In fact, food is one of the keys to success, in the same way as the technical preparation of the boat. As a result, it must be carefully studied and prepared so that the offshore racer can keep in good shape throughout the race. As far as Cécile Laguette is concerned, she draws on her past experience for this information, particularly that related to her two participations in the Volvo Ocean Race, even though the effort required in crewed and solo configuration is slightly different.
On a Figaro, you’re all alone. You have to handle a lot of different things and, on a personal level, I don’t want to have to think about what I’m going to eat. As such, I set sail with as many bags of food as the number of days of racing. In that way, I can clearly see what I’ve got left and I can quickly assess whether or not I’ve eaten well over a 24-hour period”, explains the skipper of Eclisse, pointing out that at sea, the rhythm of meals is primarily dictated by the weather conditions. “I pay very close attention to my energy intake. I favour natural things and I avoid things that can give me big sugar rushes, unless I’ve planned a siesta or if I know that I’m really going to have to go for it to manoeuvre”, explains Cécile, whose diet at sea is based around a mixture of freeze-dried and pre-cooked dishes with several additions including tins of tuna, rice and a hint of freshness, the sailor being rather partial to radish. “Cooking, it gives me the opportunity to loosen my grip for a few moments and improve my performance.” However, as a sailor, you can’t get away from the very practical freeze-dried dishes. “In the last Volvo, with Team AkzoNobel, I tested some new that I really liked and I’ve ended up adding them to my pack. It’s practical because all you have to do is to pour hot water directly into the sachet and there you go, it’s ready”, commented the sailor, who has made significant changes to the way she operates in this regard since she started out on the racing circuit.
“Initially, my methodology was a little Anglo-Saxon, meaning it was a little hard, but I realised that the notion of enjoyment was very important”. As such the young woman always has in her bag a few little soya drinks with vanilla or chocolate, a few bars of marzipan, sweet and savoury nut mixes, as well as some fresh produce such as cherry tomatoes and cheese, with an avowed preference for parmesan. “The aim is to eat around 2,500 to 3,000 calories a day”, she concludes