The Vendee Globe has suddenly become a competition among men after the only woman in the non-stop round-the-world sailing event decided to end her journey seven days into the race. Emotions burst out moments after Saveol's skipper Samantha Davies cut loose his injured mast into the ocean, becoming the fourth skipper to retire from the race.
One last 'night message' before Saveol and I arrive in Funchal where Erwan and Romain are there to greet me. This Vendee Globe has been too short.
I have been dreaming of sailing fast in the Southern Ocean for too long and now I won't get to go this year. I didn't even see a flying fish, nor the Southern Cross star, nor the Albatrosses.
I will be left with many memories of this Vendee Globe (not just the race, but also the preparations) but a strong memory that will be hard to erase is that moment when I cut the last forestay lashing and freed my injured mast into the ocean. It is hard to describe the emotions that go through your head at this moment - almost wishing to be able to bring it all back but knowing that it is impossible, like the dream of finishing this race. I let it go and, lit by my head torch, saw it float gently to rest in the ocean.
However, this is not all failure. I was there on the start line with a lovely boat and I have an amazing team, a huge family of sponsors and lots and lots of supporters. Saveol is still here, we can repair her, and I am OK. Given the conditions at the time of the dismasting, all of this is to be thankful for.
We will be back!
Good winds to the 16 skippers that are out there racing around the globe. I will follow you closely. When you have a bad day think of me because I would give anything to be out there in your place, even on a bad day!!
'I can't believe it. After all this work, that's what makes me the saddest. It's not just about me, it's all my team, my family and all the people who worked very hard for me. It's not fair for everyone who was expecting a great Vendée Globe.'
Sam Davies après son démâtage/ after her... by VendeeGlobeTV
Vendee Globe website
by Vendee Globe
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5:31 AM Sun 18 Nov 2012GMT
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