Why bashing hard to windward with a broken rib might be worthwhile training


It’s a rough ride to windward in the Artemis Transat and, as Mike Golding explains in his commentary , likely to get harsher when wind meets back-eddies of the Gulf Stream. So spare a thought for poor Marc Guillemot, who is strapped up after breaking a rib during a wipeout on the first few days of the race.

Just imagine grinding winches, lugging sails around, stacking gear from side to side and even just moving about and bracing yourself on a boat that is slamming hard every few minutes.

It would have been easy for Guillemot to turn for home when he was so near but he didn’t, and that’s the successful solo sailor in a nutshell: easy isn’t even in the recipe.

If you remember, Bertrand de Broc sewed most of his tongue back on in the Vendée Globe in 1992, Pete Goss operated on his elbow with a scalpel and mirror four years later and Yves Parlier trawled for plankton with a staysail bag and survived on boiled algae in order to complete the 2000/1 Vendeé.

So you might say Marc Guillemot’s experience is good training for the non-stop solo race round the world in November – it demands skill, determination, stamina, a dose of pig-headedness and a very high pain threshold.