Dream Come True
Arnaud ‘Cali’ Boissières and Akena Vérandas crossed the Vendee finish line in seventh place, on Sunday, and a teenage dream came true. 20 years ago, 17 year old Arnaud was suffering from leukaemia and, to help him forget the illness and the chemotherapy that he was undergoing, his father took him to watch the start of the first ever Vendée Globe. It was the beginning of a determination to get well and earn his living in the ocean racing world and 10 years later 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 did the event twice more, finishing third in 2001. He has also worked as shore team for Yves Parlier and Catherine Chabaud and was on board Olivier de Kersauson’s Geronimo for his unsuccessful Oryx Cup race. Today, twenty years after the first Vendée Globe and 10 after his first race, Arnaud sailed his old fixed keel boat into Les Sables d¹Olonne, to a tumultuous welcome from tens of thousands of spectators. Pic from Benoit Stitchelbault. More Vendée Globe pix here.