Back With a Splash: Seb Josse Returns to the Vendée Globe
When it comes to ocean racing pedigrees, there aren’t many more impressive than that of Sébastien Josse. The 40-year old Frenchman is a veteran of all three of professional sailing’s benchmark around the world races – the Jules Verne Trophy, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vendée Globe.
He learned to sail at an early age on the Josse family yacht and crossed the Atlantic for the first time with his father when he was just 18. Josse cut his offshore racing teeth in the Figaro Class which is where he established his now longstanding reputation as one of France’s most talented offshore sailors.
In 2002 Bruno Peyron invited Josse to join the crew of his maxi-catamaran ‘Orange’ for an attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy record. Josse’s first lap of planet was completed in record time with the Orange crew circling the globe in a little over 64 days, smashing the previous record by a week.
This achievement teed him up nicely for his first Vendée Globe attempt in 2004. Despite having to deal with lots of issues along the way, Josse finished the race in fifth place. Later, in the same year that he completed the Vendée, he set off on the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of a young crew on Dutch entry ABN AMRO TWO.
Josse’s men set a new monohull speed world record on the second leg, covering 562.96 nm in a 24-hour period between Cape Town and Melbourne. However, the ABN AMRO TWO campaign was marred by the loss of Hans Horrevoets who died after being swept overboard in the Atlantic on the penultimate leg of the race. Shortly afterwards and with Horrevoets body on board Josse led the rescue of the crew of fellow VOR competitor Movistar whose yacht was sinking beneath them.
Joss returned to the Vendée Globe in 2008 and was leading the race at Christmas time when an enormous Southern Ocean wave laid his yacht flat and wreaked unrepairable damage on it’s steering system, forcing him out of the race.
Now Josse is back for his third Vendée campaign. This time he is skipper of the well funded and highly organised Gitana Team and racing aboard a... READ THE FULL ARTICLE