With just nine months to go until the Vendée Globe begins, Alex Thomson Racing has unveiled the first in a twelve part series, documenting Thomson’s preparations and progress ahead of the race.
RoadtoVendee will bring viewers closer than ever before to Thomson, not only as a professional yachtsman but as a brand ambassador, husband, father and loyal team member.
Episode one sets the scene as the Alex Thomson Racing team prepare for the start of the Ocean Masters Vendée Globe. It features a unique insight from the legendary Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford. In 1969 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became a hero for being the first man to perform a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.
Background: The Vendée Globe is still the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance. On November 26, 1989, thirteen sailors set off in this first edition, which would last more than three months. Only seven made it back to les Sables d’Olonne.
Since then, the first seven editions of what the public refers to as the Everest of the seas, have enabled 138 sailors to line up at the start of the Vendée Globe, while only 71 have managed to cross the finishing line. This figure alone expresses the huge difficulty of this global event, where sailors face icy cold conditions, mountainous waves and leaden skies in the Southern Ocean.
Only one sailor has won it twice: Michel Desjoyeaux, in 2001 and 2009. The race record is held by François Gabart with a time of 78 days. The eighth Vendée Globe will set sail from les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday, November 6, 2016.