twenty minutes with bilou
He’s one of the most beloved sailors in France, chased down for autographs by teenaged girls as he walks down the dock. His relationship with sponsor Veolia Environnement, a massive multinational environmental logistics company, is strong enough to fund not only his Open 60 operation, but also the multimillion dollar crewed round-the-world campaign in the Multi One Design 70 that was announced just last week. He’s an environmental crusader, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and at the moment, it’s looking like Roland Jourdain will win the IMOCA 60 Class in the Route Du Rhum for the second straight time.
Literally dozens of spectator boats fought to get near him during the start of the RdR just to chant his childhood nickname "Bilou, Bilou, Bilou" as he set off to catch his fleet after a fouled kite saw him with a 5 minute deficit on the rest of the Open 60s. And we grabbed him the day before to chat about his Open 60, his stance on the environment, his thoughts on a more international Open 60 scene, and how often he reads Sailing Anarchy. Check out one of the true stars of solo ocean racing below.