02/08/2005: "Ellen MacArthur is my Hero!"
I mostly talk about art here with the occasional tangent but my other true love is sailing... and Ellen MacArthur breaking the record for fastest solo sail around the world (by 30 hours) is about as good as it gets for me.
Some friends gave me the book "Godforsaken Sea : The True Story of a Race Through the World's Most Dangerous Waters" as a house warming present and it was incredible. It's the story of the 1996-1997 Vendée Globe race around the world, through the Southern Ocean..."The Southern Ocean is the sailor's Everest. These are unquestionably the most dangerous waters in the world: hurricane infested, frigid, wholly unpredictable, and so remote...Imagine, then, a round-the-world, single-handed sailing race of the most extreme kind--no stopping, no assistance."
In 96/97, sixteen yachts started the Vendee Globe but only six officially finished; three yachts sank but the racers were rescued by other sailors. One had to perform emergency surgery on himself mid-race, and another died. The book was a total nail-biter in the vein of "Into Thin Air" where it's facinating and exciting to read while your lying on a couch in your warm and comfy living room sippin cocoa.
Anyway, Ellen came in second at the next Vendee Globe, which was a huge accomplishment, but not as amazing as what she did today. I don't know what impresses me about her the most, maybe it's that she's only 5"3...she gives me hope.