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Cali, the gentleman

Photo credits: B. Stichelbaut / Sea&Co
Photo credits: B. Stichelbaut / Sea&Co

Arnaud Boissières and his so-called ‘veranda’ rounded off the Vendée Globe in eighth position. It wasn’t quite where the captain had wanted to be, given his desire to improve on his seventh place four years ago. However, our ‘Cali’ isn’t one for bitterness and he has just one wish now: to set sail on the next one!

To listen to this guy for five minutes makes you feel as if you’ve been friends forever. Straight as a die, open and full of humour, ‘Cali’ is a natural charmer. He doesn’t do things in a flashy way; instead he is both sensitive and self-mocking. His journey back up the canal in Les Sables d’Olonne in a James Bond-style suit was so fitting. A veiled message, which speaks volumes about the fun outlook he has on life, despite a total commitment to what he does.

Originally from France’s Arcachon region and having adopted the nearby Les Sables d’Olonne, he has a deep love for the Vendée Globe. In his eyes, this race gives every participant their own victory. From François Gabart to Alessandro Di Benedetto, the ‘Vendée’ is a gift. Yet Arnaud’s second voyage around the world hasn’t been easy: errors in forecasting the weather in the opening days, the escape bid by the leading group, a stampede slightly set back from the front runners and an express Pacific crossing prior to a long stall off Brazil. But no matter, the sailor reckons he’s been privileged and has had an absolute ball. Mister Boissières is the ninth sailor in history to finish the Vendée Globe a second time… so why not a third time? The Deep South has won his heart and he knows that with the AKENA Verandas family, there are still some fine challenges to come.

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