Sarah Hebert begins transatlantic windsurf challenge

February 23, 2012 | Windsurfing
Sarah Hebert: goodbye Dakar

"I love the ocean". With passionate words, a big smile and a strong faith, Sarah Hebert has set sail from Dakar, in Senegal, to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, on the 22nd February 2012, at 9am.

The 4,000-kilometre journey to cross the Atlantic Ocean is an incredible challenge for a woman who carries a pacemaker that controls her heart condition. The 28-year old windsurfer wants it very much and she will certainly be successful.

"The crossing is above all a way for me to live my passion of sailing on the ocean. I can't wait to get out there", she told a few minutes before leaving the sands of Dakar.

Hebert plans to windsurf between six-to-eight hours a day, in several sea conditions. The support boat carries four replacement boards, a dozen extra sails, a VHF radio, satellite telephone, a GPS unit and distress flares.

Every day, Sarah resumes her journey from the exact point where she stopped the previous evening. When she reaches Guadeloupe, the French sailor will prove it is possible to live and compete with a battery-operated defibrillator.

In 2005, Sarah Hebert was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia and had to undergo a delicate surgery. Two months after the operation, she won European Windsurfing Championships.

The 2012 transatlantic challenge might be concluded in 25 days. In summer, she'll be fighting for gold at the London Olympic Games. "Here we go, I can not go back!"

Watch the decisive departure moments.

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