« If I hadn’t become a professional skipper, I think I would have worked in the field of meteorology. It’s just fascinating », explains François as he is finishing his weather training session in Port-La-Forêt, along with star skippers like Le Cam, Riou, Dick and many others… The MACIF 60-foot monohull skipper, 29, seems perfectly at ease among great skippers. « As a kid, I looked up to them, I just can’t believe I will eventually be at the start of the Vendée Globe as a professional. As far as my approach of yacht racing is concerned, I feel close to Michel Desjoyeaux. What I find great in the world of offshore sailing is how much people share. That is why, even though I have no experience in solo sailing around the world, I don’t feel like I’m entering an unknown territory. »
With one month to go before the start of the race, François Gabart says he is serene: « I feel good, we’re on schedule and everything is fine with the yacht. Thanks to my training sessions in Port-La-Forêt, I know where I stand. And most of all, I’m looking forward to this month leading to the start. I know I’m going to enjoy that period so much, it’s going to be complete happiness from the beginning to the end! ».
There’s nothing like the French skipper’s words to put you in a good mood. Just like Nicolas-Jean, the main character in « La Désirade », François Gabart’s passion for the oceans is refreshing: « The Vendée Globe is the ideal race because it features everything we sail for: regatta, a unique environment, epic moments, emotions, extreme sensations, fascination and strategy… But make no mistake, I am aware there will be tough moments, I have doubts and of course I ask myself many questions.» « La Désirade » will never be too far away from Gabart’s bunk during the race, as a way to recharge batteries before sailing around the world like a freebooter…