The 41-year-old skipper on board her TSE-4myplanet crossed the finish line of the 9th Vendée Globe this Sunday 28 February 2021 at 07h23min in 24th position after 111 days, 17 hours and 3 minutes in the race. Alexia, who had spent the past three weeks in physical suffering after falling on her back, finished an incredible Vendée Globe on a 1998 IMOCA. Marked by great moments of joy, storms and calm periods, as well as multiple adventures, the Mediterranean skipper’s race has always rhymed with determination.
This Sunday, Alexia crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe under bright sunshine. Greeted by her team, her family, her friends and a crowd of people to cheer her on, the skipper could not hide her emotion all the way up the channel.
A dream come true
Alexia is the tenth woman in the world to have sailed around the world non-stop and without assistance. Yet this diminutive woman set out last 8 November with a tight budget and a nearly 20-year-old IMOCA, the Penguin, built in 1998 for Catherine Chabaud (Vendée Globe 2000). TSE-4myplanet knew the route after 6 trips around the world and 3 Vendée Globe races, and Alexia Barrier did not hide her fervent desire to make her dream come true: that of a little girl in love with oceans and ocean racing.
Clinging to her primary goal of sailing around the world, and with a competitive spirit, Alexia was at the front of the last group, competing against more recent boats all the way down the Atlantic. She dealt bravely with damage to her boat: on Christmas Day, she nearly lost her mast when the pulley on the backstay broke, and later, in the South Pacific, she faced problems with her hydrogenator – her energy source. The skipper withstood harsh, even extreme weather conditions for over 10 days while approaching Cape Horn. Yet she had a smile on her face every day: “I look on the bright side of things – I am incredibly lucky to be sailing in the Vendée Globe”, she confided regularly during link-ups or videos sent while on board.
Love, Dare, Share for the planet
Alexia has long been committed to protecting the planet, and she also embarked on the Vendée Globe to help science and make the thousands of children involved in her project aware of the need to take action. The skipper took on board a Météo France buoy, an Argo float from the UNESCO programme and a National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) beacon for the Argonautica educational programme, deployed in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans to help transmit information about the most remote places on the planet.
Throughout her journey, Alexia Barrier has shown an extraordinary fighting spirit while sharing her immense joy at being at sea for three months. Hats off to Alexia!
“Alexia’s arrival fit the image of the project: majestic, sunny, a beautiful allegory of life. We must live passionately, and this proves that self-sacrifice, courage and an entrepreneurial spirit can create such strong emotions. TSE is extremely proud of having accompanied Alexia. We are going to talk to her very soon about the next steps and the dimension of her project”. Mathieu Debonnet, President of TSE.
“It was a very emotional arrival. Since November the 8th we have experienced joy, fear, and laughter, and we have been especially amazed at Alexia’s energy and tenacity. The whole Biotronik team followed Alexia’s race daily and we’re proud today to have allowed her to fulfill her dream of sailing in the Vendée Globe. And we are very pleased to announce that we will accompany Alexia to the next Vendée Globe in 2024!” Luc Cheminot, Managing Director of Biotronik France.
The skipper sailed the 24,365 nautical miles of the theoretical course at an average speed of 9.09 knots.
She covered an actual distance of 28,170 nautical miles at an average speed of 10.51 knots.Back