It’s a French Thing. You Wouldn’t Understand.

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Outside magazine, December 1995

It’s a French Thing. You Wouldn’t Understand.
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta

Twenty-four hours before concluding his solo transatlantic trip, French rower Joseph LeGuen slid into a deep funk. “I thought, It’s not possible that this could end,” he told reporters last September in Brest, France, 103 days after departing Massachusetts. “You end up thinking this life could last an eternity.” That LeGuen came away with such an impression after 500,000
consecutive strokes is no surprise. That he didn’t come close to countryman Gerard d’Aboville’s 1980 record of 72 days is also no surprise: LeGuen always maintained that he was seeking not a record but a little quality time to himself. “In two days I’ll be forgotten,” he said. “That’s life.”

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