After looking at the skipper, Arthur Ponroy and the helmsman, Antoine Lauriot-Prévost, Energy Team is continuing to present the various members of Next World Energy. Here is Edouard-Marie Alikiagaléléi, who will be trimming the headsails in the Youth America’s Cup in early September in San Francisco. A young man with some exceptional qualities…
What first strikes you about Edouard-Marie Alikiagaléléi is his size. 1.76 m tall (5’9”) and weighing in at 89 kg (almost 200 pounds): he is certainly a fine baby. “My father is from Wallis and Futana, so I’ve inherited some things from him,” he laughs. In the Youth America’s Cup in San Francisco, the 23-year old will be the headsail trimmer. This job requires both physical ability and skill in ensuring the right trim and suits him down to the ground.
Originally from la Trinité-sur-Mer, Edouard-Marie discovered sailing at an early age. “My parents didn’t sail, but I did like anyone, who lives by the sea: I signed up for the local sailing club,” he explained. He began with an Optimist, took up windsurfing and then discovered cruiser racing at the age of 13 along with another name associated today with Next World Energy: Arthur Ponroy. The two teenagers sailed together on a Mach 6.50, then on an Open 7.50. The years went by and the boats got bigger. Edouard-Marie tried his hand on a Farr 30 then on an M34, and was successful: Since 2009 he has competed in each edition of the Tour de France Sailing Race and even came out on top in the amateur rankings in 2011 alongside a certain… Arthur Ponroy. It was also in 2011 that he finished tenth in the French International Match Racing Tournament. And then last May he joined the Next World Energy team. “Edouard-Marie is the newest member of the team, but quickly settled in,” stressed Antoine Mermod, team manager for Energy Team. “He has an excellent mindset. He’s friendly and funny, always upbeat with a positive outlook. He knows how to stand back and examine situations, while allowing the tense moment to pass and calm to return. There is something very reassuring about him.”
After entering higher education, Edouard-Marie Alikiagaléléi has just finished his first year at the Applied Arts School in Rennes. He has managed to find the right balance, even if switching between studying and sailing practice is not always simple in terms of his timetable. “It’s a bit tough, but I’m coping. I’m lucky enough to be able to do two things I enjoy and I shall continue to do that for as along as I can. I’ll come to some decision at a later date.” In early August, he will fly off to San Francisco and spend all his time with the Next World Energy project getting ready for the Youth America’s Cup. Edouard-Marie hasn’t sailed that much on multihulls, but he isn’t really worried about that and the excitement is building. “The boat is fantastic and the Cup is a legendary event: we are going to enjoy ourselves. I can hardly believe that after beginning on my little Optimist in la Trinité, I now find myself sailing an AC45 in San Francisco.”
- His hobbies: lots of extreme sports, surfing, windsurfing, ski-ing. “I also like DIY,” he added.
- His musical tastes: rap and electro.
- Reading: newspapers and magazines rather than books. “But I am trying to get used to reading novels. I’ve just finished Ken Follett’s The Modigliani Scandal: a great book.”
Born on 23rd November 1989 (age 23). Lives in Rennes in Brittany.