Vendee Globe

This Sunday - 6 November 2016 - check the Sunday Independent for a wall chart which includes a map of the world with the course of the race from France around the world and back to France. The chart is designed for school pupils to follow the race. Schools are encouraged to register at Team Ireland to obtain supporting educational material.
Information will be available on web-sites: The Vendee Globe app is available from: Google play store or Apple App Store
There will be 29 competitors. Kilcullen Voyager is the only Irish entry and Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss is the only British entry. For those who don’t already know the Vendee Globe Solo Round the World Race starts on the 6th Nov 2016, see www.vendeeglobe.org/en/. This race, in France, has a greater following than the Tour de France or Roland Garros. As Enda O’Coineen the first Irishman to take part in qualifiers has achieved just that in style in December 2015 we will hopefully have an interest in the race if he decides to take part. Enda set out on Fri 13th Nov 2015 to re-join his Yacht “Kilcullen Voyager” in the Canaries. He sailed with the assistance of David Thompson to the Caribbean. The yacht sailed under the name of Currency House Kilcullen during the race to France.
vendee

The yacht sailed under the name of Currency House Kilcullen during the race to France.

Here it is being made ready at St Barts for the voyage and Enda was forced to delay for 24 hours sorting out equipment failures which necessitated flying parts out from England and he got great cooperation locally fitting them. He then sailed solo on this 60’ craft to Port La Foret, Brittany in France on the 7th December, 24 hours after 6 others set out, one other yacht crying off at the last minute. This is Enda’s 3rd solo trans-Atlantic race. Once in a 16’ inflatable dinghy, later in a 21’ boat and now in a specially built NZ boat which at 7 years old is well tested and equipped with the latest single handed gear both equipment wise and electronically. On Thurs 12th November 2015 he had a send-off from family and Atlantic Youth Trust supporters. Talking to him and in his address you could sense his excitement and apprehension in equal measures. He had just a couple of weeks to learn this boat inside out, its handling and its myriad equipment. The race time back to France is approx. 12 days. By 17th December Enda knew he had been in a race. He had overhauled many of the other boats some of whom had sought shelter. He had contended with 40 knot winds and following seas as depicted by this photo over the stern of this 22 foot wide boat. He had also shredded a main sail. But he only had a few days to go. On the 20th December 2015 he entered Port La Foret and gained a podium position coming third. In fact he was less than 24 hours behind the 2nd placed yacht but it is first past the post to win. He got back to Dublin for a reception at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on the 23rd December and he was still beaming. I was late due to a prior commitment but is was good to shake his hand and add the quip “the old horse for the long road”. I hope that he thinks long and hard before he sets out around the World but if he does we must all get behind him as he will set out with the mantra that to complete the course will be to win and I know that his steely determination will bring him through the field. Bon chance, mon ami. Always in his thoughts is the provision of a new tall ship for Ireland and you can see the Atlantic Youth Trust logo on the side of his yacht. The dream is for youth development for 15 to 18 year olds from every community in Ireland. Thursday 21st he will host the 2nd AGM of Atlantic Youth Trust and will be able to report much work done since the first one in September 2014. Keep watching this space. For more information please consult the following sites. Joe Ryan 18/1/2016
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