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Sergio Frattaruolo: on François Gabart

The first time I met François Gabart was in La Rochelle in 2011, a few days before the start of the Transat 6.50.
In the afternoon on a stormy day the old port is in turmoil: François is out, should definitely enter the harbor because during the night a storm will arrive. Unfortunately, it is after the scheduled dams closing time (in La Rochelle there are over 5 meters in height between high and low tide and the dams are open a few hours during the high to allow the transit of boats).
In very exceptional cases the port authority decides to keep the dams open overtime and send two boats to tow the boat of Gabart.
At sunset, driven by inflatable boats at an incredible speed, lands Macif. Spaceship white, green and blue. Dams are closed, the boat moored up and the crew down, the latter is François.
I was impressed by his humility and meticulousness, even though he had a crew of 10 people have double checked personally every single detail: the height of the fenders, its moorings, the state of the sails.

But how did this guy who has the grit of a lion and the face of a watch salesman to know Macif, the sponsors who supported him in this victory?

Macif is a major French insurance group engaged for years in support of young talented skipper (a kind of X factor of sailing).
Anyone can access the Macif selection, simply fill out a form. Later you will be subjected to a process of examinations: psychophysical tests, exams in the classroom, sea trials and simulated interviews. Before a committee of “wise men”, also formed by the directors of the main training centers, the skipper must demonstrate its ability to racer, project manager, and finally as public figure.

The prize is an essentially an unlimited budget and a decent salary that allow you to run two years in Figaro.
The team Macif is formed by two skippers, and every year one is replaced with the winner of the selection. In the case of Francois was made an exception, I guess because of his enormous talent, he was held to the bitter end to deal with the IMOCA project, which has crumbled all records and won the Vendée Globe.

I am proud to have been a pupil of Paul Meilhat, skipper of immense capacity and the successful candidate in 2011.

Macif involvement in Sponsorship contribute in an essential way to support young talents and is also an example of entrepreneurial vision: with a honest budget you will provide great skippers, who report an impressive number of victories. In terms of image I can not imagine anything more effective.

When in Italy, a company will be sufficiently forward looking to invest in a project so profitable?

Sergio Frattaruolo