A Modern Military Mother Does The Vendee Globe

I am passionate about the Vendee Globe. I think it is one of the greatest sporting occasions in the galaxy. There is no other sport like it. It is an endurance yacht race where men and women face alone, in a 60ft grand prix racing yacht, the world’s ocean’s weather systems over 80 -100 days non stop in a battle for supremacy on the high seas.

The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance.The race was founded by Frenchman Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years.

It is the only single-handed non-stop round-the-world race (in contrast to the VELUX 5 Oceans Race, which is sailed in stages), the race is a serious test of individual endurance, and is the ultimate in ocean racing.

The race has been dominated by the French in it’s six editions. The 2012-2013 edition is set to start Saturday, November 10, 2012. If a Brit was to win this edition it would by the yachting equivalent of Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France.

Yes – it’s that massive!

There are three Brits on the course:

Mike Golding
Alex Thomson
Sam Davies

I am lucky enough to be writing for the web team that will be creating the English web content for the race organisor’s website: Vendee Globe.org

I am so excited I can’t wait. I first happened upon the race when I was working for a yachting PR company called MPR, run by one of the doyennes of the 90s yachting PR scene, Susan Preston Davis. She was a tour de force and put me through a genuine apprenticeship. Part of my tenacity as an operator comes from my days working under her auspices. She was managing the PR for Mike Golding, and his sponsor Group 4, on a yacht race then known as Around Alone. He was working up to the 1996 Vendee Globe. It was here that I learned of this crazy race, created by the French, where men and women raced non-stop around the world in powerhouses of yachts. It was of course in this edition a little known girl from Derbyshire called Ellen MacArthur was to cut her gib into the realms of global superstardom when she secured an incredible 2nd place.

It’s going to be Vendee fever over here at A Modern Military Mother until next March. I am going to the Sables D’Olonne, a bijou fishing port in the Vendee region of France, during the build up and will be sporadically in Paris during the race scribing from race HQ. You are going to get access inside and out. I mean if you love Britain, and you love sport, then the least you can do this winter is get behind the British warriors of the ocean and show them that you care – non? It’s the winter – what else have you got to do?!!! Choose a player and show them your love.
(It’s tricky for me to choose. I’ll save that for another blog.)

I want you to join me on this journey. I love the Vendee Globe because it is a race of complexity that combines skill, endurance, emotion, endeavour, adventure, incident and drama in the most unpredictable, unexpected rollercoaster rides that spans 100 days. It’s exhausting to support it – let alone do it! Jump aboard – or don’t, but from now on I am going to be banging on about it alot!!

If you want join me – then enter this competition to win a weekend for two at the start: Enter here Hurry! It closes today – 30th August 2012!


    1. I do have a sailing background – I was an RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor, have done seven summers as a sailing instructor (aka pisshead)!! But for my PR background please visit: http://www.claremacnaughton.com

      I ran Mike Golding’s PR for the Vendee Globe 2004, have worked for Alex Thomson and was the Communications Director on the first edition on the Velux 5 Oceans.

      1. Great — that did not come out in the original piece. I’m looking forward to your reports, though I have a soft spot for Alessandro Di Benedetto, the Mini circumnavigator. Last year we were all big Sam fans, this year I need to find more of an underdog to root for.

        1. I think we have to support the Brits as a matter of national duty. I am a big Stamm fan – he sailed a flawless race in the Velux but then there was little competition once Alex and Mike dropped out. Plus he’s Swiss – I could get behind Alessandro – he seems interesting but only if all the Brits were to drop out. Armel Cleac’h is the hottest of all the skippers – as well as a hot favourite!! There are three Brit journalists writing about the race for the website this year and I am one of them but I am not a liberty to release the other two names. I am hoping that my copy will bring a fresh perspective to the content and perhaps a little bit braver and bolder than normal.

          1. Hey I said we were SAM (Davies) fans, not STAMM fans! And from a male American perspective, she is the hottest of the skippers, not Cleach. 😉

          2. Stamm is a little hottie too – he reminds me of Captain Jack Sparrow though I definitely think there is some pirate in him.

  1. Great job Clare – so sad though that the previous commentator chose to objectify the female skippers.I suppose we just have to realise that a lot of mainly inadequate men will always be bitter and jealous of our superb achievements !

    1. Thanks so much for following – ah men – they are so simple. It’s more like they want to get their hands on our assets. 🙂

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