At 45000 kilometers, the Vendee Globe, by any measure, is an immense challenge. There is no other sporting event in the world that pitches man against the elements, solo and without support, for so long. And yet, since the beginning of our campaign I have been insistent that this race be more than the story of a guy finding his limits while being splashed in the face for three months.
This is why we ripped the engine out of the boat and converted the boat into an ambassador for clean energy along with our partners Foresight, Oceanvolt, Super B and Solar Cloth. This is also why I am proud to race in support of a little French charity called Voiles des Anges, a group that helps parents grieve the loss of their children by honouring their memory in sporting events. I am also in regular contact with French schools and met with several before the start and will meet with more afterwards.
When am asked what the Vendee Globe represents to me I always reply that is the ultimate challenge and the sum of all my interests in business, sport and adventure. For the parents in Voiles des Anges, their ultimate challenge might be learning how to wake up each day with a hole in their lives or for the school kids it might be making it through math class. The lesson is that we all have challenges in our lives that can appear insurmountable but by breaking them down into small steps and constantly moving forward anything is possible.
I am writing this today to ask, "What is your Vendee"? What is your ultimate challenge and what little steps are achievable today? Today I will cross the equator, completing the first step of the race and opening up the next which is the South Atlantic, followed by the Indian Ocean etc etc. In this way the world's longest sporting event is just a series of little steps, repeated daily until the end. Just like life!
So tell me, what's your Vendee? "A journey of a thousand miles (45,000 km ) starts with a single step" The important thing is to start walking.