Rich Wilson: Greatest American Ocean Hero

Photo by Olivier Blanchet/ DPPI

Photo by Olivier Blanchet/ DPPI

Congratulations and bienvenue to American solo sailor, Rich wilson, who has just completed his solo circumnavigation of the world in his 2nd Vendee Globe Race. We have already declared Rich the winner of the race, despite his actual 13th place finish in just over 107 days at sea. His interview below, done soon after he arrived on shore, shows just how tired, emotional and mentally exhausted the 66-year old sailor is after the race. However he learns, mid-press conference, that his own route mileage on the 29,000 course was the same as the race winner, Armel Le Cleac’h. And this put Rich amongst the leaders, just in a slower boat, and arguably in an older (and more experienced) body!

Wilson, as the sole American, got an amazing amount of support from the French fans who are notoriously – well, French – and supportive of their countrymen who regularly rule the open oceans. But the French have a soft spot for Wilson, perhaps due in part to his albeit “conservative” badassery. Yes – any 66 year-old who circumnavigates the world is a downright badass, and the French, who are apparently born with this ocean going badassery, know a hero when they see one.

There is so much to Rich’s amazing story – like how he interacted with over 1,000,000 school kids along his route. Or how he had almost no serious breakdown of boat or body on this race edition. Rich sailed conservatively and in fear, for most of the race, he admitted. He set a new record for the fastest American to race solo, non-stop around the world, and beat his own time from the 08-09 race.  So all in all, we again declare Rich the winner!

Read more of Rich’s story on his website, Facebook page or in this press release from the Vendee Globe.

Well done, Rich! Felicitations from all of us here at JD and TotalBoat. We can’t wait to see what you’ll be up to next! After some serious rest!

 

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