Golden Globe Race GGR – Grand arrival of Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in Les Sables d’Olonne
This article was published in January 2019.
As we approach the next GGR 2022, retrospective for fun.
A bath, a steak, a pint
Seven months of sailing have not taken away her sparkling humor. With a slightly emaciated face – freeze-dried foods are not for everyone… – but apparently in great shape, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede – VDH – remained available to the public and the press for nearly 3 hours, between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
While he only dreamed – according to him – of a bath, a good steak and a pint of beer! (for Sir Knox-Jonhson, the desires are the same but in reverse order…).
The arrival was grandiose because the public – aware of the level of the exploit – came in large numbers, that many sailors were there including the first winner, Sir Knox-Johnston, and that most of the national televisions were present for broadcast the arrival of the winner of the GGR.
Seven times up the mast
VDH returned at length to his journey, to his capsize with the breakage of his mast, to the Cape passages, to the loneliness. And on the fight against his pursuer, accentuated because of the fragility of his mast. A mast in which he had to climb seven times to ensure the necessary repairs.
One thing is certain, VDH dreamed of participating in this race. He knew he wouldn’t do another Vendée Globe again and going back to the origins of solo round the world racing made him overjoyed. He had spoken to us about it several times during his preparation. And faced with the mountain that presented itself in front of him, his essential goal was to finish the race, to complete the circumnavigation of the globe. For VDH, coming out on top was just the icing on the cake.
A feat at 73
But at his age – 73 – what an achievement!
An age that reduces prospects: today, on several occasions, he confirmed that he would not leave and that his boat, Matmut, was for sale. On the way back, on the podium, his friend, the great singer Hugues Auffray, pushed the song with him.
Be that as it may, his feat will go down in history and will have highlighted the town of Les Sables d’Olonne as an essential town for the start of major offshore races, to such an extent that the new Mayor has decided to propose to the Municipal Council that VDH be raised as an Honorary Citizen of the City.
A city which awaits in anguish the announcement which should be made at the end of next week, after long discussions between the organizer Don McIntyre and Yannick Moreau, on the starting city of the next GGR in 2022. The suspense is in order, but Don McIntyre was so impressed by the welcome from the Vendeans and the Sablais that there is a good chance that Les Sables d’Olonne will still be at the helm in 2022.
Publish your legal announcements:
Launch of the 2022 donation campaign for “Le Reporter sablais”
We would like to say thanks to the author of this article for this awesome material
Golden Globe Race GGR 2019. RETRO: Grand arrival of Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in Les Sables d’Olonne