Taking part in three consecutive Vendée Globe races isn’t something that anyone can do. Very few can claim to have done this. That is however what Arnaud Boissières will be doing in November 2016. That in itself is quite some achievement for the sailor from Arcachon, who has can been completely adopted by the general public in Les Sables d’Olonne who can remember him joking around when he completed the 2008/2009 edition of the solo round the world race.
He was right to have some fun: aboard an old boat with a fixed keel, Cali managed to keep up for a long time with the new generation boats and took 7th place on his first round the world attempt. Quite an achievement for the sailor with the smiling eyes, who is always upbeat, but who is clearly hugely motivated. The proof. He did almost as well aboard Akéna Vérandas in 2013 (8th) and once again Arnaud Boissières was to be one of the public’s favourites, not only because of his talent as a racer, but also because of his enjoyment of being at sea, which he conveyed so well.
Having made it to the podium of the Mini Transat – the race that has crazy young sailors racing across the Atlantic on cockleshells measuring merely 6.5m (he made it to the podium in 2001) – and having overcome a serious illness during his adolescence, Arnaud could hardly have imagined such a career in the IMOCA class. But one day, his Dad took him down to meet the sailing heroes in Les Sables d’Olonne… and the passion was born. It has remained with him ever since. Once again, this time Cali had to fight to find partners, prepare his boat with a small team and yet he still expresses the enthusiasm of a beginner. Aboard his latest monohull, we are going to have to watch him, with all his little jokes, his frankness and his eternal optimism. Will he do better than seventh? That is not going to be easy, when we see that there are six brand new boats lining up. But Arnaud has already shown that when he is alone aboard a 60-foot boat, nothing is impossible. And he has acquired a wealth of experience on IMOCAs. Aboard the former Paprec-Virbac 2, he will be one to watch.