Friday 26 May 2017

Sailing close to the wind in the endurance test of a lifetime

The Vendee Globe has claimed many lives in its 30 years, but Enda O'Coineen is determined to finish the gruelling solo race that will take him around the world

Students from St Mary's NS, Dublin, are shown the round-the-world route on the MSL Mercedes-Benz Kilcullen Voyagers map by skipper Enda O'Coineen
Students from St Mary's NS, Dublin, are shown the round-the-world route on the MSL Mercedes-Benz Kilcullen Voyagers map by skipper Enda O'Coineen

I was emotionally charged leaving Ireland this week to head for France and prepare for the toughest challenge of my life.

My departure was a magical send-off, bidding farewell to the Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port - the title bestowed on the capital's Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr - as well as to the 130 excited school children who are part of a National Schools Programme and who will be following our adventure, as will our family, friends, well-wishers and supporters.

Only the French could have dreamt up the 'Vendee Globe', which rightly deserves its nickname the 'Everest of the Seas'. It's a solo race around the world, from west to east, non-stop and without assistance. ­­

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