Vendée Globe: The feminine touch of sailing

The Vendée Globe is increasingly a women’s story: in the ninth edition of the solitary sailing tour around the world, six of the 32 “skippers” currently in competition are female.

The six women represent three different nationalities.

It’s an important presence for the British Sam Davies who, at the helm of the Initiatives-Coeur sailboat, is the only one to have already undertaken this adventure, with a brilliant fourth place in the 2008/2009 edition.

With a state-of-the-art Imoca equipped with “foils”, Davies does not hide her ambitious goals for this second participation, namely to try to break the 74-day record set by Armel Le Cléac’h four years ago.

Defending the oceans around the globe

But competition is not the only thing these participants have in mind. For some of them this challenge also involves drawing attention to broader issues, such as protecting the planet.

A project on which the Frenchwoman Alexia Barrier, founder of 4MyPlanet, has embarked with the oldest of the sailing boats in competition, built in 1998.

Despite two decades of experience on the high seas, this is also the first time for British Pip Hare in the Vendée Globe adventure. The main objective: to complete the race and enjoy every minute of the journey!

A “stowaway” on board

In a solo and unassisted race, they all have, like the rest of the participants, to dedicate part of their time onboard to making repairs and adjustments to their sailing boats.

Hard tasks but which can offer unexpected moments, like what happened to the Frenchwoman Clarisse Crémer, who found a “stowaway” on board: a small crab that she discovered in a compartment of the sailboat, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The women’s side of the Vendée Globe also includes French-German Isabelle Joschke and British Miranda Merron, who made her first sailing trip across the Atlantic at the age of nine.


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