For some people, the Vendée Globe is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. But, as the great American skipper Rich Wilson once pointed out, it’s rather the other way around, Everest being the Vendée Globe of the mountain climbing.
As a matter of fact, about 3,000 people have climbed Mt Everest, and 700 astronauts have been launched into the space. But less than 100 sailors have sailed solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world.
The race happens every 4 years. Only one American skipper, Rich Wilson, has ever participated to the race (which has always been dominated by the French). He finished 9th in 2009 and 13th in 2017 (oldest skipper ever, at age 67).
Since inception of the race in 1989, all winners have been French. Will Alex Thomson, who finished second 4 years ago, be the first non French winner this year?
We bumped into Alex 2 years ago in Rio de Janeiro. One day he just pulled into the slip next to us with the IMOCA 60 he participated with to the 2016 Vendée Globe.
He was delivering the boat to the new owner in Panama, but he said “I just made a little detour to see the carnival in Rio”. What’s a 4,000 nautical miles detour for him on this kind of boat?
His new IMOCA 60 looks spectacular:
And here are Alex Thomson greatest stunts:
So it’s no secret that we are big fans.
You can follow the 2020 Vendée Globe here. Go Alex!