Enda O'Coineen was a premature starter in today's dramatic Vendee Globe Race start. The Irishman showed how eager he was to get underway on the 26,000 nautical mile voyage when he was one of three in the 29–boat fleet that were called back after crossing the line a few seconds early off Les Sables d'Olonne. The three boats had to go back and cross the line again.
O'Coineen is seeking to boldly go where no Irishman has gone before on the first day of an anticipated 100–day journey around the world.
With more than 300,000 spectators lined up along the harbour entrance channel in Les Sables d'Olonne and more than a thousand boats out on the water around the start area, the 29 competitors in the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe set sail at 1202hrs UTC in exceptional weather conditions: sunshine, a 14-knot NNE'ly with slight to choppy seas. HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco signalled the start after greeting all the sailors as they cast off.
From the gun, Kito de Pavant (Bastide Otio), Paul Meilhat (SMA), Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) and Vincent Riou (PRB) were out in front with the rest grouped together behind them. Bertrand de Broc (MACSF) and Enda O'Coineen (Kilcullen Voyager – Team Ireland) were called back after crossing the line a few seconds early. They had to go back and cross the line again.
The 8th Vendée Globe is underway. The race around the world has begun.