Shortly after conceding defeat in the US Presidential election, Mitt Romney announced his plans to compete in the Vendee Globe Ocean Race. A no-nonsense guy through and through, Governor Romney has already chosen a name for his new boat. Romney will base his Campaign in Florida and his boat will be named "Hanging Chad".
He plans to take the family dog with him in the race. When asked about how there will be enough room for the dog and the sanitary aspects of living aboard with a dog for 3 months a sea - "No Problem. Seamus will live in a box strapped to the deck. He's mostly an outside dog."
In an exclusive interview Romney shared that his strategy is to "buy up all the votes after the race is over."
He later clarified saying he had expressed himself "inelegently" and meant to say "boats" not "votes". The plan seems to involve buying up as many Open 60's as possible at a deep discount after the 2012 Vendee Globe, scrap them, and build a new "state of the art" Open 60 yacht with the spare parts. He explained, that running a sailing Campaign is no different than running a business and he has no doubt that his Vendee Campaign will produce the goods.
Romney will be selling shares in his Campaign to private investors who are looking for above average returns and have at least $10 Million to Invest.
But seriously, the real race in 2012 begins on November 10th.
In following the pre-race chatter, it seems to me that the French media have missed the biggest story of all - Samantha Davies. She finished a very close 4th in 2009. That year she was one of only two female skippers. The other one being another Brit, Dee Cafari. Both women finished the race when only 9 of a total of 30 starters actually made it to the finish line.
This year "Sam", as her fans know her, will be the only woman, but there is something else. She will also be the only mother. Probably the only mother to have sailed around the World alone, non- stop. Surely the only one to have done so in a race :)
Sam has a young son Ruben who is only one year old. Sam is married to French sailor Romain Attansio. (missed my chance) Romain will be a full time stay at home Dad during the race. It seems to me that the French media is not all that enthusiastic about this situation. I sense it challenges the societal norms of a large segment of French society. Maybe I am reading into this too much. I hope so. They may like a Black man as President of the United States, but mothers aren't supposed to "abandon" their babies.
Sam does not have the fastest boat in the fleet and did not have as much time to prepare her boat and her body for this race as she did in 2008. Even she acknowledges that she is thinner than she has ever been. Don't count this woman out. She is one tough customer and her boat is thought to be less fragile than many of the others. It has already been around the world a few times and done quite well under the steady hand of Frenchman Roland Joudain when the boat was called Veolia. As Sam explains, her boat has been broken lots and fixed so hopefully all the stuff that was weak is now bullet proof. This actually makes a lot of sense. Many of the boats when they are new are on the bleeding edge of the technology race which means they can be fragile. Enormous efforts go into making the boats as light as possible. Sometimes too light:) A boat that has been sailed, broken and been fixed is probably a lot more reliable. Hopefully her keel will stay attached to the boat better than it did for Roland in the last race.
In 2008 Sam stole the hearts of all the fans of the Vendee Globe Ocean Race. She was incredibly good about sending video of herself sailing and often dancing on deck. She was amazing for her unwavering positive spirit even in the face of serious danger, exhaustion and loneliness. If you missed the 2008 Race, you can watch it in all its glory and get to see the star of the 2008 Race - Sam Davies- in full Vendee. Watch Racing Around the World Alone - a documentary film about the 2008 Vendee Globe Ocean Race.
Go to: www.sailingaroundtheworld.tv
Stay tuned for more Vendee Globe Action.
P.S. If Romney and Obama were to sail the Vendee Globe Ocean Race, who do you think would win?