On Monday November 21, in the heart of the Caribbean night, Justine Mettraux finished her Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in seventh place. She completed the transatlantic race in 12 days 13 hours 26 minutes and 35 seconds, 19 hours 50 minutes and 10 seconds after the winner, Thomas Ruyant. Quite a performance, given that this was her first major solo ocean race in an IMOCA class. The Swiss sailor became the first foreigner and the first woman in the IMOCA fleet, confirming her outsider status as she enters the big leagues.
On arrival at the pontoon of honor in front of the Memorial Act, she had this to say:
"This transatlantic race has lived up to my expectations, if not exceeded them! I'm really happy, it's been a great match with the other competitors, and a fine finish here in Guadeloupe, which warms my heart. I'm tired because we've had a lot of squalls over the last few days, really unstable conditions and a lot of sail changes to make. All that, plus the round Guadeloupe race, is really wearing. The boats are tough, and things can quickly get out of hand. I haven't had any major technical problems on board, just minor things or things we had to spare, so there's nothing to worry about. Over the last few days it's been a bit frustrating with the squally weather, I was finding it hard to enjoy myself because I was starting to get tired. But of course there were some great moments of pleasure in this transatlantic race, when conditions became a little easier.
I'm very satisfied with my result. I don't have a lot of IMOCA experience on my own. I finished in a good position. I'm a bit frustrated with the end of the race, where I felt I wasn't sailing as well downwind. But it's cool to have been in the thick of things from the start, to have sailed the way I wanted and taken care of the boat. The four who were chasing each other up front sailed at high intensity, pushing the boats pretty far. This race is very intense, it's not really a vacation! It was interesting, and there were things to play for all along the way. The balance is very positive and I can see that there are still things to work on to make progress and play even more with the guys up front, which is very encouraging."