Saturday, 20 December 2008

Dropping Out Of The Race To Save Another

The British Yachtswoman Samantha Davies, who is currently taking part in a solo round-the-world race, changed her course to try and save a fellow yachtsman.

The French sailor Yann Elies, who was also taking part in the race, had got into trouble after a wave hit his boat and he broke his thighbone.

The British woman diverted her course and sailed nearly 40 miles out of her way to try and reach to Frenchman.

She wasn't the only one to forgo their place in the race, as fellow Frenchman and sailor Marc Guillemot also changed his course to help out.

Helping Out

Guillemot was the first to reach Elies boat, which was 800 miles off the coast of Australia, and managed to throw painkillers to the injured man.

However the seas were too rough to be able to get on board or move Elies from his own boat to another.

Davies said to The Guardian that "there's no way we can get him off his boat and onto one of ours. The plan is to stand by and be moral and phycological support for him while he's waiting the real rescue".

She said that as soon as she heard to news she was determined to sail to the aide of her competitor and friend.

The Race

All three of the competitors were taking part in the Vendee Globe Race, which is essentially a race around the world, on your own, without stopping off anywhere and without any external help.

The competitors set off on the 9th of November this year. The starting point was Les Sables D'Olonne in France.

There are eight 'gates' that competitors must pass through in order to complete the race, and the total length of the course is around 24,000 miles.

Davies was competing on her boat named Roxy, while Elies' vessel was named The Generali.


This is not the first time in the history of the race that a competitor has been in trouble.

The Vendee Globe Race covers some stretches of water that are thought to be particularly dangerous.

In the race beginning in 2004 and ending in 2005, over a third of the boats that took part were forced to retire from the race.

According to The Telegraph, there were also several fatalities during the races that took place in 1992/1993 and 1996/1997.

Time Credits

After Elies was rescued by an Australian Navy Ship, both Davies and Guillemot returned to the race.

They have been told that they will recieve time credits for helping out their competitor, and will not lose their position in the race.

It was great to see such an uplifting story in the news, celebrating the willingness of people to help others when they were in need.

1 comment:

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

Love that story. Isn't it something to race to save someone instead of racing to win?