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Vendee Globe Entry Enda O'Coineen: 'This is a Journey' (Podcast)

17th August 2016
Kilcullen Voyager arrives into Ireland with rudder damage Kilcullen Voyager arrives into Ireland with rudder damage

Crawling on hands and knees below deck through the 60–foot IMOCA class Kilcullen Voyager was an interesting experience. She is a “beast of a boat,” her owner told me, “but she also has elegance about her at sea.”
She is also very well-equipped, impressively and dauntingly so. I saw arrays of electronic equipment, water ballast controls and a very simple seat/sleeping berth at the navigation desk, in front of a console that would do credit to a jetliner, but I wouldn’t fancy spending up to three months living in that space.
Having crawled down the port side to the bow, I returned via starboard to emerge into the cockpit and stare upwards again at the mast, clawing its way over a hundred feet skywards.
The Team Ireland yacht was alongside James O’Brien’s Cork Harbour Marina at Monkstown, from where its owner, Enda O’Coineen, was about to depart on an 800-nautical mile training voyage into the Atlantic in pursuance of his plan to be Ireland’s first-ever entrant in the non-stop, around-the-world solo Vendee Globe Race.
Enda suffered damage on that training voyage, when one of the twin rudders was damaged in an impact at sea with an unidentified object, but the yacht sailed into Galway as scheduled and this weekend will begin a promotional voyage from there to Belfast and Dublin.
Enda O’Coineen knows that he attracts differing views from many people. Mine is that his sailing ability and determination cannot be challenged, neither can his courage.
“This is a journey, a psychological challenge as well as a physical one,” he told me.
• Listen to him here on this week’s THIS ISLAND NATION Podcast

Published in Island Nation

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