2008 Vendée Globe
November 8, 2008 1:36 PM   Subscribe

The 2008-2009 Vendée Globe starts tomorrow from Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Held every four years, this single-handed, non-stop, round the world sailing race is so competitive that the 2004-2005 edition saw the top 3 finishers separated by less than 29 hours after 87 days of racing!

The first round-the-world race, the Sunday Times Golden Globe, held in 1968-1969, was won by Robin Knox-Johnston (the only competitor to finish) and inspired its share of philosophy and tragedy, with Bernard Moitessier abandoning while leading, and Donald Crowhurst committing suicide while trying to fake his voyage. (Previously)

Although modern technology has made the race (somewhat) safer, going to sea, and especially entering the Southern Ocean, is an inherently dangerous undertaking, inspiring some, and requiring rescue for others.

Armchair skippers can experience some of the fun -- without the relentless cold, wet, and freeze-dried food -- in the Virtual Vendée Globe.
posted by findango (4 comments total)
One of the major disappointments of my modest sailing career was signing on to deliver the Open 60 Ocean Planet, on which Bruce Schwab was the first American Vendée finisher in 2004-2005, from Maine to South Carolina — and then catching a sunken rock with the keel bulb before even getting out of the harbor! Bruce has repaired her and is taking paid crew for Caribbean trips — I may have another chance someday...
posted by nicwolff at 2:36 PM on November 8, 2008

wow thanks for the reminder - this is really one of the coolest sporting events ever... anyone who has been out in big seas knows how spooky the southern ocean must be.
posted by specialk420 at 3:39 PM on November 8, 2008

Artemis Racing takes on the French who started the race and have excelled ever since.
Battery power is a must for any Vendée Globe sailor. This is one of the most ballsiest events on the planet. Totally fucking insane. I've crossed oceans on small sailboats and believe me I have no wish to get involved in the Southern Oceans.
posted by adamvasco at 3:48 AM on November 9, 2008

Thanks for the heads up. This is the original extreme sport event. Until you've been in rough seas for more than a few days and/or been alone for a couple months while only sleeping in snatches here and there...
posted by From Bklyn at 4:37 AM on November 11, 2008

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