by Rich Wilson, Skipper, Great American III

The midpoint of the voyage, estimated by time or mileage or geography, offers a symbolic chance for reflection on what we have accomplished, or not, and what we have still to do.

Our goals are two: on land, to create a global school program off this global event; and at sea, to finish the Vendée Globe.

Internationally, we were not able to turn initial interest by Newspaper in Education (NIE) programs in 25 countries to their publishing this series. In the United States, however, we have a record 50 newspapers, from large to small, publishing our NIE series and distributing it to schools. Via personal teacher networks, we have schools in over a dozen countries using the program, and in the United States via an online content partnership with we have a broader reach on the web for than ever before.

At sea, we are still in the race, although back in the pack. We knew this latter would occur, because Great American III is an older boat and she has an older skipper. We are not at all disappointed in our placement in the fleet. We have solved problems, and not, and we have made good and bad sail maneuvers and weather-routing decisions. From the midpoint, emotionally, we’ll be sailing home, but Cape Horn still lies ahead, and the Horn may be the real emotional midpoint.