learned two up on the TJV”.

But the first hours of the race actually prove mentally perplexing for the Hublot skipper who struggles to find his solo mojo, to get into the attacking solo rhythm and find the best settings for his VPLP foiling design on the 1000 miles close-hauled climb up to the low pressure train.

But once into the big breeze, downwind conditions he gains ten places as his confidence and solo reflexes return.

And he enjoys the fast rides and the intensity, “This is everything I like, the atmosphere on board is great, I can still feel at one with myself, I manage to keep calm when the boat is struggling or when I'm struggling to get it moving. I’m looking, I’m trying different things, we both get along well” he wrote.

But he has ‘a night from hell” after his autopilot fails him at the worst moment tearing his small gennaker... “So I roll up the sail, I sit in the cockpit and the tears quickly come to my eyes. It was THE sail for this race. It’s like going to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with 4x4 tires,” writes the disappointed sailor.

From then on Roura is compromised by the loss of the sail, but there is the acute tiredness of the race as well as the gnawing fatigue felt after a season which “is starting to feel long, we have never experienced a season so long and  intense”. But when he is dreaming of "a good bath and a little splash of red wine by the fire",  Roura never loses sight of his objective ….’the Top 15. " Job done.


I was in shorts until this morning, I changed into the wet weather salopettes just for the photos! It went well because when we started the goal was to finish in the ‘top 15’. There were some great phases but so also some slightly less good phases, technical problems. It was a very interesting transatlantic to see how the boat is in the seaway. It is very difficult at sea, it crashes a lot so there is a lot of water coming on board. And then I lost my little gennaker - it was the workhorse sail of the race so it's a bit of a shame - and I had autopilot problems too. But I'm happy to have been there with my boat , we got along well even though it’s been three days since I slept! This morning, while sailing along the Spanish coast, I caught a squall that came out of nowhere and the boat was knocked on on its side… It was crazy, at 35 – 40 knots! In that respect the Southern Oceans are, by comparison, a holiday! Now we have to get a real set of sails, tuned for the boat, and we will have to do a lot of work this winter. But even if it is hard work it’s a great boat!"

15 - Hublot

Finish time 02:38:59hrs UTC
Elapsed time: 11d 10h 38min 59s
Delta to the winner  2d 10h 35min 11s
Delta to 14th 01h 08min 17s
Average for the theoretical course 3 497.42 nm / 12.73kts
Real course sailed and average: 4 358.70 nm / 15.87 kts