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Jean-Luc Van Den Heede: interview with the last seadog

by Global Solo Challenge 13 Sep 2021 07:10 BST
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede rounding Cape Horn at the GGR2018 © Global Solo Challenge

A long interview with Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the last seadog, the man of records and the "long route" who talks to us about the mother of all non-stop solo circumnavigations.

An in-depth analysis of solo sailing and of the problems to be faced such as food and sleep. The final message to be grasped is the importance of having a passion in life and always maintaining optimism.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and the Golden Globe Race

A special voice speaks to us of the mother race of all solo and non-stop sailing circumnavigations. The voice of he who was a spectator in the first edition of 1968 because he was still young and became a protagonists in the 2018 replica, winning it at the age of 73. The voice of the "Last seawolf" as Jean-Luc Van Den Heede defines himself in the latest book.

The voice of Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, two blue eyes full of sky and a face marked by all the waves he has ridden. In France he needs no introduction but perhaps not everyone around the world knows him. Born in Amiens on June 8, 1945, he was raised in the first years of his life by his grandparents in Berk. Vand Den Heede, as they have nicknamed him, is "the navigator of the first times": in fact he participated in the first edition of the Mini Transat and in the first Vendée Globe.

He has rounded Cape Horn twelve times, completed six solo circumnavigations including one circumnavigation in the opposite direction setting an unbeaten record. At 73, he never ceases to amaze completing a circumnavigation on a sailing boat, without stopovers and assistance. The Golden Globe Race consecrated sailors such as Robin Knox-Johnston and Bernard Moitessier 50 years ago, today it rewards Jean-Luc Van Den Heede.

Record of achievements of Jean-Luc Van Den Heede

1977: 2nd at the first edition of the Mini Transat
1979: 2nd in the Mini Transat
1986: 2nd in the BOC Challenge on Let's Go
1990: 3rd place at the Vendée Globe on 3615 MET
1993: 2nd place at the Vendée Globe on Sofap Helvim
1993: 4th at the Transat Jacques Vabre
1995: 3rd at the BOC Challenge on Vendée Entreprises
1998: 2nd IMOCA class at the Route du Rhum on Algimouss
2004: Record circumnavigation from west to east in 122 days 14h 3min 49s
2019: Golden Globe Race 2018 winner in 211 days

The interview - All the races Jean-Luc Van Den Heede took part in

In a long interview Monsieur Jean-Luc Van Den Heede reveals himself with a deep voice, sincere laughter and the simplicity of the great men who made history.

Continue reading the full article here...

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