Anne Le Cam: "Jean knows he is very lucky to do it again"
Anne Le Cam, how do you feel two weeks away from the start?
Everything is all right. I feel a little tired because I have many things to do.
Will you be in Les Sables d’Olonne before the start?
I’ll be here during the last week. For the moment, I’m not here because I work in my restaurant and I still have a lot of work.
How did you react when Jean told you he was going for another Vendée Globe?
It will be his fourth round-the-world race and I am very happy for him. He’s happy too, it’s the most important.
When did he tell you he was going for another round?
It has always been clear for Jean: as long as he can do it and he wants to do it, he doesn’t ask himself any questions. You know, he has a great passion for sailing, so he wants to do everything he can to enjoy it.
« He has always given himself the tools to succeed »
Can you describe Jean?
Humanly speaking, he is someone very upright, very sincere, honest in his words, honest in his life and he is unbending. He doesn’t manipulate people. He is also a very determined person; he knows where he’s going and why he’s going there. He has always given himself the tools to succeed. Then, just like everyone else, he has his weaknesses (laugh).
For this Vendée Globe, what will be the most important thing for Jean: the pleasure or the competition?
I think both are very connected. He is truly happy to participate in this edition. He is happy to do it again, happy to sail once again in this race. He understands he is very lucky to do it again because he knows other skippers stayed on the side, like Yann Elies. He is very upset about that. There are good skippers who weren’t able to do it because they couldn’t find a sponsor. He feels very grateful and if he hadn’t been at the start, it would have been a little bit hard... So now, he’s very happy, even if he doesn’t have the biggest budget and the most powerful boat in the fleet. He knows he is very lucky.
So he doesn’t compete in the Vendée to have a token role?
Absolutely not! He has his objectives. You know, Le Cam doesn’t go sailing for no reason. He is above all a competitor. Even if the Vendée Globe is an adventure, it remains a competition anyway. Despite his limited budget, he’s clearly going to give everything he has.
« I completely trust Jean »
How are you going to communicate during the race?
Jean calls whenever he wants. I’ve never called the boat in my entire life. Can you imagine if something bad happens, what I am going to tell him when he is on the other side of the planet? There is no use. It’s the same with the whole family. Anyway, he doesn’t give the boat phone number.
How did you react when you learned about Jean’s capsizing?
I didn’t sleep. But you know, I am not someone who likes drama. I completely trust Jean. I didn’t sleep because I wanted to announce it myself to our girls. I didn’t want them to learn it from the radio. But generally, I am positive all the time. I have one rule that says that when you are not sure about what is going to happen, there is no use to worry. Also, I knew he was on the boat because he was calling us when he capsized. Jean has a lot of composure and reflection and I knew he was going to prove it during this difficult moment. The only doubt was if he had been hit by something in the head. I hate these moments, when everybody panics and there is some kind of madness. It is normal for people to worry in moments like that, though... Yes and I’ve been very touched by all the different attentions. I felt that people worried and there was a big community of “souls”, thinking of Jean and hoping everything was going to end positively.
We can imagine that your reunion was quite moving?
It was above all surreal (laugh). Moments like that cannot be really moving because we were all tired. We met in Puerto Williams. He had gone through an adventure and we, with Michel Olivier his project director, had lived another adventure to join him. All of these events had made the whole thing so surreal that we wondered what was happening! Furthermore, we were already buried in the insurance contract and Jean was wearing Vincent’s (Riou) orange Crocs. Everything was incredible and funny but we were obviously happy to see each other and amused by the situation.