Samantha Davies


  • - Nickname: Sam
  • - British by birth
  • - Breton by adoption
  • - More than 25 transatlantic races
  • - 2 round-the-world tours
  • - Skipper of the Initiatives-Coeur
    since 2017

Sam was born on 23rd August 1974 in Portsmouth, England, into a seafaring family. Her grandfather was a submarine commander. She took her first steps on her parents’ boat. An accomplished sportswoman, Sam swims, runs and cycles and practices yoga and pilates.

An engineering graduate from the University of Cambridge, Sam began her career in competition sailing at the age of 24 with her first round-the-world crewed race (Jules Verne Trophy, 1998). A perfectionist and persevering, she loves speed and holds up well in competition.

Fun-loving and outgoing, Sam loves to share her passion with the public which is obvious in the funny and sometimes somewhat wacky videos she sends during each race.

When on dry land, Sam lives in Trégunc in Brittany, with her six-year-old son Ruben and partner Romain Attanasio, who is also a professional skipper (Famille Mary-Etamie du Lyse).

Samantha in the roxy boat



Winner of the Drheam-Cup

Route du Rhum (withdrawal due to damage)

2nd in the Bermuda 1000 Race


6th in the Transat Jacques Vabre
sailing double-handed with Tanguy de Lamotte


6th in the Volvo ocean Race
a round-the-word crewed race

5th in the Transat Jacques Vabre
sailing double-handed with Tanguy de Lamotte


4th in the Vendée Globe

Paul Meilhat


  • - Nickname: Paulo
  • - Born in Greater Paris
  • - Brestois by adoption
  • - Participating in the Transat Jacques Vabre for the 3rd time
  • - Winner of the Route du Rhum
  • - Co-skipper of Initiatives-Coeur
Paul Meilhat on the SMA

Born on 17th May 1982, Paul Meilhat started his career in Olympic sailing while continuing his Masters at INSEP, the French institute that trains physical education and sports teachers.
He began ocean racing in 2008 on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit and won the Transat AG2R LA MONDIALE in 2014! His success opened the door to IMOCA racing, under the leadership of Michel Desjoyeaux and the SMA group. Unfortunately, his boat was damaged in the Vendée Globe 2016. But since then, this talented and enthusiastic yachtsman has taken the lead and, in 2018, he won every race he entered, including the mythical Route du Rhum.

Needless to say, he is in perfect command of his 60-footer, the sister-ship of Initiatives-Coeur, but without the foils. He has always dreamed of sailing with Sam Davies who has the same determination, self-discipline and taste for speed.

He has come on-board the Initiatives-Coeur with the aim of saving the lives of many children.



Winner of the Route du Rhum

Winner of the Monaco Globes Series
sailing double-handed with Gwénolé Gahinet

Winner of the Bermuda 1000 Race


Winner of the Rolex Fasnet Race
sailing double-handed with Gwénolé Gahinet

2nd in the Transat Jacques Vabre
sailing double-handed with Gwénolé Gahinet


Vendée Globe (withdrawal due to damage)


Winner of the Transat AG2R

Sam’s outfits

Outfit for the tropics

Sailing in the tropics

Waterproof outfit

Waterproof outfit for deck work

Survival suit

Survival suit for extreme conditions

Sam heartwise

Sam heartwise

A yachtswoman with a social conscience, Sam supports the humanitarian association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque which enables children with severe heart defects to be operated on in France when it is impossible to do so in their own country for technical or financial reasons.

Sam heartwise

In 2018, Sam participated in a humanitarian mission in a hospital in Burundi during which she met 7-year-old Mireille, brought to the clinic by her grandmother from the Congo to see the French cardiologist in the hope that Mireille could be operated on.

Sam followed each stage of the little girl’s journey, from her arrival in France to her operation, convalescence and return home with her heart repaired.

The Initiatives-Coeur team

The Initiatives-Coeur team

Sam has all the support she needs to meet her goals.
An enthusiastic close-knit team to look after every aspect of the racing project.
Whether it’s engineering, electronics, outfitting or rigging, they know what they’re doing.

sponsors K-Line Initiatives associate partners Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque