First Educational Seminar

The CYC 2017 Educational Seminar series kicked off with a riveting presentation by Jonathan Green, Boston-based specialist in shorthanded sailing and winner of both the 2013 Original Single Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR), and the 2011 Bermuda 1-2. Jonathan’s presentation on February 15 focused on the Vendée Globe around the world solo race, and in particular on Rich Wilson’s 2016/17 campaign. As a member of Rich’s team Jonathan has been closely involved in both the preparation for the race and in Rich’s related international school program, Sites Alive.

Jonathan explored the history of solo sailing, including Joshua Slocum, who set sail from Boston in 1895 to sail around the world alone, renowned 20th century solo sailors Sir Francis Chichester, Bernard Moitessier and Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, and introducing the Vendée Globe in its present form. Jonathan then homed in on Rich Wilson’s voyages and his use of these endeavors as the basis of an exciting real-world educational program for students around the world.

Jonathan’s presentation made clear, a monumental effort is required to participate in the Vendée Globe, not only in the preparation of the boat and the skipper but also in terms of fundraising: a successful campaign just to get to the start line can cost between $2 and $10 million. Rich and his team were fortunate to reach this goal, and by the time of the presentation Rich was about 1400 nm from the finish line. Jonathan was preparing to leave the following week to head to France to meet Rich at the finish line. And for the future? Jonathan has already begun his campaign to enter the race in 2020. CYC members will surely be following his progress with great interest.

Want to read more about solo sailing? Suggested titles include:

A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols
The story of the London Times Golden Globe Race. Included in this book is the description of the tragic final voyage of Donald Crowhurst

The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier
Bernard Moitessier recounts his incredible voyage in the Golden Globe in which he pulled out of the race and continued to sail further around the world.

Force of Nature by Robin Knox-Johnson. Sir Robin’s firsthand account of his return to solo round-the-world sailing at the age of 67.

Close to the Wind by Peter Goss. This extraordinary book details Peter’s participation in the Vendée Globe, the problems he encountered with his boat, and the distress message he received from a French sailor 160nm away.

Race France to France Leave Antarctica to starboard – by Rich Wilson
Rich’s chronicle of his 2008 Vendée Globe campaign

Online links to Rich Wilson Vendée Campaigns