From French country-side to professional sailing
I believe there is not only one path for achieving dreams. The most important thing is to not lose sight of them. Hard work, dedication and belief in yourself will lead you down the right track. And soon those dreams will turn into goals and you will achieve them. And here is a small example why:
Growing up I didn’t spend my weekend in an optimist but rather playing tennis and handball.
When I finally got introduced to sailing I grew a real passion for the sport: I started yacht racing, I became a Naval architect and moved to Auckland New Zealand to study a Master of Engineering. Not a bad start? Yea that’s true. But what I really wanted to do was to be a professional sailor and race around the world.
That might seem like a long shot not having done the traditional dinghy sailing. But here is the thing: When I want to do something, I get out there and get it done!
So while in Auckland I was racing up to 4 days a week from match racing to fleet racing and completed some big offshore races. Playing catch up to increase my sailing knowledge. My aim was to learn as much as possible, with these experienced kiwi sailors.
At the same time, I was working in the design team of Emirates Team New Zealand for the 34th America’s Cup. Seeing those guys competing at the highest level of our sport, always looking to improve the boat speed, their own performances and the high level of professionalism in the team was so inspiring. To this day this team keep inspiring me and is one of my reference.
At the end of 2013, I got a phone call from Team SCA asking me to join their training squad in Lanzarote for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. 6 months later I became reserve ‘under 30’ crew member for Team SCA, and also got hired by Volvo Ocean Race organisation to on the shore team, maintaining the fleet of one-design Volvo 65.
3 years later, I just finished my first season in the elite offshore single-handed Figaro circuit and sailed The Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro. And it was just amazing. For sure it was a big steep learning curve. But isn’t it the best way to learn? Putting ourselves outside our comfort zone? As I am now preparing the 2017 season in the Figaro I can’t wait to get back out there and put in application all the things I learnt in this first year on the circuit and transform that into performance. I am also keeping a firm eye on the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race development. Mixed –crew rule I hear… Bring it on!! I am back at the gym training hard and ready to go.