Life on Board with Sarah Hebert

In today's blog post I would like to introduce to you girls, Sarah Hebert. She is one of the Windsurf Girls who I have always looked up to and who continue to inspire me to follow my own lifepath! 

Mum of 2, Sarah lives on her sailing boat and together with her husband they have been sailing around the world for the past 2 years. I heard that 1 of the rooms on board is reserved solely for their wind/surf toys!!! Meanwhile, they are also sharing their Story on their Youtube Channel and Social media pages ‘Pousse par le Vent’ and stopping occasionally when Sarah is hosting SUP Yoga camps along the route!

However, when I met Sarah, she was competing on the PWA World Tour and preparing to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Free-Ride Windsurf Equipment !!!! What’s more? She has a defibrillator in her chest because of a heart problem! With the slogan ‘Avec du Coeur tout Est possible’ ‘Everything is possible with heart, she is the only women who ever attempted to cross the Atlantic on a windsurf!

The life Sarah managed to build for herself and the philosophy of Dream it - do it truly inspires me.  So let’s find out more about how Sarah manages to live her dreams.  Sarah when did you decide that you wanted to live on a boat and sail around the world?

I knew I wanted to travel when I’ll become a mum and create my own family. No matter if it was bike, van, boat… But for sure my childhood on a boat for 12 years as impact me very positively and it was the best way to raise my kids in my point of view. So when I started dating Aurelien I immediately told him I wanted to leave for a sailing adventure and becoming a mum on land was not an option for me!!! So stressful for me to live this regular life.

What was the most important step in making your dream a reality?

Telling Aurelien he could look for a boat if he wanted. I wanted to be sure the project was deeply shared. After a month he knew every boat from 38 to 40 feet that was for sale. This day I knew we were going to live a fantastic adventure. For sure visiting and buying our boat the 8 august of 2014 was such a great day :)

How is life on board with 2 small children? 

Exhausting because we are 24 hours, 7 days a week with our kids, no family, no friends, no school to help. But at the same point, I feel so blessed not to miss any step of their lives. To me the first years of our babies are so pure, magic, we need to take time to celebrate it! I’m so glad Aurélien agree to take this break in his life. So so grateful.

Now the burning question: What is in the designated Watersport room on your boat and what’s your favourite toy right now? 

Too many toys!!! It’s like playing Tetris to store everything. We have 2 inflatable SUP's, 2 surfboards, 2 kiteboards, 4 kites, one wave windsurfing board, one foil windsurfing board, two foil, 4 windsurfing sail, plus mast and boom and harness. We are supported by Fanatic, Duotone and Ion. It’s a lot of toys, but each time we sit in front of a paper and a pen to try to reduce our gear we can’t!! We are using everything! We love foil windsurfing, right now in Costa Rica we are surfing a lot too and paddling as always. Now, we are looking to get a wing foil, we would love to have one. 

What are your plans and projects for the next few years? 

The plan is to cross the Pacific to go to French Polynesia when this Covid-19 crisis will be over and to settle there for 3 years. We will work there and kids will go to school. We also need time to enjoy all the spots of this wonderful part of the world. Then we will take two more years to go to New Caledonia, where will end our journey. Well, that’s the plan for now but who knows. Will you keep living on the boat or do you miss living on land sometimes?  I don’t miss living on land, I’m super happy with this life right now. I do miss having a drink with my friends for a night, having help with our kids, having alone time for my self (no kid, no man) ;-) But aside from that I’m super stoked for the life I live.

What’s your number one windsurfing advice for the windsurf girl reading our blog?  Go for it, don't give up! Windsurfing can be hard at the beginning, but once you feel the gliding sensation you will never want to stop. Using the right equipment, so starting with a big board and a small sail is important. And if you can I recommend learning at a warm spot where you can ride with a bikini, that really helps!! :) Finally please tell us a little bit about your Atlantic crossing please, where did the idea come from? How did it go? There is also a movie and a book about this crazy adventure, where can we find it? 

Yes this adventure was marking the end of my windsurfing career as a PWA athlete. I wanted to sail offshore, to cross the Pacific with a regular windsurfing board. This is what I did in February 2012. For 12 days at sea, 8 hours a day, up to 80 miles a day. What a journey, the craziest adventure of my life. After 12 days, the wind was super downwind, 20 to 25 knots every day, and a turbulent sea. I reached my limits and almost lost consciousness on my board. It was super hard to stop this journey, but my doctor told me I wasn’t going to find strength back in less than a week. Followed by a catamaran, I was totally alone all day, with sharks, dorados, birds and even a whale! THE MOST INTENSE experience of my life (with the birth of my kids ). I felled a very deep connection to nature during those days. My book is called « Avec du Coeur tout est possible » Ed Eyrolles, it’s in french and you can buy it here on Amazon.

You can find a Youtube playlist with several episodes about the crossing here

Thanks Sarah, reading this interview I am once again inspired to follow my dream. In fact ever since you told me about your dream of living on a boat with family it has also become one of my dreams. I think I need to go ask my Boyfriend to find us a boat immediately now!

Video: The End of Transatlantic 2012

To follow Sarah's sailing journey click here or Instagram here.

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