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Florence Arthaud

Florence ArthaudFlorence Arthaud , nicknamed the Little Bride of the Atlantic was born on October 28th, 1957 in Boulogne-Billancourt and died on March 9th, 2015 in Villa Castelli, Argentina. She was a French sailor, the first woman to win the Route du Rhum, in 1990.

Florence Arthaud (28 October 1957 - 9 March 2015) was the daughter of Jacques Arthaud, director of the Arthaud publishing house.

At age 17, she was in a serious car accident, which resulted in paralysis. She was hospitalized for six months and her full recovery took two years.

She had a daughter with Loic Lingois, a French professional sailor. In 1989, she recorded a song, "Flo", with Pierre Bachelet about her sailing.

In 1990, she won the Route du Rhum for Pierre1 then in 1997, she won the Transpacific with Bruno Peyron. She also sailed in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race on board Charles Jourdan.

In 1990, Arthaud established a new world record for the fastest solo crossing of the North Atlantic, beating the previous record by two days.

In 2014, she took part in Sea Shepherd's "GrindStop" campaign against pilot-whale whaling in the Faroe Islands.

A navigator, Florence Arthaud, the daughter of Jacques Arthaud, director of the Grenoble publishing house Arthaud during the 1970s, who notably edited the stories of Bernard Moitessier and Eric Tabarly.

Florence ArthaudShe began to sail at a very young age with her brother Jean-Marie and her father - she became even more experienced at the Antibes sailing club.

In 1974, at the age of seventeen, Florence Arthaud was the victim of a serious car accident, resulting in a coma and paralysis. She stayed six months in the hospital, then took two years to fully recover with the help of Father Michel Jaouen.

During her convalescence, she made her first crossing of the Atlantic at the age of eighteen with Jean-Claude Parisis.

Florence Arthaud took part in the Route du Rhum in its first edition, held in 1978, and became ranked 11th.

In a race in 1986, she changed routes to assist Loic Caradec. She was to find his Royale catamaran, but found it without a trace of the sailor.

Real estate developer Christian Garrel was financing the construction of a trimaran Pierre 1 er de Serbia for her.

In August 1990, she tackled the record for crossing the North Atlantic in solo sailing , held by Bruno Peyron. In 9 days 21 hours and 42 minutes, she improves performance by almost two days.

In November of the same year, she won the Route du Rhum, joining Pointe-à-Pitre after 14 days 10 hours and 10 minutes.

However, she was unable to have that new trimaran built, due to the property crisis from which her sponsor was suffering .

In 1997, Arthaud won the Transpacific as a teammate for Bruno Peyron and competed in the Solitaire du Figaro 13.

In 2002, she wanted to tackle the single-handed round-the-world record and tried to raise funds to buy the trimaran Sport-Elec, on which Olivier de Kersauson raced.

Florence ArthaudIn 2004, she took part in the Lorient-Saint-Barth double-handed transatlantic race with Lionel Pean.

She runs with Luc Poupon, the brother of Philippe Poupon , they participate, in 2006, in the Odyssey Cannes - Istanbul on Beneteau Figaro II monotype.

The following year, they competed in the Transatlantic - Jacques-Vabre in a Class40. In 2010, for the twentieth anniversary of her victory, she could not find a sponsor:

"I was a little disgusted. They had reopened the race for tall ships. It was the 20th anniversary of my victory and I intended to participate on a huge 30 meter trimaran named Oman."

"But I did not manage to get this boat, they preferred to give it to a man ( Sidney Gavignet who abandoned the boat due to damage). It definitely disgusted me and I said to myself - "well, I quit!" .

In 1993, she gave birth to Marie, born from her affair with Loic Lingois, a professional navigator born in 1966.

In 2005, she married Eric Charpentier, but the union broke down very quickly. She was the companion of the navigator Philippe Monnet.

In her autobiography, published in 2009, Florence does not hide anything from the difficult days, from the alcohol which cost her her driving license in 2010, from the defection of the sponsors which annihilated all her projects.

She will find comfort with the association La Roue Turns, which helps celebrities in need or who have difficulties.

Florence ArthaudOn October 29th, 2011 she fell from her boat in the middle of the night off Cape Corse. Luckily, having a headlamp and a waterproof cell phone, she manages to call her mother who warns her brother.

The CROSSMED is then alerted, and three hours twenty minutes after her distress call, she is retrieved by means of tracking the geolocation of her mobile phone.

Conscious but in a state of hypothermia, she was hoisted from the water by a helicopter and flown to the hospital in Bastia, from where she left the next day.

In 1989, she took part in Pierre Bachelet's disc Somewhere ... it's still elsewhere. She performs three songs in a duet with the singer - which they sing together on the stage of the Michel Drucker program Stars 90 the lyrics describing the relationship Florence had with the sea.

His autobiography, Un Vent de Liberte , prefaced by Olivier de Kersauson, appeared in 2009.

Before her death, Florence Arthaud had been working on a race project reserved for women, the first edition of which was to take place in the Mediterranean during the summer of 2015.

The year before her death, she worked with the writer and playwright Jean-Louis Bachelet to write new memoirs. This Night, the Sea is Black will appear, shortly after his death, by Editions Arthaud.

Elected champion of French champions by the newspaper L'Equipe in 1990, she is the only sportswoman along with Marielle Goitschel to obtain, on two occasions (in 1978 and 1990 ), the Monique-Berlioux prize of the Academie des sports, rewarding the best female sports performance of the past year.

Florence ArthaudDuring the Brest Maritime Festivals 2016, the city of Brest gave the name of Florence Arthaud to the dike of the Moulin-Blanc 24 marina.

The city of Paris has named a dock in her honor: ride Florence Arthaud , in the 19th arrondissement.

There is also a Florence-Arthaud street in Les Sables-d'Olonne , Pironniere district, formerly rue du Center in Chateau-d'Olonne in Carnon-Plage (commune of Mauguio ), formerly rue de la Tramontane.

Her victory on the Route du Rhum in 1990, at the helm of the trimaran Pierre1, had made Florence Arthaud one of the stars of French sailing.

Florence Arthaud standing on a float of her sublime golden trimaran Pierre1 de Serbia, her mane of hair in the wind, in shorts and wearing a T-shirt with the effigy of the Pogues.

This is the strong image of the career of the sailor, the one that will make this anti-conformist a French star. The one who comes to mind at the time of mourning her passing.

It was in 1990, on November 18th, at Pointe-a-Pitre at the finish of the fourth Route du Rhum: Florence had beaten the pawn a few big names on the circuit.

A triumph at the end of an epic crossing from Saint-Malo: deprived of radio and autopilot, Arthaud is about to trigger her emergency beacon when she learns near Guadeloupe that she is in the lead.

She will later reveal to have been the victim of a miscarriage during the race - It highlights the strength of character of this girl of a good family, a big mouth in a cozy world of beautiful neighborhoods that she will admit wanting to flee.

Florence ArthaudThe car accident at the age of 17 from which she miraculously escaped prompted her to live her life as a free woman, thirsty for discovery and adventure.

She will also soon stop her medical studies to devote herself to her maritime passion. Uncompromising. Cheeky at a time when her sport is changing, tending towards professionalism, thanks to opulent sponsorship.

But the first and only woman, to date, to have won the Rum, the queen of transatlantic races, does what she wants, not giving a damn when.

Big mouth too. Because Florence Arthaud had a temperament, was outspoken too. In October, a few days before the start of the Route du Rhum, she denounced the reluctance of the sponsors:

"When it comes to entrusting a big boat to a woman."

And remember that in 2010 for the twentieth anniversary of her victory, she had not managed to find a sponsor.

"I was so disgusted. They had reopened the race for tall ships. It was the 20th anniversary of my victory and I intended to participate in a huge 30 meter trimaran, Oman."

"But I did not manage to get this boat, they preferred to give it to a man (Sidney Gavignet who abandoned due to damage) . It definitely disgusted me and I said to myself "well, I quit!"

Pure Arthaud, even though for many years she had been sailing more for pleasure, abandoning high-level competition since a double-handed transatlantic with Luc Poupon, Philippe's brother, in 2007.

"It's not a woman's job" So she devoted herself to her family and to her daughter, Marie.

Florence ArthaudFlorence shared her life between Paris and Marseille and regularly attended the start of major races. Like the Route du Rhum, her race. She was still just a kid when she entered the first edition in 1978, which she finished in 11th position.

It was won by 98 seconds by Mike Birch ahead of Frenchman Michel Malinovski. In 1986, she saw a dramatic crossing: she diverted to bring assistance to Loic Caradec but discovered the trimaran Royale upside down with no sign of the sailor's life.

Four years later, it is the consecration: in 14 days. She had crossed the finish line victorious at the helm of her 18.28 meter trimaran.It earned her the right to be elected French Champion of Champions by the Team.

She will forever become the "little bride of the Atlantic". Arthaud opened the voice to women sailors such as Isabelle Autissier, Catherine Chabaud and many others. "It's not a woman's job," she said, "It's a harsh, hard world, where we are all the time on the seas."

"I had a life of patachon and adventure." Sometimes a little too much. In 2010, she was arrested while intoxicated and placed in police custody.

A year later, she almost died after falling into the water off Cape Corse, while sailing alone or almost, she had embarked her cat.

Thanks to her cell phone, she succeeded in warning her mother and thus triggering the help which found her conscious but in a state of hypothermia. "It was not my day, there was a real miracle" she had confided.

Florence Arthaud"Florence had class, modesty and a 'barefoot countess' side which made her charm devastating. She has led her career as a sailor to this yardstick, privileging pure adventure and friendship, trusting the waves. to sort things out."

We loved her for her panache and her intrepidity. By winning the Route du Rhum with the trimaran "Pierre1", Florence Arthaud completed her year of all records in 1990.

The first woman to win this solo, non-stop race, she entered the legend of ocean crossings, after 14 days, 10 hours and 10 minutes of a titanic battle against the elements and her competitors - all men.

In her wake, the Briton Ellen MacArthur will win in the 2002 edition with her monohull "Kingfisher".

"Me, if I were a man, I would be a captain of a green and white boat ..." Florence Arthaud never needed to hum these words of Diane Tell to achieve her dreams. She was a woman, and what a woman!

A heroine, one of those who mark the times and make the legends, impress the spirits and transform the records. She was that sort of woman who chooses her destiny and never gives up. Who plays with the winds as with the seasons. With freedom as with eternity.

Florence ArthaudFlorence Arthaud only followed one star: hers. The one who showed her the way across seas and oceans. She was not afraid of danger.

But on that tragic day in March of 2015, everything stopped. If death had often approached "the little bride of the Atlantic", this time it took hold of her.

In a stupid helicopter crash. "The only time she handed over her safety in the hands of others, that's what happened," laments her brother, Hubert, who tirelessly fights for justice to be done.

Almost four years after the fatal crash in Argentina on the set for TF1 of the program Dropped, the investigation is still ongoing.

"Franck Firmin-Guion, who was the CEO of the company ALP [Adventure Line Productions], has still not been indicted. I am a pilot and I have seen the failures. All the evidence is there to show that production has chosen to go to the economy by taking pilots who had not been trained for that", says Hubert Arthaud.

"A few moments after takeoff, one of the two helicopters - on board which they had taken their places, in addition to the two Argentinian pilots, Florence Arthaud, the swimmer Camille Muffat, the boxer Alexis Vastine and five members of ALP - deviated from its route and hit the second."

Both aircraft crashed to the ground, killing all of the passengers. The sorrow does not pass despite the years that are added to each other. It comes and goes like the tide, a scathing surf crashing over the irreparable.

"Despite everything, this way of being was almost natural for her," says Hubert. "As an adventurer, she couldn't die in her bed. But having sailed with her a lot, I knew that would not happen at sea."

This is no reason to lower the sails. Florence's brother, who had already had so many occasions to fear for the safety of this exceptional big sister, will not give up.

Florence ArthaudHe will continue for their mother, entrenched in her house, between the living and the dead. It will continue for Marie, 25 years old today, the daughter of the sailor, "who has inherited the character of her mother".

Marie has rejected the world of sailing. She took up horseback riding before finding her way in the audiovisual industry. Hubert will continue so that justice has a meaning and for the memory of his sister. He will also continue to fight so that such televisual recklessness no longer happens.

Today, the survivor of the Arthaud siblings no longer opens the file filled with family photos. Impossible without tears coming to his eyes despite his never ending optimism.

His admiration is unfailing: "Florence has left her mark, she is a model of life choices." She was above all a rebel, a rebel, an adventurer in the most noble sense of the term.

Florence Arthaud was born into the family behind the Arthaud publishing house, but she preferred adventure to scholarship. Undaunted, she participated in her first Route du Rhum in 1978.

In 1986 whilst competing in the Route du Rhum, Florence Arthaud was diverted to provide assistance to fellow sailor, Loic Caradec. In storm conditions she was the first to locate Caradec's catamaran Royale II capsized in the water, but sadly with no signs of life onboard. Despite her grief, she resumed sailing and was able to complete the course.

On November 18, 1990, Florence Arthaud forever earned her nickname as the "Little Bride of the Atlantic" when, aged 33, she arrived in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, as winner of the fourth edition of the Route du Rhum.

Arthaud had completed the prestigious transatlantic solo race in 14 days, 10 hours and 10 minutes onboard the trimaran Pierre1.

Florence ArthaudThe journey was far from smooth - the autopilot and radio failed, and she had suffered a hernia during the race. But the victory made her famous across France and earned her accolade of 'Champion of Champions' by the French newspaper L'Equipe.

That victory, in 1990, was the apex of her career. Aboard the 60-foot trimaran Groupe Pierre, she outdueled the world's top solo ocean racers in a 3,500-mile sprint that took her from Brittany, France, to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. No woman has won the event since.

Later that year she went on to set a new transatlantic record on the same trimaran.

Florence herself almost disappeared at sea on October 29, 2011. Sailing alone off Corsica, she fell into the water at night but managed to hold onto her mobile phone and call her mother, who raised the alarm. She was found and rescued around two hours later, conscious but suffering from hypothermia.

In 2015 her amazing career as the Little Bride of the Atlantic ended when she died in that helicopter collision in Argentina.

"Florence had class, modesty and a 'barefoot countess' side which made her charm devastating. She has led her career as a sailor to this yardstick, privileging pure adventure and friendship, trusting the waves. to sort things out."

_________________ Everything in life is a question of laughter.

Florence ArthaudBelow are excerpts from Florence's book - Tonight the Sea is Black.

"Fate knocked on my door in 1976, in the United States. I left alone to find a boarding at the arrival of the English transatlantic racers. I was hoping that sailors would look for crews to bring their boat to Europe."

"I was waiting on the quay where the boats were moored after the finish of the race. I was dressed in the fashion of that time. A little hippie: shorts cut flush with the buttocks, an Indian shirt and a band around the forehead in the hair."

"I was young. I was 18, the age when you want to conquer the world, where you go without hesitation in pursuit of your dreams..."

"I have led a busy life, a little tumultuous - it's true. No man has fulfilled me as much as the ocean. It is the sea that makes me vibrate, the ocean that swept me away."

"Life as a couple has never made me dream. I love my freedom too much! When I won the Route du Rhum in 1990, the sixth day after the start, my radio broke down."

"I was in the lead, but I was sailing cut off from the world. Until arrival, more weather information. I had no more news from the other competitors, I relied on my feeling."

"I wanted to pull off an old-fashioned victory. I wanted to triumph over the sea alone. As we approached Guadeloupe there was Olivier de Kersauson in a plane: "don't worry, he said to me, Poupon, Birch and Bourgnon are far behind you!"

Florence Arthaud"I was proud of this victory, acquired without communication and without routing since the sixth day. I was not the first woman to run the oceans, but, if I except Virginie Heriot in 1903, I was the first to win a victory against the men."

Florence falls at sea off Corsica...

"Things switched in a fraction of a second. I am in the water. It is pitch black. I'm alone. I turn my head in all directions, instinctively. I see my boat pulling away."

"I was looking for a landmark. A glow. An object. A sign of life - Nothing. I am absolutely alone. Isolated in the immense dark and moving mass of the sea, in a few moments, the mother, my reason for living, will become my tomb."

"Erase all traces of my existence. Swallow me up. I think of my daughter Marie."

"I sink like in a well, when after having mentally searched for all the possibilities of salvation, I find none that is within my reach."

"To the silence of the open sea, to the silence of the night, comes to be joined, frightening, unbearable, nightmarish, this silence of terror, it stands before me like an impassable wall, an icy wall which means that I am going to die."

"So I am going to reach the sky. This sky populated with billions of stars, unknown galaxies, love, happiness and eternity - in writing these lines, I refuse to make this book a sailor's cemetery."

"However, there are many of my friends who have disappeared. I am a woman passionately in love with life. Lover of creation. In love with people. Love has always been my beginning and my end, my alpha and my omega. Love has filled my life every day. Yet the disappearance of my friends over the years leaves a taste of salt in my mouth."

"At sea, I feel the spirits of my missing friends hovering on the surface of the water. They accompany me in each of my Marine solitudes. It is not uncommon for me to meet them. In difficult times, I know they have helped me. Are they among the missing sailors whose souls come to haunt the Bay of the Dead?"

Ocean Races - Florence Arthaud.

2007: 11th in the Transat Jacques Vabre on Deep Blue (Class 40) with Luc Poupon
2007: Route in the equator on Deep Blue with Luc Poupon and Alexia Barrier
2004 27th in the Transat AG2R on the team with Lionel Pean
2000 12th in the Transat AG2R on Fleury Michon with Philippe Poupon
1998 6th in the Transat AG2R on Guy Cotten - Chattawak with Jean Le Cam
1997 1st in Transpacific Bruno Peyron
1996 : 2nd in the Transat AG2R on Guy Cotten - Chattawak with Jean Le Cam
1990: 1st in the Route du Rhum on Pierre 1st
1990: 3rd in the Twostar on Pierre 1st Patrick Maurel
1988 7th in Transat on Groupe Pierre 1st
1986 11th in the Route du Rhum on Energy and Communication
1982: 20th in the Route du Rhum on Biotherm II
1981 6th in Twostar on Mr cabinet with Francois Boucher
1979 5th in the transatlantic dual Lorient Saint Barth Lorient on Biotherm Catherine Hermann
1978 11th in the Route du Rhum on X.Perimental



Florence Arthaud Florence Arthaud Florence Arthaud
Florence Arthaud Florence Arthaud Florence Arthaud



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