Sunday, February 01, 2009

Historic second Vendee Globe victory for Desjoyeaux

[Source: Vendée Globe] Sailing more than 28,303 miles, averaging around 13.2 knots, French solo skipper Michel Desjoyeaux has shattered the Vendée Globe race record today by 3 days 7 hours and 39 seconds on his way to becoming the first skipper ever to win the solo non stop around the world race twice. The course is effectively 1150 miles longer than in 2004 when

After winning the race in 2000-1 on PRB, eclipsing the young emerging British skipper Ellen MacArthur by 1 day 28 minutes, Desjoyeaux joined the 30 strong field for this race, the biggest entry ever for a round the world race in sailing history, as one of the clear favourites.

After a successful odyssey into big racing multihulls, Desjoyeaux returned to monohulls in 2007 when he won the highly competitive Solitaire du Figaro, going on to win the Transat Vabre in late 2007 on his return to the IMOCA Open 60 class in which the Vendée Globe

Michel Desjoyeaux crosse the finish line victorious. Les Sables D'Olonne, 01 February 2009. Video copyright Vendée Globe

Desjoyeaux crossed the finish on Sunday 1st February at 15:11.08 GMT , after 84 days 03 hours 09 minutes of racing. Foncia completed the race in twenty knots of breeze under sunny skies, greeted by a massive armada of spectator boats before beking warmly welcomed by huge crowds who gathered along the waterfront and harbour area of Les Sables d’Olonne, where the race departed at 1202 GMT November 9th 2008.

Desjoueaux said: “ It’s incredible, this little ray of sunshine is making it magical. I may have done it eight years ago, but it's still incredible. I can’t take it in. I have been two months trying to understand what's going on, how I’m doing it and so here I’m just enjoying it then we'll think about it afterwards.

I never really worried about being behind. I won this Vendée Globe before the start with the choices I made, with the team and the experience I have built up.

I won this Vendée Globe before the start with the choices I made, with the team and the experience I have built up Eighty percent of the end result is before the start of the race. But it is a whole lot of things, and the other twenty percent are during the race itself, in believing, having faith, in doing it, manoeuvering, in punishing yourself, when I had to push a bit, but I never really suffered. I am always in the action, making the boat go fast.

I don’t think I have been cocky. We’ve had rough conditions in the south but I felt I was at ease and enjoying it a lot, so everything feels a lot easier that way, not to be too hard on yourself and just keep going.

Even on 25th December with my rudder problem, I didn’t sit around crying about what had happened. Everyone knows the Vendée Globe is hard and it’s only normal there aren’t many of us finishing.

It’s the hardest race that exists, simply, so it's normal that there are not a lot of us left at the finish line.

Jules Verne had visualized 80 (days) and I think that’s do-able even with our boats, so I think in four years it'll be doable The world hasn’t shrunk, but it is certainly possible to sail around the world in under 80 days, and it would have been possible this time without the ice this time.

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