Meet the fearless women sailors taking on the ‘Everest of the seas’ - National Geographic
MONSTROUS WAVES, COLLISIONS with whales, capsized boats in the middle of nowhere. The threats are real in the Vendée Globe, the sailing world’s most challenging race, in which competitors must single-handedly navigate around the world—without stopping.
Known as “the Everest of the seas,” the Vendée Globe is an extreme test of physical and psychological endurance in the face of primal nature, the journey averaging 26,000 nautical miles and three months. Those who finish are rewarded with worldwide acclaim. But the ultimate prize is to beat the record of 74 days set by Armel Le Cléac’h in the 2016-2017 edition.
Among the 33 skippers who set sail on November 8 are six women—the most in the race’s history. The oldest is 51-year-old Miranda Merron, while the youngest is 30-year-old Clarisse Crémer. Only 46-year-old Samantha (Sam) Davies is a Vendée Globe veteran—this edition will be her third attempt at the trophy.