The 7th boat to finish the Vendée Globe arrives in Les Sables d¹Olonne on Sunday
On Sunday afternoon (22 February) Arnaud Boissieres – skipper of Akena Verandas – crossed the finish line of the Vendee in seventh.
At the age of seventeen, he was present at the start of the first Vendee in 1989. Arnaud had taken the trip to Les Sables d¹Olonne to see the first Vendee heroes, and forget the leukaemia that had been discovered six months earlier.
After two and a half years of chemotherapy, Arnaud Boissieres decided to earn his living from his passion for the sea. Cali raced in the 1999 Mini Transat, when terrible conditions decimated the fleet. His boat was dismasted, but he completed the race after a pit stop in France. He raced twice subsequently, finishing third in 2001.
He also worked with Yves Parlier and Catherine Chabaud, and sailed with Olivier de Kersauson on his Oryx round the world race attempt. Today, twenty years after the first Vendee Globe, his life has returned full circle to Les Sables d¹Olonne.
Apart from a ripped solent, a broken wind generator and a satellite dome ripped off in the Pacific, the skipper did not suffer any major damage, in spite of going through some severe storms, including one at Cape Horn, which he rounded for the first time on 16 January.
After a long struggle with Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson, Arnaud Boissieres got left behind in the climb back up the Atlantic, where he was handicapped by his torn solent. After a final North Atlantic low on 6 February, Cali completed his Vendee Globe in light airs in the Bay of Biscay. It was a gentle finish, mirroring the character of the skipper, whose quiet determination ensured that the project ran smoothly from beginning to the end.