It is with considerable joy (though not much surprise) that I discovered that the Vendée Globe race has a website
. The next Vendée doesn't start until November of 2004, but I'm already excited.
For those who have never heard of the Vendée Globe, the concept is simple. It's an around-the-world sailboat race. Non-stop. Alone.
No one needs to ask why I love this, right?
I stumbled across the Vendée quite by accident a while ago when I was doing research for Journey. I found a book in a discount pile called Godforsaken Sea
by Derek Lundy. It was something like $3 and about a race, and so I bought it and read it and totally fell in love with the race. The book is another matter. It's a good book, but a frustrating one. The race is not told in chronological order, and so you know about one racer's death before the storm that kills him is even on radar screens, etc., etc. It many respects it was a lesson in killing dramatic tension. But even through that sort of nonsense, the race itself totally shone through.
I then discovered another book by British racer Pete Goss called Close to the Wind
which is his account of the same Vendée as Lundy details in Godforsaken Sea
. Pete Goss actually has one of the best stories in the entire race, as he has to perform surgery on his own arm in the middle of the ocean, and later he turns his boat around in the middle of a storm to rescue fellow sailor Raphael Dinelli after Dinelli's boat sinks. And then the two are living together on this one small racing boat, Goss speaking little French and Dinelli speaking little English ... oh, it's excellent stuff.
I also recently discovered that Tony Bullimore also
wrote a book about his wreck and rescue during the very same race. I didn't find that particular book, but I did literally stumble across a very abridged version of it in a Reader's Digest from March of 1998.
Um, yes, anyway, the point of this entry was that I discovered this website and have been enjoying seeing who has already expressed an intent to sail in 2004/2005 (yay, Raphael Dinelli!). Very fun stuff, and I've never sailed a boat in my life. Hell, I've never even been on a sailboat! Still, most entertaining.