As Afloat.ie reported previously, Irish Vendee Globe entrant Enda O’Coineen departs Ireland for France tomorrow aboard the Kilcullen Voyager before the epic race commences next month. During a ‘bon voyage’ event at Dublin’s CHQ today, the Lord Mayor and Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port, Brendan Carr wished O'Coineen the very best of luck on his world girdling journey.
O'Coineen will skipper Team Ireland’s first ever entry into the Vendée Globe Challenge, the hardest race in the world, on November 6th. Starting and finishing in Les Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic seaboard, 29 skippers, including Galway native O’Coineen, will attempt to sail around the world non-stop single-handedly from east to west via the three major capes - Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn - on its 29,000-nautical-mile route.
This race (known as the Everest of the Seas) is considered to be one of the toughest sporting and human challenges that there is. For O’Coineen, this is the pinnacle of a lifetime of ocean experience in maritime sport and voluntary service which has included sailing solo across the Atlantic twice in a 15ft inflatable dinghy; five Fastnet Races; six Round Ireland Races and sailing part of The Whitbread Round the World Race.
The Kilcullen Voyager is a 60–foot monohull which is among the fastest modern racing monohulls, designed to be as light as possible whilst being solid enough to withstand the worst conditions which can occur whilst racing on the open seas.
Enda O'Coineen, Team Ireland skipper: "Sailing out of Dublin city centre on Monday evening with the well wishes of the Lord Mayor and Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port is a true honour. The departure represents the start of a 25,000 mile journey that will bring me deep into the Southern Ocean and ultimately past Cape Horn and back to France in sailing’s toughest race, the Vendée Globe. If all goes to plan I will be back in Dublin in March having lapped with planet alone, without stopping."