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VENDEE GLOBE - Around the globe alone !

One of the most dramatic round the world - single handed yacht races, set sail this days from Les Sables in France. 24 sixty foot super advanced yachts, known as the Open 60s' ( Each one at a cost of more than 1.5 million dollars) , gathered in the small seaside town on the Biscay coast.
Following the terrible disaster that accured in the previous race 4 years ago, when several yachts capsized and staid upside down, unable to right themselves, this due a technical error in the design. Mostly famous was the case of Tony Bullimor, who was trapped inside the upturned hull for 2 days and was finally rescued by the Australian Navy...
To prevent this to happen again, new rules have been set up and strict tests have been conducted to each of the yachts. This days most of the yachts are equipped with canting keels. On top of the improvement in sailing efficiency, the system assures that in case of capsize of 180o , the yacht will right itself again.
Among the famous names taking part in the race, there is the 24 years British Ellen Mac Arthur with her yacht the Kingfisher. In spite of her young age Ellen is a very experienced sailor, it is estimated that she has a good chance to be between the winners. More than 100 days of solitary confinement with hard work on board and very little sleep, are what the single-handed Vendee Glob competitors will face during the race. The course will consist of sailing to the South and around Africa to the famous 50o latitudes, turning Eastward towards Australia and New Zealand, crossing the South Pacific Ocean, passing by the notorious Cap Horn and than to the North into the Atlantic and Back to France. A total of over 25.000 miles !


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