Rich Wilson recounts near disaster in the Vendée Globe Race

Rich Wilson

Famed circumnavigator Rich Wilson will give an illustrated talk titled Race France to France, Leave Antarctica to Starboard: An American in the Vendee Globe on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., Cook Memorial Theater, New Bedford Whaling Museum. A reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery precedes the lecture.

Wilson finished ninth in the world renowned Vendée Globe 2008-9 – the solo, non-stop, sailing race around the world.

The Vendée Globe race instructions are simple: “start at Les Sables d’Olonne (France), leave Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) to port, leave Cape Leeuwin (Australia) to port, leave Cape Horn (Chile) to port, leave Antarctica to starboard, finish at Les Sables d’Olonne; 26,000 miles, 100 days, solo, nonstop, without assistance, in 60’ sailboats.”

It wasn’t so simple. Wilson endured broken ribs, a facial gash, compressed vertebrae, hurricane force gales, an ascent up the 90’ mast, crushing fatigue, fear, and gear breakage in braving the course via the Atlantic, Indian and PacificOceans, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, in his 60’ mono hull Great American III. A dedicated educator, Wilson connected his voyage to 250,000 students and 7 million readers by publication of a 15-part weekly series (written aboard ship) in 50 U.S. Newspapers, and by his website, Schools in 15 countries participated online.

Admission: $15 members; $20 non-members. For tickets, call (508) 997-0046 Ext. 100.

The 2012 Speakers’ Series is presented by BayCoast Bank, and sponsored in part by C.E. Beckman, and Hampton Inn Fairhaven/New Bedford.

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