Salt in his blood
Loïc Escoffier is highly approachable and a straight talker – as one might expect from those who never beat around the bush in the certain knowledge that there’s far too much to be done to waste any time. A sailor, dad, entrepreneur, and rugby enthusiast, the 40-year-old native of Saint Malo has certainly got busy living.
Taken on board his family’s sailboat before he could even walk, Loïc (son of sailor Franck-Yves Escoffier and brother of skipper Kevin Escoffier and rugby player Yannig Escoffier) very soon caught the family bug, quickly developing a passion – and a huge respect – for the sea and sailing. From the best lookout point imaginable, the port of Saint Malo, he watched his father put to sea to fish and, at the same time, enjoy a successful ocean-going sailing career, including winning three Route du Rhum transatlantic yacht races in a 50-foot multihull.
All this established Loïc’s work ethic, commitment, and desire to live his life close to the ocean waves. He took every opportunity he could to sail on board his father’s fishing vessels. From the age of 7 upwards, he was to be found on board the two family boats, sorting out whelks and spider crabs. Growing up in a family with a love of fishing, rugby, and ocean-going sailing fired his imagination.
Sailor and fisherman
As a teenager, Loïc sailed in regattas at the highest international level. He and his team-mate Victorien Erussard (also from Saint-Malo) finished in the top three on many occasions sailing Hobie Cat 16 and Formula 18 catamarans, whilst Loïc still went aboard his father’s fishing boats on a regular basis; his real lifelong ambition was to become a fisherman in his turn.
In 2006, even as a place at the Olympics beckoned, Loïc decided to throw himself wholeheartedly into the family’s fishing business. It was a choice guided by both reason and passion; he was keen to ensure he had a professional future. He put everything into the business started by his parents, but still made sure he had time to sail racing yachts too, especially 50-foot multihulls.
In 2016, he bought out the company and sought to expand it. It became difficult to find time to sail both for fun and for profit, so he abandoned ocean-going racing. After a few years’ hard graft, he expanded from two fishing boats to four and doubled the headcount (today, he manages a workforce of some thirty people). Nevertheless, his love of competitive sport remained, and he still dreamed of returning to it one day. The Route du Rhum race was a regular topic of conversation at family meals – and in discussions with friends…