Arnaud Boissières crossed the finish line of the first edition of the Retour à La Base race in sixteenth place at 0659hrs UTC on Tuesday 12th December. The skipper aboard La Mie Câline completed the theoretical 3500-mile course in 11 days, 14 hours 59 minutes and 2 seconds, averaging 12.54 knots. Out on the water, the skipper sailed 4423.75 miles at an average speed of 15.86 knots.

Before the start of the race, Arnaud Boissières expressed his joy at being able to set sail aboard La Mie Câline.“I love taking up a challenge, for me, for the team, and for all our partners, and want above all to get out there and enjoy myself and offer some pleasure to others too.”

‘Cali’ got off to a good start and was in the top five in the first few hours of the race. The days that followed were tough, but Boissières soon found his pace and remained in the first fifteen foilers. He suffered a period of calm weather as he approached the Azores high, before turning towards home.

In the videos he sent back, the skipper aboard La Mie Câline lived up to his reputation as someone who was always joyful and calm. The elements did not seem to worry him or tire him. In the first encounter with some nasty weather, he experienced a problem with his reef pennant, which prevented him from fully hoisting his mainsail. That did not stop him from reaching a peak speed of 32 knots as he approached the Azores, allowing him to climb back up to 16th place.

He constantly stressed how he “enjoyed a little contest with four or five other skippers,” including Kojiro Shiraishi and Conrad Colman. 36 hours before the finish, he lost his gennaker forcing him to carry out repairs in horrible conditions, but he would not give up. “We’ll make do. It’s not the end of the world. The aim is to finish the race and learn a lot. In any case, we were going to replace it in 2024, so we will now do it that bit sooner.”

His race in numbers
Finish time: 06:59:02 hrs UTC
Race time: 11 days 14 hours 59 mins 2 secs
Miles sailed: 4423.75 miles
Real average speed: 15.86 knots
Average speed on the Great Circle route: 12.54 knots