Happy to have found some wind again while heading towards Ecuador, Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) Returns for AFP to this very particular Vendée Globe, marked by the rescue of Kevin Escoffier: "You cry scared and you cry with laughter, "he confided on Thursday.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: "A quarter of an hour ago, I was not terrible, and now I'm much better because the wind has picked up! Every day if you want you have something new, don't is never quiet. Yesterday (Wednesday) I went up to the masthead to put on the J2 (sail) that I had repaired. Last night it was good, the wind was relatively stable. And this morning when I woke up, oh la la Finally when I wake up ... I haven't slept all night. There, no more wind at all ".
Q: It's been four years since you climbed the top of the mast ...
A: "Even eight years. That's where it's terrible, when you're at the port, you say to yourself: change the J2 on your own, repair it, send it back, it's impossible. And in fact when the problem arrives and you're in front of the thing, and well you say to yourself: anyway, you have to go. It's incredible what we manage to do, incredible! You would never imagine that you are capable of doing things alike. And yes! When you're in front of the thing and you're all alone, you can't cry in your mother's skirts! It's like a school of life, that's for sure. never liked school much but hey, there are times that are still very difficult ".
Q: Among the very difficult times was the rescue of Kevin Escoffier.
A: "These are moments that are not necessarily ... pleasant, not necessarily easy to live with. Once again, you go from drama to, when you find it, to total happiness. It is again this contrast. which is incredible. You cry with fear and you cry with laughter, these are extremes. More for the savior than for the saved. He knows he is alive, he is in his raft. I don't know. I see him in his raft, I moved aside, I came back to the point where I had left him and there was no one left. It was a little ... not very comfortable intellectually, we will say ".
Q: How did you experience the moment Kevin Escoffier left?
A: "Technically it's simple, crac he puts on his survival suit, he jumps in the water, we have the military boat next to it. You have the guys in their zodiac arriving, then they head off and I'm getting out of it! After that feels weird. Because you get used to it anyway, a week in doubles. Before you're solo, you're in your thing, after you go in doubles it's different. And after paf! You throw the other in the water and you get back on your feet ".
Q: Is the Vendée Globe the hardest you've experienced?
A: "Yeah it's possible. Yes, that's for sure. Considering the worries, the twists and turns. And on the other hand on the descent (of the Atlantic), it's the most extraordinary. After the big depression in the northern hemisphere, I was in front of Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson's boat), I was first in the general classification. Imagine, with my boat! There are some really incredible stories in this Vendée Globe " .
Q: Do you manage to give yourself small pleasures?
R: "Pfiou ... There I get out of three or four hours of calm in the sea with no wind! You are going crazy! And then the wind comes in, I am walking at 12 knots, imagine you! I was walking at 2 knots 20 minutes ago. Obviously once again it's the contrast that gives pleasure. It's a bit stupid, eh. I don't know if it's stupid by the way. I'm going to make myself a little coffee, there quiet , I'm going to adjust my sails a little better. And I'm going to appreciate the fact that I restarted. Because it was too hard. "
Q: Are there things that you are missing?
A: "I have just about everything I need, it's the people that I miss. Now I'm sure I'm going around in circles, the perimeter is quite small let's say! It's true only trees, greenery, I like it. There it is a little carbon, white and black, like the Vendée Globe ".
Interview by Sabine COLPART
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