In a little over a month, Alexia Barrier will be opening the bag where her “peace” bread is vacuum-sealed. It is in the great south, “The place of the most engaged course, where there is no man” that she will crumble it in a symbolic gesture, akin to throwing a bottle into the sea.
“The tragedy of the Nice attack struck me in the heart”
Not particularly a believer, the sailor chose to take on board her boat dough kneaded by three bakers, a Catholic, a Jew and a Muslim. “This project to drop a little bread of peace for religions in the South Seas dates back several months, but the Nice drama has unfortunately given it another news, she explained to the press before departure. I spent all my childhood in Nice, I grew up there and I live nearby. This horrible drama in this church struck me in the heart. “
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Joined on board by email, she explains what drives her: “I believe in planet Earth and my lucky star. I have faith in the power of nature, I believe in myself, I have faith in love, the love that people bring me helps me a lot, gives me courage and self-confidence. It’s super important for leading a Vendée Globe not to doubt and to know that you are loved and encouraged. “
“We need strong symbols so that young people, whatever their religion, find positive desires, dreams, far from any fanaticism, she said in the magazine Sails and sailboats before leaving Les Sables d’Olonne. The Vendée Globe is a brilliant way to show these young people that you can follow a dream to the end, that you must always believe in your dreams, never despair of the world and never fall into religious fanaticism. “
Catherine Chabaud’s boat
She won’t say much more. After three days at sea and a low-pressure weather front to cross, now is not the time for great philosophical flights. The sailor gives herself the time to conceive the message that she will send to the sea at the same time as her bread. “I am aware that men hurt men and that this has accelerated in recent decades, I only know that there will be the words peace and fraternity in what I say. “
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A choice that fits well with the personality of this accomplished athlete, committed to multiple causes, such as that of women victims of exclusion. He also goes well to his boat, the famous Penguin (renamed TSE-4myplanet), with which Catherine Chabaud, herself a committed citizen, became the first woman to complete the Vendée Globe in 1996, in sixth place.