Growing up sailing on Lake Geneva, Laurane Mettraux was unveiled as part of Switzerland’s five-strong female athlete contingent for Season 3 after taking part in trials earlier this year. Having raced in Plymouth, Copenhagen and Saint-Tropez, where she took on the second grinder position, Mettraux returns to race in Cádiz. Ahead of the Spain Sail Grand Prix presented by NEAR, we catch up with Mettraux to talk career highlights, sailing icons, and scariest moments at sea.
Q: How did you first get into sailing?
A: I’ve been sailing since I was a child with my family, cruising with my brothers and sisters on Lake Geneva.
Q: What is your career highlight so far?
A: Taking first place in the 2018 and 2019 at the amateur ranking at the Tour de France à la voile with the CER. The project was started by my brother and sister Nelson and Elodie. I sailed with Victor Casas, Matthieu Ravussin and Mathieu Cadei. We worked very hard and it paid off. It was great to accomplish this as a team.
Q: Who is your sailing icon and why?
A: Tracy Edwards. Maiden performed incredibly at the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. Tracy should be an example for every sailor and an inspiration for everyone. She was able to prove that women are able to achieve unbelievable things even when no one is trusting the process.
Q: Tell us about your scariest sailing moment?
A: It has to be sailing in a big storm. We had 60 knots of wind on a D35 during the Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2019 on Lake Geneva. We started to go backwards. I remember my brother calling to warn that the conditions were going to toughen up.
Q: What is your favorite SailGP race location and why?
A: Probably Copenhagen in August. Even without wind for two days it was really nice to sail there. I was also super happy with my new role on board (the second grinder). It is very interesting to learn and be more on the speed loop.
Q: What is your top ambition for Season 3?
A: To be able to sail well in all conditions.
Q: Best SailGP moment so far?
A: It was in Plymouth when the doctor told me I could sail again after sustaining an injury [in Bermuda].
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional sailor?
A: The question doesn’t come up - but probably something still to do with water!
Q: Favorite thing about SailGP?
A: Easy... the sailing!