Catherine Chabaud was born in Bron on November 29, 2006. After studying mathematics, she became a journalist and editor in chief of Thalassa Magazine. She lives in Brittany and has a passion for sailing. She dedicated a large part of the 1990’s to great ocean races, like the Vendée Globe in 1996 that she was the only woman to finish. She was widely acclaimed when she returned to Sables d’Olonne. She has crossed the Atlantic about ten times - four times alone - and has also sailed round the world non-stop. She has been accepted in the small community of navigators because of her energy and determination.
In 2002, she decided to stop offshore racing to dedicate her life to new projects most of which deal with the sea or the environment. She is a member of the jury for the literary prize of the boat show, and a member of the Conseil supérieur de la navigation de plaisance ; she also hosts a show on Europe 1 and has just published Femme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer in cooperation with Jean-Luc Garnier.
- Femme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer (Chasse-marée, 2007)
- L’homme qui parlait aux dauphins (France, Delory, 2003)
- Entre deux mondes (Glénat, 2000)
- Possibles rêves (Vents d’Ouest, 1997)
Synopsis of Femme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer
This book does not only talk about offshore navigators like Maud Fontenoy, Ellen MacArthur or other ever more numerous contemporary women sailors. Whether they are fisherwomen, merchant mariners or in the navy, they all have one thing in common, and that is the salt water flowing in their veins.
For centuries, the sea was off limits for women even when women were their husband’s deck hands as in Brittany. More often than not, as soon as women went on board, they became the devil’s ballast or even split pulleys … In order to be accepted and eventually admired by the sea faring community, women needed to be very tenacious and to be great sailors. And it happened very gradually. There has been an acceleration in the process in recent years and women have integrated all sea related fields. Jean-Luc Garnier paints a portrait of about a dozen such women : Anne Bonny, Virginie Hériot, Isabelle Autissier, Florence Arthaud, Ellen MacArthur, Anne Liardet, Scarlett Le Corre, Hermine de Saussure, Ella Maillart, Anita Conti, etc. All of those women pushed back the limits of what was considered acceptable for women at the time. Several have had a major influence such as ethnologist Anita Conti who spent many a fishing season aboard Newfoundland bound fishing vessels and who described and photographed them with an unerring precision.