Charles Caudrelier

It was at the age of 18 Charles began competitive racing in the Tour de France à La Voile with a student team. Sports aside, being particularly good at Mathematics, Charles graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Merchant Ship Academy. It was during these years while studying he became involved in single‐handed sailing during his summers, and it was here he met Franck Cammas.

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42 years old - Fouesnant - FRANCE

Charles Caudrelier was born in Paris on 26th February 1974. His family moved away from Paris when he was two years old to the famous French coast sailing town of Port La Forêt: “I was basically in front of my customized playground,” says Charles. At school Charles excelled in most subjects until he discovered a distraction in the form of sailing at the age of 15. “I would describe myself as naturally competitive,” explains Charles, “I tried a number of sports and my favourite when I was younger, before I discovered sailing was fencing. However, when I went to secondary school the standard wasn’t high enough for me to continue. I would have been going backwards. I was giving myself 100% and when I couldn’t go any further I stopped. It was only a few years later I discovered sailing and there’s no stopping me now! Sailing is a great sport because you can push and push yourself and always become better and learn something new everyday. There’s always a record to break. Sailing is a technical sport and I love this side of it.”

It was at the age of 18 Charles began competitive racing in the Tour de France à La Voile with a student team. Sports aside, being particularly good at Mathematics, Charles graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Merchant Ship Academy. It was during these years while studying he became involved in single‐handed sailing during his summers, and it was here he met Franck Cammas. Together they began match racing and participating in various offshore and inshore races around France.

Once graduated in 1998 Charles was classed as a high level athlete and offered the rare opportunity to complete his compulsory military service with the Federation Française de Voile. “I think it was at this point in my life I subconsciously made the decision to make a career out of sailing. It had always been my childhood dream. Some people dream of becoming a fireman, a singer, I dreamt of becoming a sailor. I had always thought about it but at this point in my life it became a reality.”

Charles completed his first Solitaire du Figaro race in 1999 winning the Rookie (newcomer) category at the age of 25. Charles went on to win the highly competitive Solitaire du Figaro outright in 2004. “I think graduating from the

Merchant Ship Academy has helped my career a lot because it taught me how to have an overview of a boat. Not just sailing but navigation, engineering, etc. It definitely helps to understand everything on the boat. We learnt the law like the back of our hands.”

Charles was quickly talent spotted by one of the most respected offshore sailing teams in France, Banque Populaire. Between 2004 and 2007 Charles raced with the team completing and winning various internationals regattas, such as the ORMA 60 multihull World Championship skippered by Pascal Bidégorry.

Charles then returned to short-­‐handed sailing becoming part of the IMOCA 60 Safran team in 2007 sailing alongside the experienced Marc Guillemot. Together they won the double-­‐handed Transat Jacques Vabre race in 2009.

Tasting success as a professional sailor it was later that year that Charles received a call from former match racing partner and now world-­‐class skipper Franck Cammas asking him to join his Volvo Ocean Race 2011-­‐12 campaign with Groupama sailing team. Charles was eager to take part, understanding that he would be competing against the best offshore sailors in the world. Regardless of the outcome Charles knew that his participation in the Volvo Ocean Race would be the experience of a lifetime. And so it proved to be with Groupama sailing team crossing the finish line in first place on the 8th July 2012.

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Prizes

1999
  • Solitaire du Figaro – 9th / 1er rookie
2000
  • Transat AG2R – 2nd (T. Lesselin)
2001
  • Solitaire du Figaro – 5th
  • Trophée BPE – Winner
  • Tour de Bretagne à la voile – Winner
2002
  • Solitaire du Figaro – 3rd
2003
  • Trophée BPE – 3rd (P. Bidégorry)
2004
  • Solitaire du Figaro – Winner
  • Transat AG2R – 4th (A. Koch)
  • French Solo Offshore championship – 3rd
2005
  • Tour de France à la voile – 2nd
  • Trophée BPE – 2nd
  • Calais Round Britain Race – 3rd (JP. Dick)
2006
  • French Solo Offshore championship – 3rd
  • Solo Méditerranée – 3rd
2007
  • Trophée BPE – 3rd
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – 2nd (M. Guillermot)
2008
  • Skipper of the Bostik SolOcean (52 pieds)
  • Maxi Banque Populaire V crew member
2009
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – Winner (M. Guillermot)
2010
  • Tour d’Espagne – Winner (M. Guillemot)
2012
  • MOD70 European Tour – Winner (MOD70)
  • Volvo Ocean Race – Winner on Groupama (VOR60)
2013
  • Route des Princes – Winner (MOD70)
2015
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – Retired (S. Josse)
  • Volvo Ocean Race – 3rd (VOR65)
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