Some have salt water running through their veins. Others have competition in their blood. Anne-Claire Le Berre seems to have both!
And she hardly had a choice - she says so herself. With two older brothers who raced, Anne-Claire Le Berre spent her family holidays in the car parks of light sailing competitions. And, inevitably, the native of Plouguerneau, who moved to Brest and now lives in Lorient, started racing at an early age.
It was at the age of 17, in 420, that she exploded, in the company of a certain Marie Riou: in 1999, they won national, European and world titles! The 470 awaited them and for Anne-Claire Le Berre, twelve years of Olympic quest, three POs which were not to be successful. First in the 470, for Athens 2004; then in Yngling, for Beijing 2008; and finally in match-racing, for London 2012. The Games will never be opened to her, but, with her eyes shining, she still confesses a passion for this very special world.
With an engineering degree from the Insa in her pocket, she decided to complete her studies with a course in naval architecture at the same time as she was expecting her first son. She was just over 30 years old and discovered another planet, first working with the Finot-Conq firm, then joining the design office of the Initiatives Coeur team in 2015, whose boat was skippered by Tanguy de Lamotte.
Ocean racing was a revelation, and in the service of another sailor, she plunged into the four-year cycles - which she knows well - of the Vendée Globe, with Tanguy de Lamotte then Sam Davies. She became a design engineer, head of the design office and then technical director of the Initiatives-Cœur team, the only woman to hold such a position in this closed club of high-tech racing.
But Anne-Claire Le Berre's story would not be complete without another revelation: the Mini Transat, which she raced in 2021. Juggling her job, her children, her search for sponsors and her training, she finished 5th in the series.
In 2023, after eight years with Sam Davies' Initiatives-Coeur team, she decided to give in to the call of the race and the open sea and embarked with the Guyot environnement-Team Europe for the second leg of The Ocean Race.