Words of support for solo sailor Brian Thompson, criticised by designer for his Vendée performance

Here’s a comment from Andy Dare on my blog about Juan Kouyoumdjian’s criticism of solo skipper Brian Thompson’s Vendée Globe performance that will chime with many sailors.

‘If Juan wants to criticise Brian he should talk directly to the man privately, and not make derogatory comments in the press. That’s just plain courtesy and nothing to do with boats.

‘Anyone who has repaired their own boat in the yard and found themselves jammed up in a difficult corner with itchy dust everywhere, everything being sticky apart from the one place that’s meant to be, and some rapidly going off epoxy burning your hand, will appreciate how hard it is to get the perfect flow and orientation for your repair.

‘Now imagine being the only person on your boat, take the temperature down and oh, be violently thrown around the boat until you feel sick. I would be interested if Juan could do the same and would like to see what sort of confidence would he would then have in pushing the boat to 100% every second of the day.

‘The only people who can even have the remotest idea of how it is down there on your own, and therefore qualify to have anything to say about how hard to push a boat in the Vendee Globe, are the very few skippers who have completed the race successfully. Sorry Juan, thats not you!

‘Respect to Brian.’