Charles: I love boats and I’ve managed to turn my passion into a job! I launched Naos Yachts in Los Angeles in 2009 and today we are a major Beneteau dealership in California. The earliest memory I have of sailing on a First goes back to 1982, it was a First 32 named Fovea, and we sailed with my father’s best friend in Brittany.
The First line is elegant, the boats sail well and are simply elegant on the water.
Pierre Follenfant, finisher of the original Vendée Globe in 1989/1990: I’ve been racing on major offshore world races for a long time, and still enjoy sailing with friends and family when I’m not racing. In 1979 I sailed on a First 30 for the very first time. I was solo sailing this boat from La Rochelle to Concarneau along the Western coast of France, and I wasn’t sea-sick. Before then, I had always been sea-sick on boats, and after that time I never was again.
Romain Ingouf, racer on Artemis Racing and CTO for ArtemisTechnologies: I started sailing when I was very young, and I managed to turn my passion for sailing into my job. My dad, Eric, was “Mr. First” with Beneteau, he was the main designer for the line and I remember racing the Spi Ouest France sailboat regattas on Firsts that he had designed. I also remember spending our free time helping my dad improve on the designs and work on the boats together. I learned so much with the Firsts.
Thomas Anglade: I’ve been sailing since I was 8 and haven’t stopped since. I now live in Quebec and race locally there. I grew up in St Gilles Croix de Vie, which is the home of Beneteau and was lucky to sail on Beneteau boats from the start. For me Firsts represent a cross between comfort and performance.
Clément Devanneaux: I’m Charles’ eldest child, I have been sailing with my dad since childhood. I’m pretty sure I sailed on a First when I was really young with my grand-father. But my real strong memory is of the First 40 that my dad sailed on his first Transpac race, I sailed with him in the Santa Monica Bay before the start of that race.
Fred Courouble: I live in Los Angeles, CA. I am a Naval architect and aerospace engineer. I love speed and innovation. My first race was in Italy for the Sardegna Cup in 1998 on a First 40.7. in the Mediterranean circuit in IMS class; that boat was excellent in rating and was winning a lot of regattas in class. A good compromise of rating/speed/fun racing.
Olivier d’Enquin: I worked with the Beneteau group for 40 years, including preparing 60’ Imoca and Orma boats. During the 10 years I was involved with the Beneteau Sailboats division, I had many opportunities to sail on First 45F5 and 52F5. Outside of work, I also sailed and raced often with my brothers on First Class 10 and First 41S5.