Veil. Aloïse Retornaz changes helmsman: “We must have the same ambitions” – Vela

Paris Olympics 2024

You had started your new Olympic training (bronze medal with Camille Lecointre in Tokyo) in the 470 medley with Kévin Peponnet: why stop this collaboration?

In fact, we had different plans with Kevin (who is selected for Sail GP season 3…). We talked a lot and it didn’t necessarily match my wishes in terms of time on the 470. Kevin was busy with many other projects. We all made the decision together to stop and move on to another project.

You immediately found another helmsman in the person of Hippolyte Machetti: how did it happen?

We have known each other for a long time with Hippolyte, who was part of the selection for the Tokyo Olympics. He was close to him and his former teammate with Kévin and Jérémie (Mion). We traveled a lot together. We also did our “young years” together. He is someone I have seen sailing the circuit for a long time.

Because he ?

It’s top notch for the guys with the crew of Kévin (Péponnet) and Jérémie (Mion). Hippolyte is a very talented person at the helm. He feels very good on the boat, which has great feelings in general. It’s also nice to discover a new way to work with him.

Were there other possible people?

We cannot start with anyone in this type of project, which is heavy and engaging. You must have the same ambitions, the same level of requirements. He too wanted to start a really strong project with a lot of training and time on the boat. We both have a lot of experience on the 470. It happened quite naturally. Now we have a lot of things to work on because we are not alone on board and we have to continually adapt to our teammates.

For your first regatta together, you are second in the French Olympic week in Hyères before the Medal Race: have you already found the respective places?

It started well and is super tight before the Medal Race so there is still a chance for the top step. It will be an interesting first scenario. We have not really set ourselves a result target for this regatta because here we are really discovering ourselves. As they say: “at the beginning it’s the honeymoon!” (laughs) We managed to fine-tune a few things pretty quickly when we thought that, say, windward, would change us more in terms of organization and we finally found our place on board on that. But it is more of a technical matter: at the start or downwind, we are not yet fully synchronized. Today we went out on the water thinking we should have a good start. We only had one run but we got off to a good start so we were super happy.

Did you sail together before this week in Hyères?

We had made two or three sails a little by chance where we had measured ourselves a little. And there we spent four or five days together before the competition. It’s nice, there, we had a little bit of all conditions. We had never trained together with light airs like today. And sometimes we would say “Sit there instead of there …” It was fun trying to find the best one. We still managed to find a feeling of speed quite quickly. It was important but there is still some work to be done on board, but we still have time for that.

What’s the upcoming program?

We will spend a lot of time in Marseille during the summer period to spend as much time as possible on the waters of the Games during the time they are taking place. Hippolyte lives there, so he’s great and I’ll be going back and forth. The big goals are rather at the end of the year with the world championship in Israel and the European championship in Turkey.

Aloïse Retornaz (Associate, 28 years old, from Brest)

2022: 3rd Princesa Sofia Trophy (with Kevin Peponnet)

2021 (with Camille Lecointre): bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics; European champion; French elite champion

2019 (with Camille Lecointre): Sailor of the Year; victory in the Test Event and the World Cup Final; European champion; French elite champion

2018 (with Camille Lecointre): vice-champion of France Elite

Hippolyte Machetti (helmsman, 25, from Antibes)

2020: 3rd in the French championship Diam 24; SB20 team world champion

2019: 3rd in the final of the Marseille 470 World Cup; SB20 world champion

2018: world youth champion (-25 years old) 470

2017: world youth champion (under 25) 470; young European vice champion 470

2016: 3rd in the 470 European Youth Championship

2014: 420 youth world champion; 420 senior world runners-up; European champion 420; champion of France 420

2013: Eurosaf 420 European Youth Champion

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