Personal situation: married, 2 children – Louise (4 yrs) and Victor (19 months)
Post within Groupama Team France: Sailor - Tactician
Education: STAPS (Science & Technique of Physical & Sports Activities) in Brest.
Thomas Le Breton, 35, has three successive Olympic preparations on the Laser then the Finn. This giant, born in Pont l’Abbé, North-West Brittany and someone who dreamed of the America’s Cup, has very quickly proven himself to be an extraordinary tactician. Calm, discreet and extremely rigorous in his tactical approach, he embodies ‘quiet strength’ and forms the perfect pairing with the skipper.
Career and experience:
I sailed as an informed amateur until I came of age. Starting out on the family boat at Ile Tudy, I got into Optimist sailing aged 11. I had to be pushed until sailing gradually became a passion. Spurred on by my family, I switched up to the Laser. It has to be said that at 13 years of age and measuring 1m80, I could no longer be contained in an Optimist! Next up, I joined the Pôle France in Brest at 18, in conjunction with my STAPS studies. I spent hours and hours on a Laser, then a Finn, linking together three Olympic preparations between 2000 and 2012. I posted some solid performances on the latter boat: World Cup podiums, 5th in the World Championship in 2011, 4th in the European Championship the same year.
At the point where I was lining myself up for a fourth Olympic preparation, I hesitated as I was keen to turn my focus to crewed sailing, set myself a fresh challenge and find my place within a group. At that point, I joined the crew of Aleph on an AC45 in 2012 then that of Oman Sail on a MOD 70.
Your first memory of ‘Sailing’?
Cruises. Doing homework on the boat with my two big brothers and returning home on Sunday night at 23:00pm.
Your sailing highlight?
Such moments are not linked to sports performance, but the moments where you feel that you’re making progress. Aside from that, I particularly recall my first Youth Worlds on a Laser in Australia at 18 years of age when I came 3rd.
The worst moment?
Franck’s accident in late November 2015.
What does the America’s Cup mean to you?
Top level sailing, a challenge open to athletes.
Do you recall a special moment in an America’s Cup? If so, can you tell us about it?
2010, Oracle against Alinghi and the excessiveness of the boats.
Housework, cooking, gardening, what do you do at home?
Cooking and gardening.
What can we find in your fridge?
It makes me feel down when the fridge is empty. I fill it with dairy products and beers for my friends… I have a convivial fridge!
Your morning ritual?
Two coffees and news on my tablet via Le Télégramme app… in a bid to understand the world we’re living in.
Your favourite meal?
My mum’s squid.
On a Sunday when you’re not working, what do you do?
I change nappies! I go in search of croissants to make a big breakfast for my little family.
You have to choose three people to have supper with, who are they?
My friends… because with the Groupama Team France project, I don’t get to see them very often now ;-)
The last film or/and book, which had an impact on you?
Amélie Poulain – an amusing, harmonious film.
What TV programme or TV series would you like to be part of?
Les escapades du Petitrenaud on France 5, where the host travels the length and breadth of France in search of culinary specialities.
The sport you enjoy doing?
Road biking. I love lengthy periods of exertion, on my own. That’s what I miss most. I’d be incredibly motivated by the Haute Route for example.
The sport you could never have practiced?
Running. It's too thankless, not totally fulfilling and it's traumatic. And it's not fast enough either! I'm a big fan of speed.
Who’s you best mate in sailing?
Which sailor would you have liked to have sailed with and why?
Tabarly, to see if what is said of him is true.
Are you always right?
No, I make mistakes and I recognise them fairly quickly.
What were you like as a child?
Quiet, level-headed (but not soft!) and tall.
The nickname that best suits you?
Patator – because I had quite a gift for sailing in strong winds.
Your favourite subject at school?
The subject you least liked?
Your ideal redeployment?
Not too far from sport and outdoors. I’d like to train and pass on my vision of performance.
Your dream retirement is where?
At the water’s edge, with a beautiful boat at the bottom of the garden, with a lifting keel for going to the Glénan archipelago.
During which period would you have liked to live?
1968 / 1970 – the unlimited years. No speed limits notably…
Your last moment of madness? Your next?
I like technical toys… a race bike.
The worst mistake in the clothing department in your view?
Espadrilles with rolled up trousers.
Your worst fault?
I’m too kind and too quiet.
You never leave without…