In the Mini Transat, Geneva-based sailor Justine Mettraux crossed the finish line in Pointe-a-Pitre in second place in the early hours of this morning to sail into the history books as the highest achieving female sailor in the history of the event.
Arrivée de Justine Mettraux / 2ème en Série - 2013 Mini Transat
Pointe-a-Pitre, 6 December 2013 – After 22 days, 22 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds, Swiss sailor Justine Mettraux onboard TeamWork crossed the finish line in Pointe-a-Pitre to take second place in the Mini Transat series class. She not only made history becoming the first Swiss female sailor to race across the Atlantic single-handed but also the highest achieving female sailor in the history of the event.
Justine was given a hero’s welcome at the Bas du Fort marina in Pointe-a-Pitre at 03:40 this morning (local time) by her family, friends and sponsor. She had raced 4,075 nautical miles at an average of 7.4 knots and with no onboard radio since the Canary Islands; she had no idea how well she had done until she approached the finish line!
'I haven’t had any news since Lanzarote,' she said as she stepped ashore. 'I knew I was lying third by the Canary Islands and that so far I had sailed well. I was hoping to finish in the top 10 so a second place is absolutely fantastic!'
Justine admitted to feeling incredibly lonely during the long race across the Atlantic: 'When you have no notion of the ranking or the weather forecast you really have to dig deep to stay focussed and in the race. It was pretty challenging psychologically.
'From the strategy point of view, I just sailed as fast as I could and made my decisions based on instinct and the conditions in my patch of ocean.' Very happy and quite moved, there were tears in her eyes as she pulled into the dock. 'Amazing!' she said of her result.
Aymeric Belloir, winner of the series class, who finished 1 day, 13 hours and 43 minutes ahead of Justine, was on the dock to welcome her back alongside Bertrand Delesne who raced the other TeamWork boat in the fleet, finishing fourth in the proto class. As tradition dictates, the two sailors swept Justine into the water in celebration!