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The Vendee Globe Firsthand

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RACE FRANCE TO FRANCE: LEAVE ANTARCTICA TO STARBOARD
By Rich Wilson // 325 pps, From $9.99 // sitesALIVE! // racefrancetofrance.com

Few of us will ever experience a Vendée Globe race firsthand. But readers can now get at least a taste of what it’s like, thanks to Rich Wilson’s book, Race France to France. One of only two Americans to ever complete a Vendée, Wilson finished ninth out of the 30 boats that took part in the particularly brutal 2008-09 edition, which saw only 11 boats complete the 28,000-nautical-mile course. In doing so, the then 58-year-old Wilson overcame broken ribs, prolonged sleep deprivation and no less than 10 gales. As a young Frenchman told Wilson shortly before setting out: “L’important, c’est de participer.” Wilson not only participated. His tale constitutes one of the world’s great adventures.

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