Norbert Sedlacek brings Vendee Globe 2008/9 to a conclusion

Norbert Sedlacek has become the first Austrian to complete a solo non stop round the world passage when he finished the epic sixth edition of the Vendée Globe in 11th place on March 15th.

After 126 days 5 hrs 31 mins and 56 secs at sea Sedlacek crossed the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne at 17hrs 33 min 56 secs GMT, the delighted soloist - who started his sailing career on a six metres boat on the shallow waters of Vienna's Neusiedler See as a diversion from his life as a tram driver - was simply ecstatic to finally complete the race among an excited flotilla of well wishers and spectator boats on a perfect sunny Sunday afternoon. Sedlacek sailed the theoretical distance of 24,840 miles at 8.2 knots after covering 27,707 miles on the water at an average speed of 9.15 knots.

Sedlacek's sheer pleasure at the finish was doubled by the fact that this was his second attempt at the race. He had to retire in 2004 after just less than a month of racing, sailing back into Cape Town bitterly disappointed after suffering a mechanical failure with his canting keel system on his aluminium hulled boat which was built in 1996.

Preservation of skipper and his boat were always the primary concerns of Sedlacek in the first weeks after the start. He spoke regularly of looking forward to the Southern Ocean and keeping everything intact to get there rather than pushing particularly to gain miles against his nearest rivals.

On the 31st January he was hit by a big, very active low pressure system in the South Atlantic which he rode out, seeing winds of over 80 knots in some white-out gusts.

Statistics

Les Sables - Equator 17 days 14h 18 mins
Les Sables - Cape of Good Hope 34 days 17h 33 mins
Les Sables - Cape Leeuwin 51 days 7h 38 mins
Les Sables - Cape Horn 87 days 2h 05 mins
Les Sables - Les Sables 126 days 5h 31mins

Date Added - 16-Mar-2009


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