International Women’s Sports Day

January 24 was International Women’s Sports Day. I’m lucky enough to belong to one of the rare sports where women and men race in the same category, on equal terms. It’s a rare mix that makes our sport so beautiful.

My interest for offshore racing began with a love affair, not with the sea, but with a yachtswoman, Florence Arthaud, when I saw her win the Route du Rhum in 1990 on her golden trimaran. I was 13 and found it incredible. I followed her entire race with passion. A few weeks later, my great-uncle took me to the Salon Nautique: my passion for boats was born.

Florence Arthaud was a real role model for me in offshore racing, and that’s where my childhood dream of becoming a sailor began. I think she also paved the way for many women sailors, by setting an example and enabling little girls of the time to imagine themselves in her shoes. Today in sailing, we no longer talk about men or women, but about sailors and their exploits, without differentiating between the sexes.

In France, sport is accessible to both boys and girls from an early age. However, this is not the case everywhere in the world. I’m proud to be an ambassador for PLAY International, which organized activities to promote physical activity and sport for girls on International Women’s Sports Day.