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Sailing Around the World: Alexia Barrier

Not many people can say they have circumnavigated the world, but 41-year-old Nicoise, Alexia Barrier, did it solo, non-stop and without assistance, completing the Vendée Globe in 111 days and 17 hours. Now she is using her achievement to inspire local children and give back to the community.

Photo from Alexia Barrier on Facebook

What is the training regime like leading up to the Vendée Globale?

Before the Vendée Globale I had completed 17 transatlantic races, and had been part of the competitive circuit since I was 15. Over the years I have trained and learned from many instructors, first in Antibes, then I also attended sailing schools in Brittany and La Grande-Motte. The Vendée Globale requires specific preparation and hard work: alongside the physical preparation, I worked with a nutritionist and there is also the mental preparation to manage the stress and fear.

How did it feel to cross the finish line?

Pride and happiness! Really proud to have sailed around the whole world on my own - only the 10th woman to have done so. Not only happy for myself, but for the team who have worked really hard with me over the years, I couldn’t have done it without them. Being reunited with my friends and family was also a really happy moment.

What are the opportunities to learn sailing on the Riviera?

The Côte d’Azur has sailing schools for all ages and all tastes - it’s not just about individual competition like I have done. There are opportunities for those who like competition and those who just want to sail for leisure. You can do anything you want here!

To learn more about Alexia and her extraordinary journey, read the full interview in the upcoming Apr/May/Jun issue.

- Kimberley Mannion

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