Romain Attanasio

Nothing predisposed Romain Attanasio to become a sailor, since he was born into a family of high-level skiers, from the Hautes-Alpes. As a child, he nevertheless spent all his holidays with a great uncle in Port Navalo, who took him to sea aboard his Poker, a small family cruiser from the 70s. The destinations back then were not very far away: Houat, Hoedic, Belle Ile-en-Mer, the Gulf of Morbihan.

He's hooked by sailing. As a teenager, Romain has a real passion for major ocean races, followed from his room at boarding school in Compiègne. He joins a local sailing dinghy club and then, against all the odds, secures a place on a special course for athletically gifted pupils in La Baule, on a Laser. In the space of one school year, he discovers a real talent for sailing.

He manages to set up a Mini 6.50 project, but in 1999 a huge storm hits the Bay of Biscay and his first major ocean race experience - the Mini Transat - is frightening to say the least: the boat flips over and he is saved in extremis by a cargo ship, then airlifted by helicopter and repatriated to Spain and then France.

With no clothes, no ID and a dubious air, "I land at Orly in flip-flops and a tracksuit, with a garbage bag in my hand... Today, I'd be arrested by the police with such a look!"

Failed? Not exactly, as his then partner found the experience of the race start exciting and gave him the means to continue sailing on a Figaro Bénéteau. Romain joins the Pôle Finistère training cluster at Port-La-Forêt, the fast track for a Figaro sailor. He becomes one of its mainstays, racking up some excellent results in La Solitaire du Figaro and the Transat AG2R. He goes on to complete ten seasons on the circuit, well as sailing on the best multihulls of the time, the Orma trimarans: first with Michel Desjoyeaux on Géant, then with Franck Cammas on Groupama. A skilled strategist, he is often hired as a navigator.

After completing his first circumnavigation of the world in the Vendée Globe 2016-17 in 110 days, Romain chooses to have another crack at it four years later on Fabrice Amedeo's former IMOCA (Gitana80 designed for Loïck Peyron). He finishes the single-handed race round-the-world in 14th in 90 days. 

A few weeks after crossing the Vendée Globe finish line, Romain announces the purchase of Boris Herrmann's Malizia, a powerful and high-performance foiler, as well as the arrival of Fortinet, a company specialising in cyber security, at his side. With Best Western as a loyal partner too, Romain can now set his sights on the Vendée Globe 2024 with confidence and high hopes.

In 2021, despite still learning the ropes on his new boat, the skipper takes part in the IMOCA GLOBE SERIES events and finishes with a very solid 7th place in the Transat Jacques Vabre with his good friend, Sébastien Marsset.

For 2022, Romain will participate in three of the four championship events and will take on multiple sea passages to introduce the IMOCA world to the four corners of the globe thanks to his sponsor Fortinet.

Sailing Highlights

2022 : Vendée Arctique - 17th
2021 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 7th
Défi Azimut - 9th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 6th
: Vendée Globe - 14th (90d 02h 46m 02s)
2020 : Défi Azimut - 15th
2019 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 15th
Défi Azimut - 19th
2018 : Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - 13th
Dhream Cup - 5th
Transat AG2R - 13th
2017 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 13th with Aurélien Ducroz
2016 : Vendée Globe - 15th
2015 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 9th with Louis Burton
2014 : Transat AG2R - 4th with Sam Davies
2004 : Transat AG2R - 3rd with Nicolas Béranger
1999 : Mini-transat 6.50 - Withdrawal