Click to download Tribute to His Majesty PDF

Live Phuket 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.


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 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.

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:
    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

Ex-THAI staff snared in bribe row

THAI AIRWAYS had a culture of corruption. Even the hotels had to pay a kick back to get the passengers of Thai Airways. The manager or supervisor in c...(Read More)

Phuket property prices not just about the beach

Christ Sweet: What do you mean i don't own my company? Me and my family do as per my response below....(Read More)

Phuket property prices not just about the beach

Rorri: To all intent and purpose i own my properties as i own my company.Again as previously stated i am the director of the company and have sole sig...(Read More)

Phuket property prices not just about the beach

.....unless Swerv is a US citizen and started the company using the Amity treaty. If he did, he can legally own 100% of the company....(Read More)

Phuket women fight, knife pulled, over market trousers

I have experienced this type of hostility several times while shopping in Phuket and Bangkok. They don't like you trying on clothes and not buy...(Read More)

All change in Surin as plans for Phuket Rajabhakti Park scrapped

“I can confirm that once complete no vendors will be allowed in the park." That means the beach mafia ( Vendors who pay the corrupt official...(Read More)

Phuket judge hands down Czech fugitive less than legal minimum for visa overstay

How does this happen? It might possibly have something to do with a brown paper bag!...(Read More)

Gripen jet crashes during air show, pilot killed

Eagle: Correction! My response is not a response on a comment of you. You never comment here. I responded on a response of you. Always trying to...(Read More)

French woman deported for Phuket overstay, banned for five years

What eventually happened to this poor horse Christy Sweet?Have been wondering about it this week. Our children are all riders and grow up with horses....(Read More)

Phuket property prices not just about the beach

Yep...I still hate for you clueless clowns to be my financial advisor - like Rorii who is adamant that nominee shareholders are not illegal, now tryin...(Read More)

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
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
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
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.