WHAT MAKES A WINNER?
Do I have a chance to win the Vendée Globe? Do you mean if I am going to cross the finish line first? That is only one of the many elements that makes one a winner in Imoca Globe Series. The nature of single handed ocean racing is very different from round the buoys or crew off shore racing. Here’s why:
Every skipper in the starting line of any Imoca Globe Series races is already a hero and a winner. None of the races you can just enter if you wish. It requires a sailing history, thousands of hours of work, resources and the skipper + the boat being qualified.
Every skipper being able to start in the mystic Vendée Globe is invited to the Elysée Palace by the president of France.
Every skipper who faces serious setbacks during the race and manages to solve them or get back home safe is a hero and a winner. The salt and pepper of the ocean races is that they are human, real stories not written beforehand. There’s a man or a woman versus an element.
Every skipper who risks his or her’s own race because of helping a fellow skipper in danger is a hero and a winner even if disqualified. There are amazing stories where a skipper has managed to rescue a fellow racer on the cost of one’s own race.
This is not a weekend show.
On the top of all, races and projects are long in duration. Races normally take weeks or months. The route to VG2020 takes four years. The amount of attention delivered by teams, organisations, partners, fans and various medias is huge, ongoing also in between the races, and rich in stories.
I have a good, strong boat that is made for crossing oceans, not for tight small distance racing. During my road to VG2020 I will be a winner every time I manage to be on the starting line of any of the world championship Imoca Globe Series races. And a double winner when finishing one.
Photos by ©SailingImages, Jari Salo