It’s a Lucky 13th for Rich Wilson
American sailor Rich Wilson has not only completed his second Vendée Globe but finished in 13th place out of 29 starters—a great feat for the oldest competitor in this solo race around the world.
In completing the event, the 66-year-old mariner and native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, also became the fastest American to race solo and non-stop around the globe.
Wilson, sailing aboard the IMOCA 60 Great American IV finished the race in 107 days 48 minutes, improving on his previous finish time of 121 days 41 in the 2008-9 race by nearly two weeks.
Over the course of this most recent circumnavigation, he covered a total of 27,480 miles at an average speed of 10.70 knots. Along the way, the veteran skipper had to deal with a range of small technical problems, notably gripes with his autopilot system, his hydro-generator system and some modest sail repairs.
Throughout the race, Wilson also told the story of his adventure with clarity and passion through his website, http://www.sitesalive.com.
"It’s great to be back. To see France and all the French people here. In this race I think there was a lot more communication between the skippers than in 2008-2009,” Wilson said afterward, although he added, “It was a little bit harder because I’m older.”