Through Marion Travers
Arnaud Gaist has been sailing for 30 years. “I was born in Blois but my family is from La Tranche-sur-Mer”. A passion for the boat as he recently left his job as an eco-construction trainer to devote full time to preparing for participation in the second edition of the GGR (Golden Globe Race).
He will sail on the “Fei of Shanghai”, a boat he bought six years ago with the idea of racing around the world the old fashioned way. “In fact, I had the idea of doing the GGR before I knew it existed! Little publicized, I only learned of its existence a few months before the start of the first edition. I was not ready then, because such a race requires financial, personal and technical preparation“.
“I like to be alone at sea, for a long time”
This used to long-distance sailing could not therefore miss the start of this second edition on September 4, 2022. “What really pleases me is tobe alone at sea. The longer it is, the better it is for me. The longest time I spent at sea was 40 days. There, I leave for 210 days minimum. It excites me but maybe, in the end, I’ll find it long… ”
Arnaud Gaist therefore devotes himself full time to preparing for the GGR. He lives in his boat moored at the Vendée Globe pontoon. “I still have a lot of things to do before the start, but I’m still one of the most advanced skippers”.
With his boat, which will very soon take the name of its main sponsor “Hermes phoning”, he very recently participated in the Grand Pavois in La Rochelle.
“A lot of people came to meet me. They loved seeing the boat, chatting. In fact, people are realizing that this is not a racing boat and can be owned by anyone. This makes the GGR and our adventure more accessible. “
The skipper reminds that the GGR consists of a round the world trip through the three capes, 7 to 9 months of racing, sextant, without weather data.
Make sailing accessible
This meeting with the general public, Arnaud Gaist wishes to make it a regular meeting.
“I want to set up a meeting with the Vendeans. Indeed, the magic of the first Vendée Globe was the accessible aspect of the skippers. I want to reconnect with this direct contact with the Sablais and with all those who would like to meet us, approach, touch and even visit the boat. “
So he launches the “golden sundays”. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., it will welcome all those who wish it for a moment of informal exchanges..
Meet at the Vendée Globe pontoon every Sunday
“The idea is also to enrich myself personally from these discussions. Establishing knowledge, having information, it can always be useful in my preparation for the race. And then I want to give back a popular side to sailing in the sense of making it accessible to all. Twenty years ago, the pontoons of marinas were accessible. Today, this is no longer the case. You need a code. It makes ports rich and it is scandalous in my opinion ”.
Anyone curious about the world of sailing can therefore take a detour via the Vendée Globe pontoon on Sunday afternoon. Arnaud Gaist’s boat is on the right as it descends on the pontoon. It is identified by a GGR banner and bears the number 11.
“Since we are at least two or three competitors of the GGR to live on our boats, I will try to convince my neighbors to participate too in these golden Sundays”.
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Golden Globe Race: skipper Arnaud Gaist meets every Sunday at Les Sablais on the pontoon