Sam Davies out of Vendée Globe but keeps sailing for charity

The British sailor said she thought about retiring completely from sailing after a crash forced her to pull out of the race, but has now “come to her senses” and set sail again, albeit out of the race

16 December 2020
Sam Davies has been forced to withdraw from the round-the-world sailing race but will continue the route in support of a charity
By Thomas Brent

British sailor Sam Davies has officially withdrawn from the Vendée Globe race but is continuing the route to raise money for a children’s charity. 

She said that when her boat struck an unidentified floating object on December 2 she considered ending her sailing career. 

“In my head, it was dead,” she told news agency AFP.

“I’d stopped sailing, I’d retired, I could already see myself in a dress going to school to pick up my nine-year-old son Ruben and cooking food every day of my life.”

She said that after giving it some thought she changed her mind and “came to my senses”.

Video: Sam Davies' Vendée Globe race ends

The Vendée Globe is a solo, non-stop, round-the-world race that takes place every four years. The competitors are not allowed to get off their boats to go on land, or receive direct help from anyone else to fix their boats, if they want to continue racing. 

After the crash, in which Ms Davies sustained light injuries, she navigated her damaged boat to Cape Town, South Africa, to carry out repairs, thus ending her race.

On Monday, December 14, she set off again to complete the course outside of the competition. 

She is sailing for the Initiatives-Coeur team, which combines sport with humanitarian work in the form of supporting the non-governmental organisation Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque.

The association enables children suffering from heart problems who come from underprivileged countries where it is impossible to get operations, to come to France where they are hosted by a family and receive treatment. 

Every time someone likes the Initiatives Coeur Facebook or Instagram page, or shares a Facebook post, Initiatives Coeur’s partners donate €1 to the cause.

The Initiatives-Coeur team tweeted after her departure that she had set off again around the world with one mission: Save the children.

So far during the race, €473,053 has been raised, enough to help 39 children.

Speaking of her decision to set off again, Ms Davies said, “I can do it. Even if I know I will freak out the first few nights, that the week is going to be difficult, that I am going to once again be completely alone and I still have two-thirds of the route to go. But I will go, slowly,” she told AFP. 

Ms Davies was competing in her third Vendée Globe. She came closest to winning in 2008, when she finished fourth. 

Despite being out of the race, you can continue to track Ms Davies’ progress on the Vendée Globe website. 

Her French partner, Romain Attanasio, is also taking part and is currently in 13th position.

On November 8, 33 competitors began the ninth edition of the race. So far, six have had to retire.

Ms Davies spoke to The Connexion before setting sail on November 8. She said she did not expect to win the race as her boat is too old, despite her team putting a lot of work into developing it.

Read more:

Vendée Globe: Sailors ready for solo round-the-world race

Each social media click for Globe sailor is €1 for charity

Briton Sam Davies is sailing in her third Vendée Globe

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