Video: Sam Davies' Vendée Globe race ends

The British sailor, who was racing in her third attempt at the solo, non-stop, round-the-world race, said she had ‘no choice’ but to stop after a crash damaged her boat

6 December 2020
Sam Davies on her yacht in the third Vendee Globe. Vendée Globe: Sam Davies abandons race in moving videoBritish sailor Sam Davies was racing in her third Vendée Globe but has confirmed she will be stopping her race after her boat was damaged
By Hannah Thompson

British sailor Samantha Davies has announced that she is abandoning her Vendée Globe race attempt, days after her yacht hit an unknown floating object that damaged her boat and caused her non-serious injuries.

Another racer, Sébastien Simon, also hit an unknown object at a similar time, and both sailors had taken shelter off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Ms Davies has now confirmed that she will not be continuing in her competition attempt.

A statement from her team read: “Following the violent collision on Wednesday evening...Sam Davies cannot ensure the repairs and checks needed to continue her race safely alone”.

Ms Davies recorded a moving video - in French - after confirming she would be stopping her race.

She said: “Unfortunately, I can no longer continue the Vendée Globe as a racer. To repair the boat, I will need to take the boat out of the water to repair it...and to take it out of the water, I would need help.

“I would need to do a stopover [on land], and so I have no choice. It’s very sad that the race is stopping…the Vendée Globe is being cut short for me. But the adventure continues.

“Believe me, I will give everything - and my team too - to repair the boat, because for me, the adventure is not over. I want to finish this world trip, to save children, and for me too. I will give everything to succeed.”

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

Ms Davies was racing in her third Vendée Globe.

Her best result was in 2008, when she finished fourth. This year, she told The Connexion that she had not expected to win, because her boat was too old, but that she had hoped to finish inside the top 10.

At the time of her crash, she was in 13th place out of 33 competitors.

Read more: Vendée Globe: Sam Davies’ race on hold after crash

She had been racing 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.
So far during Ms Davies’ race, €330,785 has been raised, enough to help 27 children.

Ms Davies’ French partner, Romain Attanasio, is also taking part in the race.

Ms Davies' and Mr Simon's crashes happened days after another competitor, Kevin Escoffier, had his boat split in two by strong waves forcing him to take to a raft. He was rescued by fellow round-the-world competitor, Jean Le Cam.

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