by Rich Wilson, Skipper, Great American III

Rich Wilson

For Michel Desjoyeaux, success in the Vendée Globe is winning the race, which he has just done for the second time with an extraordinary effort. He is a professional sailor, and this is his proving ground. For many of the other skippers in the race, the goal is to finish. They may have older boats or be amateur sailors. For them, winning is out of reach—their goal is to finish.

For me, there are two goals. One goal is to produce a great school program within sitesALIVE, both via newspapers and the web, and with significant contribution from our Team of Experts. The other goal is to complete the race. On our school program, now 14 weeks along, feedback suggests that we have been successful in exciting and engaging students, mostly in the US, but also with classrooms from a dozen countries worldwide. Additionally, we have 50 newspapers
publishing our series in the US.

If I can keep going and reach Les Sables d’Olonne, we will also meet our second goal. We won’t know that outcome for several weeks from now. In defining success, one must set realistic and specific goals. And then, at the finish of the project, be very honest about whether they were reached or not. For us, except for our desire to have had overseas
newspapers participate, we are close to having a successful project.