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Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA)

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© Yvan Zedda/Team Foncia


Name Michel Desjoyeaux
Nation FRA
Date of Birth 16 July 1965
Place of Birth Concarneua, FRA

To win the Vendée Globe once is an incredible achievement but to do so twice is simply outstanding. After a spell on the giant trimaran circuit, 'Le Professeur' Michel Desjoyeaux, returned to monohulls and the event that made his name eight years ago.

Low cloud and boiling seas welcomed the 30 solo sailors on 9 November 2008 and Desjoyeaux set the tone, utilising the maximum sail configuration to make early headway with the wind on the nose. However, less than 12 hours into the race, disaster struck and Desjoyeaux was forced to turn back and return to port because a leaking ballast tank cover had gradually flooded his engine compartment causing electrical problems. A lightning pit stop by the shore crew and Desjoyeaux was back on the race course with a 360 mile, 41 hour deficit on the leaders. Suffering from a different weather pattern to the leaders, the deficit increased to 670 miles before Desjoyeaux began to claw back the miles. After one month of racing he was up to sixth position and less than 100 miles from the leading boat.

On 16 December there was a double celebration. After a peak speed of 30.44 knots, Desjoyeaux covered 466.6 miles in 24 hours and in the same day took the overall lead in the race. Shortly after the New Year, on 5 January 2009, Desjoyeaux rounded Cape Horn in squalls of 35-40 knots, with his advantage extended to over 100 miles. From then, there was no stopping this incredible talent. Sailing more than 28,000 miles at an average speed of 13.2

IMOCA 60 - Foncia (solo)

1 - 2008-2009 Vendée Globe - 84 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes & 8 seconds, average speed 13.2 knots, distance approx 28,000nm - Nov 2008-Feb 2009

IMOCA 60 - Foncia (crew)

2 - Record SNSM, Saint Nazaire, FRA - Jun 2009
2 - Grand Prix Petit Navire, FRA - May 2009

Figaro - Foncia - (solo)

5 - Solitaire du Figaro, FRA - Aug 2009

Décision 35 - Foncia (crew)

1 - Bol d'Or Mirabaud 2009, FRA - June 2009


What inspired you to take up sailing?

I had no chance. I was born in a shipyard that is my parent's company. Then home, school at home, the yard, the sea and the beach were in the same place so this is all my life!

What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?

I was born in the middle of boats so I don't remember! Maybe the boat of parents' client!

Name your first sailing club

Societe Nautique de Concarneau

What was the first event you competed in and in what year?

What do you consider as an event? When you are 12 years old, one night at sea is already a big event!

What are you personal sailing career highlights?

1st - Vendée Globe 2 times
1st - Figaro 3 times (7 times on the podium in 11 events particpated in)
1st - Route du Rhum
1st - Ostar

What are your future sailing goals?

Tomorrow is another day for a new experience and opportunity to learn more.

Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?

My parents of course!
"Do what you want but do it well"

Who is your sailing hero?

Philippe Poupon - a way of life match with efficiency

What other sports do you enjoy?

Mechanical sports such as F1 and Rally, also Rugby

What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?

For sure, I'm already proud to be considered as this. It represents passion and a big amount of work, and a nice career which I hope is not finished!

As an acknowledgement of results where a man goes up to himself!

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