Interview: Vendée Globe Rookie Fabrice Amadeo
The phrase ‘all-in’ is commonly used to describe people who commit themselves utterly and completely to their project. For these type of people there are no half measures and only 100 per cent dedication will do.
Rookie Vendée Globe competitor Fabrice Amedeo certainly falls into that category. Amedeo is just about as all-in as it comes, having last year walked away from a 12-year career in journalism in exchange for the challenge and adventure of what he refers to as his ‘Everest of Sailing’.
Rookie is a legitimate description of the 37-year old Parisian in regard to his solo round-the-world racing experience. The first time he set foot on an IMOCA 60 yacht was last year and the boat he stepped on to was the one he had just purchased - sight unseen - for himself.
That is not to say Amedeo is a stranger to shorthanded ocean sailing, however. Quite the contrary in fact; he is a veteran of the Figaro and Class 40 circuits and – as a result of wangling a gig as the yachting correspondent for Le Figaro newspaper – has written three books about the sport of ocean racing and its heroic protagonists.
Amedeo was three when he had his first sail and had just turned 12 when he began racing with his father at Spi Ouest and other IRC regattas in northern France. He and his dad sailed their first Fastnet Race together when Amedeo was just 17.
“That race was my first experience on the wide open sea and I immediately loved it,” he recalled fondly. “My father and I sailed another seven Fastnet Races together after that.”
In 2008 - the year he turned 30 - Amedeo tried his hand at ocean racing for the first time when went on a six-month sabbatical to take part in two major Figaro Class regattas.
He raced the doublehanded Transat AG2R from Concarneau to St Barths with co-skipper Jean Pierre Nicol and the singlehanded La Solitaire du Figaro – both in 33-foot one-design Figaro Bénéteau yachts.
It’s fair to say he finished much nearer the back of the fleet than the front in both these races, but Amedeo emerged undaunted from the experience and hungry for more solo ocean racing miles... READ THE FULL ARTICLE