“Loneliness has never been a need for me” | EUROtoday

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Ehuddled in his parka, SVR-branded hat on his head, he will get out of his press officer's pink Mini Cooper. François Gabart smiles regardless of the polar chilly at first of the yr, he has seen others. Polite, he apologizes for the delay. One hand in his blond locks, the azure gaze stretched in direction of our photographer's lens, and presto, there he is able to take the break. Reflex.

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The sailor with the best son-in-law physique is selling the documentary Gabart. When successful is now not sufficient*, at the moment broadcast on Canal+. For 4 years, the king of solo racing opened his world to director Elsa Blayau. A movie the place he hides nothing of the struggles and storms he went by way of, after the victories.

READ ALSO Corinne Maier: “It’s up to women to make things happen!” » At 40, after we smashed all of the information (youngest winner within the historical past of the Vendée Globe at 29, hitherto unmatched winner of a solo around the world journey in 42 days, at 34, and many others.), that’s there something left to do? The man nicknamed “the little Mozart of the seas” is abandoning – quickly, it appears – the solo journey. For this father, is that this the beginning of an early retirement in his adopted Brittany?

François the large brother

No, Gabart has not mentioned his final phrase. His head is stuffed with desires and initiatives. On the sporting facet, the competitor “very much wants” to do group races. He is aiming for the Jules-Verne trophy – a crusing journey across the planet with out stopovers or help – with Tom Laperche, on the SVR-Lazartigue trimaran, and the Vendée Globe subsequent winter. With his foal, “Tom”, 26 years outdated, he crossed the Atlantic for the Jacques-Vabre transatlantic race in 2021, one thing to strengthen ties. Like a giant brother, he fortunately handed the helm to his former trainee who grew to become winner of the 2022 Figaro solitaire. A transmission “as nice as it is natural,” he says.

It is subsequently by proxy that the skipper experiences the Arkéa Ultim Challenge, and with out frustration – he assures – that he left his multihull, Sunday January 7, within the harbor of Brest. At the time of our assembly, the person offered as a brand new hope in crusing is within the lead (he has since needed to abandon the race following injury). Gabart may be very happy with his foal, he refrains from taking a look at his telephone to reply his technical questions. The ex-router, climate fanatic, is aware of that at sea we’re “always faced with unforeseen events”.

At some level, it's good to go searching and share.

Where does this need to transmit come from, uncommon sufficient to be highlighted amongst high-level athletes? Age? Fatherhood ? “Going around the world makes you get older a little, and so does being a dad…” Then there may be the instance of the “Professor”, Michel Desjoyeaux, who took him below his wing in 2011 for his first world tour. on the event of the Barcelona World Race.

READ ALSO Christophe Dechavanne: “I never bite first” The one who began racing “very little” on an Optimist, formed by his father within the household lounge, right now asks himself the query of “meaning”. Hence the title of the doc of which he’s the hero: “When winning is no longer enough”. Competition, sure, superb, however after that? “The search for excellence is something very egocentric,” he analyzes. At some level, it's good to go searching you somewhat, to share, to assist others study. » Gabart needs to reside his “sailor’s job” otherwise. And, for him, a graduate of an engineering faculty, this essentially includes method, innovation, creation.

Boats that fly

“The job of a sailor is not just about being on a boat, it’s a job as an entrepreneur,” he believes. It’s an enterprise to do an ocean racing mission,” he explains. On the enterprise facet, after months of problem following the withdrawal of his historic sponsor, Macif – essentially the most troublesome second of his profession – the enterprise chief needed to resolve to put off 10% of the workers of Mer Concept, his firm. based mostly in Concarneau. François Gabart, who has skilled extra defeats than victories – he needs to level out – will not be the sort to surrender: “I don’t know if it’s thanks to this little boat, but I claim the being optimistic! » Every failure is for him a new opportunity, a way to reinvent himself.

HIS IDEAL SUNDAY: A breakfast that goes on forever, family walks, a bit of surfing or wing-foiling… And in the summer, on the beach, with friends, impromptu picnics until sunset. “Enough to stock up on energy to tackle the week! »

“Whatever happens is an advantage for us,” is his mantra, written on one of many partitions of his firm. From now on, he needs to “imagine boats aligned with [s]es values”. And the entrepreneur, though very Cartesian, doesn’t deny himself any dream: boats that fly, motorboats that devour much less, freight aboard cargo ships powered 100% by sail…

There are a lot of nice issues to do in France!

“We are living in an exciting time! he enthuses, talking about the environmental challenges that await us. We are at a pivotal moment in humanity, a moment where we will find the solution. Or not. » Of course, he had some “disappointments”, he who believed, in 2017, within the Macron-Hulot duo. But he nonetheless has hope, it’s a accountability that he imposes on himself, if just for his kids: “There are a lot of lovely issues to do in France! »

Its eco-consciousness solely turns into extra evident over time. She was born on a ship when, at 6 years outdated, the Charentais crossed the Atlantic together with her mother and father and her two sisters. A year-long initiatory journey that formed the boy: “On a ship, we have now vitality autonomy, assets are restricted, we understand that we generate waste, we perceive that the planet is spherical… »

Gabart is maybe essentially the most earthly and least solitary of sailors. Setting sail was by no means an escape for him, nor a misanthropic need. “Loneliness has by no means been a necessity for me, nor a hindrance. I'm tremendous completely satisfied on the finish of a solo race to seek out my family members, these I really like, to seek out our firm once more, even when I don't agree with all the pieces. But general, we're fortunate! » Words of optimist.

*Available on MyCanal.