Work before sailing
I grew up in the Pyrénees, by then I really thought I was going to be a ski instructor for the foreseeable future…
But as I move to Montpellier to carry on my studies at the Montpellier Business School, I reconnect with the sea through the sailing association of my school. I start working as a skipper for student cruises.
In 2013, I graduate from MBS and from then on, all the time I do not spend working for UNDP in different countries, I spend it working as a skipper on charter boats, or a tech guy for charter companies…etc.
Refitting Ann Alé
In 2017, I quit the UN and spent 6 months disassembling and putting back together my first boat, a 26ft sailing antique, the Peugeot 205 of the seas: Ann Alé. I live the life of a cruiser, living aboard my own boat was amazing, and I enjoy every second of it. Especially since I spend thousands of hours refitting what became my floating home.
Since then, I’ve taken it across the Atlantic and spent 2 seasons exploring the islands of the Caribbean.
Before being a traveler, I’m a skipper, I sail for a living, and this takes me on big boats, touring the islands, or on racing boats, fighting hard on the water to be faster.
But I wouldn’t feel complete without being involved in other faces of sailing. I have got professional certification as a skipper, so I can work on the water, taking out big boats, 50 or 60 footers, which are true sailing villas. Working as a skipper on a charter boat here and there allows me to keep traveling and pursue my dream.
Picking up speed
And what if there was more than cruising? As much as I loved my boat, it had the average speed of a person walking. I wanted to sail fast and far away. That’s why I started joining big regattas, to gain experience, and meet sailors involved in boat racing. I joined some of the most famous big boat regattas, but I still had to find my spot in the offshore racing world.
Selling Ann Alé
After a bit more than two years sailing with my small boat, I had the chance to be hired as first mate for the Clipper Round the World Race, an amateur race around the globe on 70ft racing monohulls. So, as all good things have to come to an end, I put my boat for sale… It was a difficult thing to do, since I had spent so much time and money to refit her, and also because we shared so many memories together on the water.
But a sailing boat should sail, not stay put in a marina, and the race is going to take me away for at least 16 months. So off I was, for a new challenge, and another completely different type of sailing.
Training In the UK
After leaving in summer for two years, or in the Caribbean or in the Med, arrive in the UK at the end of the winter came with a bit of a shock.
But the program was packed, getting to know the Clipper 70’s, learning the training syllabus, meet my skipper, my crew… exhausting, but a whole new world for me.
After 3 months of training and preparing the boat, it was time to start the race. We started on the 1st of September from London, the first race was harsh on our fresh crew, and exiting the channel in 25 to 30kts upwind proved to be bumpy and wet. But soon, the wind veered and we logged some memorable surfs at almost 30kts passing Cap Finistere on our way to Portugal.
Racing around the world
Then it was Punta del Este, Cape Town, Australia… my team (Ha Long Bay Vietnam), Josh, my skipper and myself did well, to everyone surprise since our racing background was pretty light.
From the dead calms of the doldrums to the massive waves and winds of the Southern Ocean, we climbed our way through the scoring board, to sit in second position overall.
My next adventure
But life at its bumps along the way, and the spread of the coronavirus and the commotion it created around the globe forced the race committee of the Clipper Race to suspend the race for 10 months.
Maybe this is just an opportunity to catch up on my editing, and work on my next project, the Mini Transat Race, which is a single-handed race across the Atlantic on the smallest offshore racing yacht: the Mini 6.50. As I train for the start of the Mini Transat in 2021, I am also looking for sponsors to help me carry out this project, learn more about the race project here: