What or who inspired you to enter the race?
I’ve followed the Vendée Globe since it began in 1989, yet I never wanted to do the race. I was sailing multihulls, and the Vendée was strictly monohull sailing.
More basically, though, I’d never considered the Vendée Globe simply because it was too hard, too long, too risky, and too difficult. I had no inclination at all to do it. Then, as the sitesALIVE! education programs progressed, it seemed as though schools finally were making advances in using computers and the web. With these advancements, I thought that we could make a global school program off of the Vendée Globe event. This was my primary reason for entering the race.
Whereas sitesALIVE! has been very successful in using Newspaper in Education (NIE) programs in the United States (we have published our series in over 50 different newspapers through the years), we thought that we could take the same NIE program globally. Attending an international conference for young newspaper readers in 2008, we were able to identify newspapers in over 30 countries that were very interested in publishing our newspaper series. Then, when it came time to actually sign them up, it was very difficult. School was out in the southern hemisphere, so newspapers were unlikely to publish an education program while the race was on. Others didn’t have the space in the paper, or they had other priorities crop up. So we were not able to gain our global exposure via our NIE program. That has been very disappointing, but we were on a track to sail the race, and, fortunately, other avenues via the web have opened up that weren’t there even a few years ago. So we are reaching the global audience, just not quite in the way we anticipated, and perhaps not as broadly as we’d like.
Thanks for the question,