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Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Armel Tripon

by Vendee Globe 5 Jul 07:53 PDT
Armel Tripon © Vendée Globe

He came to ocean racing from teaching sailing at Glénans, he discovered the sea as others did their religion and dreams of albatross: meet Armel Tripon!

My Journey

Born August 11, 1975
Lives in Nantes

My studies: "It was not with my academic studies that took me furthest......"

My first life: "I quickly started working on boats. I taught sailoing at Glénan (famous French sailing school) and over time discovered all the different facets of boating. "

My first sails: "It was on a Muscadet (24ft pocket cruiser), between Crouesty and Hoedic, in 1992. This moment was the trigger for my lifelong passion. I liked everything about it, being at sea, the feeling of an immense space and freedomg surrounding you, the communion with nature, the sensations at the helm and the feeling of a boat living under you. It's a unique action, you're dealing with something that creates an incredible feeling of freedom. I have encountered the sea as others have encountered religious faith"

My passion for ocean racing: "The oceans arrived gradually, via racing. I was first a sailing instructor at the Glénan, then my sailing waters widened: the coasts, the English Channel, Ireland. Then I ended up going further in races with the Figaro and the Mini-Transat ".

The open sea has become my life project... "The Mini-Transat was a key moment for me, which confirmed my belief that my place in life is on the water. I was good at what I did, I found a balance there, and a reason to live. "

The experience of which I am most proud: "I have trouble with the word pride, but my victory in the Mini, was a key time because it was an rookie race when I finally had very little of experience. I had made good, assured choices, and this victory brought in a sponsor for Le Figaro, which opened the more doors to competition."

My Vendee Globe

My ambitions: "To finish the Vendée Globe is a beautiful ambition".

My weak point (except breakage) which could deprive me of that ambition: "I do not see them......".

My fatal weapon: "I have many, I have several strings to my bow! (laughs) Like all sailors, I have many assets in my armoury, one of which is essential: I have a nice boat! "

My success would be: "Finish the Vendée Globe with the feeling that I got to the very end of my convictions and of myself. I gave it my all and I don't want to come back with regrets ".

I want to share... "I want to share everything that happens with proper sincerity. We do an adventure sport which takes us to places which are hardly explored. That in itself creates dreams for people. I want to be sincere, but it's always tricky to share absolutely everything when you are flat out in race mode. We have to find a happy medium for the best of the competition. The moments of life that I will share will be just and true but without compromising my competitive drive. "

My three words to define it: "Dream, commitment, immensity".

My three images which sum it up: "Inevitably, the finish buoy. I can always see the emotions of the sailors and of the public out there. The finish of Christophe Auguin, the winner in 1997, had a lot of resonance. And then these images of the big south, the seascapes of loneliness and solitude, the albatrosses and the huge waves. All of this attracts me. "

The skippers who inspire me: "I really liked what Philippe Poupon did and the way he did it and his way of managing a race. Poupon and you see his serenity, his methodical and very personal approach, a little reserved and detatched in his management. He gave great importance to navigation, weather management, placement on the water. And I also really liked Laurent Bourgnon, another different school.

I wouldn't go around the world without... "Without books! I'll take a some digital stuff, but I love the contact with the paper too much to do without it. What will I take? I still have time to choose.

For the environment... "There is no specific approach for the Vendée Globe, my sponsors L'Occitane has supported the Plastique Odyssée association for two years".

From Tack to Tack

Your main quality: "Commitment"
Your fault: "You have to ask my wife... I'm a loner".
If you were an animal: "An albatross"
If you were a plant: "An oak"
If you were a film: "Children of Paradise"
If you were a music: "Mozart's Requiem"
Your book: "L'usage du Monde", The travelogue of Nicolas Bouvier.
Your color: "Blue"
The happiness you dream of: "Go sailboat racing for as as long as possible"
Your hero in life: "More than a hero, a great image: Nelson Mandela"
Your aphorism: "You have no chance: seize it! "
If you weren't an ocean racer: "I would probably be a mountaineer, a mountain dweller".

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