He is aiming to be the first sailor ever to finish four back to back Vendée Globe races. He was inspired to take up sailing by a visit to Les Sables d’Olonne to see the start of the first ever race when he was fighting childhood leukaemia. He is one of the real hometown favourites, well known as ‘Cali
Meet Arnaud Boissières
Date of birth 07/20/1972
Place of birth: Talence
Home town: Les Sables d´Olonne
In the beginning.
Where, when, under what circumstances were your first sails? On the Arcachon Basin with my parents. I liked going to the front of the boat and getting wet. From then on I immediately had a taste for sailing. From the start, I said to myself: "This has to be my life".
How or why did your desire to race offshore come about?
I had leukemia when I was a child. During this period my dad took me to Les Sables d'Olonne to watch the start of the first Vendée Globe. This is where my desire to go sailing was born. Then, I had the opportunity to sail with Yves Parlier on board Cacolac d'Aquitaine, then Aquitaine Innovations, in the IMOCA.
From when and why did it become a career?
From the very start I told myself that I wanted this to be my life. Then you do it all the time, as much time as possible, on weekends, vacations and so on, whenever you can. Sometimes you are pretending to study for the bac but in fact, you're going out on the water. And there is a time when you see friends who are sailing full time and so you say to yourself: "why not me?" Then one day I had the opportunity to skipper a cruising catamaran and cross the Atlantic. It was still a transatlantic and that made me enough to buy do my first mini-transatlantic in 1997.
What result or experience that you are most proud of?
I am very proud to have completed three Vendée Globe races in a row. There are only two of us to have done that (along with Armel Le Cléac’h). I'm also very proud of my first Vendée Globe, in 2008. When I left it was a really huge thing. I said to myself, I'm not going to finish it, I'm not going to be cut out for it, I'm not going to like it, I'm going to scare myself. And in fact, yes I scared myself but no that did not put me off! There were 30 of us at the start and I was seventh at the finish.
Your main quality in life? Very enthusiastic
What is your main flaw in life? People say that I am always complaining;). This is where the nickname Cali comes from, for Calimero.
If you were an animal? A dolphin is at one with the sea and it is loved by everyone.
If you were a plant? A ficus (weeping fig) never dies
If you were a movie? Dune, by David Lynch and Lawrence of Arabia.
If you were music? Noir Désir, a man in a hurry
Your colour? Blue
Your eternal dream of happiness? Do the Vendée Globe
Your hero in life? My mother is an example of tenacity and righteousness.
A saying, truism, an aphorism? Any sentence from Olivier de Kersauson
If you weren't an ocean racer, would you be? Sea adventurer
VENDÉE GLOBE 2020
Your ambitions for the VENDÉE GLOBE 2020: Finish it and finish it well
Weak points (what would prevent you from reaching your goal, other than the damage) I know my boat is not the most recent to be built and the competition is tough
Your special weapon: I know this boat by heart. She is a proven, reliable boat and I have complete confidence.
What would a successful VENDÉE GLOBE be for you? Get to the finish after giving everything.
What do you want to share? As always, I want to share the simple joy of being at sea.
In three words, the VENDÉE GLOBE for you is: Extreme, unique, formidable
Three images that are precious from the VENDÉE GLOBE : The start, Cape Horn, finish.
Which skipper inspires you? Titouan Lamazou because he is unusual, nice and has qualities other than being a good sailor. And he built his boat in Arcachon.
Wouldn't you go around the world without? My mom's cannelés (small French vanilla and rum pastries). She makes cannelés for me for each start of the race and I couldn't go without them.
Environmental / scientific/charitable actions on this race. Since my beginnings in ocean racing, I have supported the association Chacun A Son Everest, created by Christine Janin. It’s a cause that touches me especially because I myself have spent time in hospital. I know these children need to dream and I do everything to give them reason to dream and hope.