Almost a year ago, during the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival, Alex Boronat - a crewmember on passenger boats out of Marseille - won the Excess Challenge draw. By participating in this virtual record, Alex won an Excess 11 catamaran! A victory, plans, desires and a dream that will soon come true with the delivery of his boat. Meet the lucky winner of a catamaran!
How did you hear about the Excess Challenge?
I'm used to yacht racing, in real life, as well as online. I was looking on the internet for a virtual record site and I came across the Excess Challenge really by chance. That's how I discovered the Excess brand for the very first time. I decided to try my luck and sign up for the challenge. I’m not usually that lucky, so I wasn't expecting to win an Excess 11 at all.
Did you have a boating project in mind if you won this catamaran?
Boating projects aren’t really something that’s missing in my family. I come from a family of boat builders, my parents had a charter company, and I often worked with them when I was young. Boating is a world that has always fascinated me. At the time when I registered for the Excess Challenge I was planning to live aboard a catamaran - I was looking for the perfect model for a new life on the water.
So you could say that your victory in the Excess Challenge was perfectly timed then?
Absolutely! It was like a dream come true. I often say that I feel like I'm living in the shoes of a surgeon who would have worked all his life and bought a beautiful boat for his retirement. The life of an owner seemed so out of reach, I found it very difficult to get my head around what happened!
I still remember being in my backyard with a friend, when he received this call from Excess to tell me the news. What happened was, when I registered for the challenge, I put in the wrong phone number. The Excess teams had spent days trying to contact me in all sorts of ways, until they found my friend's phone number on Facebook. By chance, he had just come over to my home in Marseille to spend a few days. A happy coincidence that remains a very strong memory.
I learned of my victory at 4pm and the Excess Challenge party was being held that same evening. We didn't hesitate for long and we set off bound for Cannes! A memorable evening. I'll always remember it - I'm rather reserved - I found myself in the spotlight getting on the boat (an Excess 12, as the Excess 11 hadn't yet been launched) and celebrating my victory. And then I said to myself, “In a few months, I'll be climbing aboard my own Excess 11”. I felt like I was in another dimension, it was incredible!
What has this victory changed for you?
Since the Excess Challenge evening at the Cannes Yachting Festival, my life has changed. I was destined to be a skipper or crew on boats that didn't belong to me. Today, I am the owner of a catamaran called Excess’if. I'm the owner of my skippered charter company, in the Mediterranean and I'm going to live on the water. It's thanks to this victory that I was able to make these dreams come true so quickly.
You must be longing for the delivery of boat?
Yes very much, I've not seen the catamaran in real life yet. But I know it by heart. I know all the equipment, the technical specifications, the fittings used, the navigational instruments, etc. I'm very familiar with it. I'm looking forward to testing her in real conditions and enjoying some great times at sea with my family and friends.
What’s going to be your maiden voyage?
The first trip will consist of bringing the boat from Les Sables d'Olonne, France’s Atlantic coast around to Marseille, in the Mediterranean. There will be several of us on board. Relatives, notably my father, as well as my first customers. It's important for me that my father is with me for this first trip. He’ll be a great help thanks to his sailing experience. I’m also delighted he’ll be able to live dream of sailing on a boat like the Excess 11. Boating is in my family's blood, at just two weeks old, I was already cruising with my parents!
For this first trip to sea, do you have a lucky charm you’re taking with you?
Two objects that never leave me at sea: a fluorescent knife, it's silly but I always carry it with me! It was a gift from my father. He gave it to me when I was little, and it goes with me everywhere. Then there's my drone, which allows me to communicate and immortalize the incredible moments you can experience on the water.
How do you see your future thanks to this catamaran?
This catamaran will be both a professional project that we’re launching, and a family project. Some happy news is that my partner and I are expecting a baby in a few months and I would love to pass on my taste for sailing to my child. The Excess 11 is going to become an awesome playground!
What do you like most about the Excess 11 catamaran?
I really like the design of this yacht. I love her sporty spirit!
In the catamaran market, the competition is far from offering boats as beautiful and distinguished as the Excess range. I even think that the position of the mast on the Excess 11, just forward of the coachroof, makes it the most aesthetic boat in the range.
From a technical point of view, I'm happy to be sailing aboard a catamaran produced using infusion, which is a guarantee of high quality for me.
From a human point of view, the Excess teams have been very friendly and available. I found that they really come across in the image of the brand: dynamic, accessible and welcoming.
If you had to choose just one word to describe this Excess Challenge adventure?
I would say: Grateful.
I am extremely grateful to Excess for this gift. I'm fully aware that winning a catamaran is an incredible thing. This victory is the story of my life.
And I would add the word: Joy.
It was a great joy to live the Excess Challenge experience.