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Race France to France: Leave Antarctica to Starboard: An American in the Vendée Globe, Racing Solo, Non-Stop, Around the World Paperback – September 7, 2012
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About the Author
Rich grew up in Boston and learned how to sail as a young boy. He earned an AB degree from Harvard, an SM degree from MIT, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, with the citation: “For his distinguished sailing career and his dedication to educating schoolchildren worldwide.” He’s been a math teacher in the Boston Public Schools, a defense analyst in Washington DC working on B-52s and cruise missiles, and he worked at Wind Ship Development. He also has served as Trustee of two, college-level, in the field, accredited science semesters: Sea Education Association in Woods Hole; and The School for Field Studies in Beverly, Massachusetts. Along the way, he continued sailing, becoming the youngest winning skipper of the Newport-Bermuda Race in 1980 aboard the 42’ ketch Holger Danske. In the early 1990s, Rich founded sitesALIVE!, which became his true passion. sitesALIVE! creates school programs that connect K12 classrooms to adventures and expeditions worldwide. Says Rich: “Excite a kid with bats, bugs, and snakes in the rainforest, or with gales, flying fish, and dolphins at sea, and they will pay attention, not knowing what will happen next. Then the science, geography, and math flow freely.” By his program voyages (3 world records on clipper ship routes, San Francisco - Boston, New York - Melbourne, and Hong Kong - New York), as well as 70 content-providing partnerships with accredited field schools worldwide, sitesALIVE! has produced 75 full semester, live, interactive programs for K12. Following this mission, a primary objective of sailing the Vendée Globe was to create a global school program off that uniquely global ocean event. Rich has won: - the 2001 Innovators in Education Award from the Newspaper Association of America Foundation - the SuperAchievers’ Award from the American Lung Association - the Blue Water Medal from the Cruising Club of America - and the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club.
Top customer reviews
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But the most refreshing point for me was his reason for making this grueling journey. Wilson had arranged in advance to speak to thousands of school kids from around the globe online every day right in their own classrooms. In this way, they could participate in an amazing real-life event while simultaneously learning about everything from marine biology, history, and technology to geography, weather systems, navigation--and the extreme sport of racing sailboats single-handed off-shore.
This book is a must read about one man's struggle against the odds, not for riches or fame, but to provide an exciting learning experience for kids thru virtual participation in a three month, round the world solo sailing race.
Although entirely alone on their boats for 90 days and more, the fleet had continuous support from the French organisers, with both phone and email communication, where they got weather reports, medical and technical advice about problems with the boat or injuries to themselves (and there were plenty of both)
Rich did not win the 2008-9 Vendee Globe, but considering that there were 19 withdrawals out of 30 starters he did very well. He finished the race with 'Great American III' still in good conditon. As for Rich himself (an asthmatic), he finished with plenty of aches and pains, but in good spirits and with great admiration for the French organisers of the Vendee Globe. Rich, a real Francophile, reminds us of the words of Thomas Jefferson 'Every man has two countries, his own and France !'