What is the Vendeé Globe and what makes it so tough?
From Wikipedia:Go to the Vendeé Globe website for a real look at what it is. There is lots of media and photos and it does a great job explaining how arduous and challenging this race is.
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years. The 2012-2013 edition started Saturday, November 10, 2012
One can call it the greatest open water race of all. Solo competitors, obviously without a crew, sail a racing yacht from France down to the Cape of Good Hope or more acurately, Cape Agulhas. Next, they sail through the roaring forties and the furious fifties where they then make left-hand turn at Cape Horn, that place where the Pacific ocean and Atlantic ocean settle their "arguments." Many a sailor show got between them while they were settling their differences did not fair to well. Finally they sail back to France or more accurately hopefully they make it back to France.
The word record is 84-days. Today that record was broken by Frenchman, Francois Gabart. More evidence that France, Australia, New Zealand produce the best sailors in the world. Sigh, If only the United States would step up. I suppose sailing is just another area of expertise that we are failing behind in.
From The BBC:
"... Samantha Davies, the third British entrant in this edition of the event, saw her race ended on day five by a broken mast.
Of the 20 boats that set off on 10 November, only 12 remained on Sunday after a course that rounded the Cape of Good Hope, Australia, New Zealand and Cape Horn before navigating back up the Atlantic Ocean to France.
French sailors have won every Vendee Globe since the first edition in 1989/90 when Titouan Lamazou was the winner in 109 days. ..."