Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World Sport
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World  | Surf Report  | Predictions XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

RISKING LIFE AND LIMB: Senior sailors take on one of sailing’s most grueling races

The Vendee Globe solo round-the-world yacht race is not for the faint-hearted, but at 66 Rich Wilson is ready to risk injury, exhaustion and hurricane force winds a second time.


AFP

Sunday 6 November 2016, 10:51AM


US skipper of monohull ‘Great America III’, Rich Wilson takes the start of the 6th edition of the gruelling round-the-world Vendee Globe yacht race. Photo: Thomas Bregardis/AFP
US skipper of monohull ‘Great America III’, Rich Wilson takes the start of the 6th edition of the gruelling round-the-world Vendee Globe yacht race. Photo: Thomas Bregardis/AFP

Wilson, one of four over-60s in the gruelling race that starts today (Nov 6) at Les Sables d’Olonne, on France's west coast, endured broken ribs, crushed vertebrae and a deep cut in his face when he competed in 2009.

Masts that break in a gale and the constant threat of being swept overboard over-shadows all 29 entries in this edition of the race held every four years.

Wilson said he is very aware of the fate that befell top Chinese navigator Guo Chuan who went missing in the Pacific last week while attempting to get from San Francisco to Shanghai in less than 20 days.

“If such things can happen to him one can envisage the same things happening to less accomplished navigators,” the skipper of Great American IV said.

This time the Massachusetts Institute of Technology educated professor has vowed to tell every bump and scrape to an audience of hundreds of thousands of school children from Taiwan to Tennessee.

“Definitely,” he said when asked whether his on board adventure would get a full and frank airing on his sitesalive.com website which aims to use adventure to encourage children to learn. Thousands of schools have signed up to follow his program.

“I am an asthma sufferer on top of all the other challenges in this, so I will tell it all.”

Wilson will have to eat 5,000-6,000 calories a day, instead of the usual 2,000, to keep up with the energy-sapping schedule. Last time he lost weight despite the extra food and most competitors lose muscle bulk because of the limited space.

The sleep deprivation – four or five hours each day for about 100 days – is an additional trap awaiting competitors.

His blog and other educational work will take up two hours a day.

BIS

Last time, Wilson’s auto-pilot broke down for the final month so he had to check the winds every 20 minutes to keep on course.

“It is absolutely exhausting as well as stressful for many,” he said.

As in 2009, Wilson will again be the oldest competitor, but not the only senior in the race. Enda O’Coineen, 61, will be the first Irishman to take part in the race now in its eighth edition. O’Coineen also runs an educational trust and is president of the International Federation of Irish Pubs.

“At the press conference in Paris, I was asked was I concerned about the younger sailors in the race, so I said I thought they’d be okay,” O’Coineen told The Irish Times.

Dutch businessman Pieter Heerema, 65, will be one of nine rookies in the race.

Nandor Fa, 63 took part in the second Vendee Globe in 1992 and took fifth place. He also knows the risks, in 1996 he had to give up after a collision.

“There are eight or nine skippers in with a chance of winning, for the rest of us the aim is to finish this personal adventure in the best conditions,” said Wilson.

The others agreed.

“I have a long way to go and I’m no spring chicken,” said Heerema. But he insisted the position does not matter.

“My challenge is to complete the voyage. Make it all the way around the world alone.”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket officials exasperated over dumping in Karon

How about remote controlled CCTV Cams, directed on the spots, from high elevation in trees or light masts? Zoom in on the culprits, catch them, 2000 ...(Read More)


‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

Jor12,the misreading/not understanding was regarding Kurts comment.I absolutely agree with your opinion....(Read More)


‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

Jor12, the article also states "The case first drew the attention of the media after one parent circulated a video clip allegedly showing the sch...(Read More)


Phuket officials to patrol Rawai pier to check for begging sea gypsy kids

Jor12... Collusion:secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others. Once again, not the correct usage, and I did NOT say coll...(Read More)


‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

eagle...no, it says nothing at all about the Director, only a denial and being a well organised plot. "The director WAS SAID to have had his depu...(Read More)


Tons of rubbish cleared in Phuket airport beach clean-up

Paully44...merely commented on your illogical post. Don't know how you arrive at your conclusion. If you have any evidence you should be doing som...(Read More)


Phuket officials to patrol Rawai pier to check for begging sea gypsy kids

Rorii..there is no evidence of collusion by parents. However, if there is, it lends further credence to my analysis of the kids being entrepreneurial ...(Read More)


Fears for thousands of tower block residents after London inferno

Let's hope that Thai Government also looks into cladding ( outer coverings) of high rise buildings. It will give peace of mind when the thai Gove...(Read More)


Phuket officials to patrol Rawai pier to check for begging sea gypsy kids

Sounds noble. Could it be though that these officially non-thai citizens / children... are not sharing a cut of thier earnings with..... Aaaaah. ...(Read More)


Tons of rubbish cleared in Phuket airport beach clean-up

Kurt; I'm well aware of the antics but have to correct him. Jor 12; your assertion that is must be a foreigner whom can't read the Thai langua...(Read More)

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.