0106utc 50/42S 130/41E, solent et deux ris dans la grande voile, 11.5 knots. Moving toward the East Australian ice gate.
Despondent about Derek. After returning for repairs after the start, he had sailed brilliantly through the Atlantic, catching up many miles. He was relentless and had gained on our group of 2 (with Artemis) to make a group of three. Brothers in arms through the last week of severe gales of 45-55knots each. Our group talked on the phone through these gales, and through Christmas. We were all in the same sea state that rolled Derek, so it could have happened to any of our three–a frightening thought. We will miss him from our little group.
Derek’s project is one of the great ones in the Vendee Globe. Starting with no sponsor, no boat, he raised money via a group of 10,000 supporters that he gained one by one by relentless public relations work, he built the boat by himself, an extraordinary feat, he made hundreds of corporate presentations with no results until the very end, almost too late to help, no big shore crew, and on and on. He is a great ambassador for Vendee Globe to Canada and North America. He has so much to be proud of with his project, even if he won’t finish this race. Surely hundreds of thousands of people are inspired by his total effort, people whom he will never meet will change their lives because of him, and his retirement from the race does not dilute this impact one bit.
Derek, I’m sure you’ll be disappointed and discouraged by not finishing this course, but be proud of your total effort, be proud of the inspirational impact you will have on countless numbers of people. You’re an inspiration to me for certain.