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Pieter Heerema : "The departure and the arrival are one of the best moments of this race"

D 5 mars 2017     H 08:00     A Redaction SSS [Source RP]     > 3220 visites     C 1

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First Dutchman to participate in the Vendée Globe, Pieter Heerema finished the non-stop solo round the world race on Thursday 2nd of March, crossing the finish line at 22:26pm, after 116 days 9 hours 24 minutes and 12 seconds at sea. On board No Way Back, Pieter actually sailed 29 747 nautical miles at an average speed of 10, 65 knots and ranks 17th of this 8th edition. A victory for the sailor who departed on November 6th on a last generation Imoca60 with the sole objective of completing this incredible adventure and to return to les Sables d’Olonne.

After 24 festive hours on shore in the company of the French public, his family, friends and technical team, Pieter is now somewhat rested, and tells us a bit more on this personal challenge he just achieved.

Pieter Heerema : « It’s nice to be back ! The departure and the arrival are one of the best moments of this race. Between the two, it is difficult to identify the best or worst moment as feelings are very, very variable ! I remember for example during some storms, at night, when the boat was hitting waves and wind was blowing at 40 knots, that my best satisfaction was to look up and see that the mast was still in place ! You go from extreme fear to relief in a few seconds…and the delta is huge. This is the full image of this race : mixed extreme feelings.

In fact, this event is not only a race, it pushes you so hard in terms of stress, motivation and forces you to go beyond your own boundaries. It is the best personal development program in the world and, even at my age, I found some unknown resources inside me to carry on this adventure.

The support I have received through Facebook and emails have been paramount for my motivation. When I was an inch away from stopping the race off the Australian coast, I told myself I was going to show them I could do it, no matter how long it would take. I also noticed that the Vendée Globe is now known in Holland in a much wider circle. It would be fantastic to see other Dutch skippers on the starting line of future editions.

For now, I am going to rest a little bit before going back to my old love : the Dragon. After 116 days at sea, I’m not sick and tired of it ! As of next week, I’ll go in my shed to prepare the boat and have it ready for the first race in Cascais in a month. I love sailing, I love competition and I need to have goals in my life ! »


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