I was born in the French department of Lozere. My working career led me to move to Martigues in the south of France where I have been living for 35 years. I am 56 years old, married, I’m a father and even a grandfather since few months now.
What is the link with the Talisker Challenge ?
There is not that much similarity between my earthly family roots and the vastness of the ocean. Nevertheless, this Lozere French region is made up of a geographical variety mixing valleys, desert plateaus, mountains and forests, and definitely turns out to be particularly wild and remote. Any practitioner of nature sports will immediately mention the rusticity of the places and the jagged mountainous reliefs which do not leave any respite. The similarity, in my opinion, is there. It is probably this demanding environment which is at the origin of my vital need to discover great spaces, of my taste for long efforts, and sometimes for solitude. I think I shall find in the Talisker Challenge a good summary of all these ingredients
I’m a sports-addict, practicing with passion and intensively ultra running such as ultra trail, Ultracycling and mountain biking. I have completed numerous races such as the Grand Raid de la Réunion, also called La diagonale des fous or the Ultra trails Mont Blanc (UTMB), the Tor des Géants endurance trail or the Annapurna Mandala trailEven if the ocean is not my favourite domain, I have been able, at a modest level, to participate in regattas and windsurfing races. Snow sports such as surfing, alpine skiing and mountaineering can also come along with the rowing challenge.
The reason why
My sporting career and the experience I have acquired put me in the good conditions to face this challenge with serenity. Even if I have a lot to learn, I know I can benefit from my good physical condition to attempt it. What really attracts me is to discover this hostile environment, in conditions that impose a very good preparation, which requires patience, humility, rationalisation of efforts but also food supply, sleep and sometimes of emotions. I’m convinced that a panel of sunrises and sunsets promising to be as repetitive as they are different is to be offered to me during the race. All combined with an authentic aquatic life within sight, which I hope will be benevolent
The goal of my adventure
Any participant will probably mention the dream of reaching Antigua, and I am of course one of them. Beyond this main objective, I have had this crossing in mind for several years now. I imagine it as the challenge of a lifetime. Visualising myself on this small boat in the heart of the ocean, à mi course, de 2400kms away from the nearest coastline, is worth living. Without mentioning the physical effort required, there will be for sure moments of adrenaline or of plenitude, of euphoria or of weariness, there will be the wonder of the place I will be in or the fear of it. The goal is definitely to feel and experience all these emotions.
Ne connaissant pas le large, affronter les intempéries et la violence de l’océan sera une découverte. Il faudra bien réagir, avoir le bon geste, se maitriser.
What I will miss the most
This is definitely my family. For this race, we are talking about several weeks of absence just in the period of the year end, usually full of family gatherings and parties and family meals too. Communication will be limited to the essentials and will therefore be very intense moments. And I will also probably miss my cold bowl of milk in the morning.