VENDEE GLOBE ROUND UP
Monday February 2nd, 2009
VENDEE VICTORY AND MORE FOR DESJOYEAUX
It took Michel Desjoyeaux just over 84 days to sail to victory in the world’s most gruelling round the world challenge. The 43-year-old Frenchman arrived at the finishing line at Le Sable d’Olonne on Sunday several days ahead of his closest rival Roland Jourdain. The 2008/2009 Vendee Globe has not been a kind one with over half the entrants forced out of the race including defending champion Vincent Riou.
Desjoyeaux smashed Riou’s race record of 87 days and 10 hours and has become the first skipper to win the Vendee twice following his victory in 2001. On his arrival on the west coast of France he said 'Incredible with the sun coming out. Magic, even if I experienced this eight years ago… I still don't understand how I'm here like this. I just tried to sail my boat as well as I could. A race is won largely before it begins with experience and preparation - 80% before, 20% during the race by working hard… I didn't need to push too hard, wasn't stressed at any point, and it seemed very easy. Even 25th December with a rudder problem I dealt with it. I didn't sit there worrying about it.'
His triumphant return was greeted by thousands of spectators, an armada of small boats and a spectacular firework display. Second place Jourdain had this to say about his rival 'He was above everyone else. He is in peak form.” Jourdain still has almost a thousand miles ahead of him
The Brits have also done well this year. Out of the 11 skippers still in the competition Sam Davies is in fourth place with 2,500 miles to sail Brian Thompson in sixth place, Dee Caffari seventh and our eleventh hour hero Steve White is in ninth place with Toe In The Water.
The Harbour Guides Crew would like to congratulate Captain Dejoyeaux on his inspiring and truly earth shattering victory and wish all the remaining skippers the very best of luck.
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