Sailing. Vendée Globe. Alexia Barrier (4myPlanet): mountaineering, ultra-endurance and ocean racing …
At 40 years of age, Alexia Barrier for her first solo round the world voyage, without assistance and without stopovers, on 8th November 2020.
Alexia Barrier will be at the start of the Vendée Globe on 8th November 2020, with the oldest boat (22 years old) in the IMOCA fleet.40 years old, this sailing professional will also be setting off on her first solo round the world voyage, without assistance and without stopovers for the only means of land transport : a second-hand electric bicycle, the adopted Niçoise is currently preparing for the mountains.or when mountaineering and ultra-endurance cycling are complementary to ocean racing.
“A young woman and the sea…” No, it’s not a feminisation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel. Alexia’s too young. Barrier is younger.” Hoshi’s “Femme à la mer” – prefer the acoustic version, isn’t appropriate either. And it’s also difficult to identify the biotoise sailor, she lives near Antibes, to one of the often shipwrecked heroines in Marie-Eve Sténuit’s “Une femme à la mer”.In fact, Alexia Barrier (40 years old) is not only a woman and the sea.she is also a sailing child… Born in Paris, she started sailing with her parents at the age of 3 in Nice.and a teenager from the Mediterranean – at 15, she was a sailing instructor on the French Riviera.
The power of an IMOCA
Since then, water has flowed under the decks of her various boats: Laser, 6.50, Class40, Figaro 2… And Alexia “ended up” steering a single-handed 60-foot IMOCA boat.” It was in Lorient in 2007, on Philippe Monnet’s boat. He lent it to me to train,” she recalls. When I was 18, my first job to pay for my studies was to be a sailor on a 40 metre boat, so I wasn’t impressed by the power of the sails. However, in 2007, on Philippe’s 60-foot boat, I was able to measure how to work with more methods to avoid making mistakes. I also loved the power of this type of boat and the feeling of speed it gives…”
A “Penguin” waiting for his keel…
Currently, the “Penguin”, the christening name of Alexia’s IMOCA boat, is waiting for a new keel… “4myPlanet”, Catherine Chabaud’s former monohull, launched in 1998, will not be at the start of the “Vendée – Arctic – Les Sables d’Olonne” on 4th July.” With the Route du Rhum (15th) and the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 (25th), “4myPlanet” and I have qualified,” explained Alexia, “and I didn’t have the budget to take part in this last qualifying race, which is so important for many boats and skippers for the 2020 Vendée Globe. »
Optimization for safety
With four successful round the world voyages, including the last two Vendée Globe races (1), Alexia’s “4myPlanet” would have needed a good refit and modernisation.” But we’re just changing the keel for the Vendée Globe, as that’s one of the rules of the rule book,” continued La Biotoise.and we’re going to optimise it for safety and certain onboard systems. There’s no point in overdoing the optimisation. Even if fitting a protective cap on the deck of the boat would be very useful, as when I manoeuvre outside, it’s the washing machine! But the keel and its fitting already cost 150,000 euros, more than half the price of the boat, when I bought it in 2017. »