Question asked by Webmaster:

How did you prepare the race? asked by Gonçalo, 16, Azores, Portugal


Dear Gonçalo,

I love the Azores! I visited Horta in 2004. It is so beautiful in the Azores!

How did we prepare? This is a huge question. There were many things to prepare for the race, and for each item that we had to address, we thought, planned, worked, thought some more, planned some more, and then worked some more. Some of these items included the boat, sails, rigging, electronics, nutrition, physical training, navigation gear, repair gear, tools, sail repair kit, spare windcharger blades, spare starter motor, spare battens, one spare sail, lots of computer software, charts on CDs for the computer, light lists for lighthouses around the world, usernames/password/accounts for six satellite communications systems, plus FTP accounts, medical kit beyond description, medical training (required by race officials), survival training (required by race officials), measurement of the boat to make sure it is an IMOCA certified boat, clothing, asthma drugs, helmet and elbow pads for bad weather, and on, and on, and on. The Vendée Globe is a big project, and requires great planning.

A side story… A year or so ago, my friend Bob Seamans passed away. I knew Bob through a sailing club, but also he was Dean of Engineering at MIT, a former Secretary of the Air Force, former Chairman of Sea Education Association (see SEA’s Dr. Jan Witting in our Team of Experts), and was Deputy Director of NASA during the Apollo space program. Bob was the ultimate public servant and an extraordinary man. I remember when SEA named its new ship for him, the SSV Robert C. Seamans (see that that was PERFECT! Anyway, Bob had commented once that when they were doing the planning for the Apollo program to the moon, they had a list of 10,000 problems that needed solving! Now THAT is a big project!