CNN Mainsail heads to Dublin where the greatest sailing achievers of the year are recognised at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the the Year awards. This year eight of the ten on the short list are nominated for their Olympic or Paralympic achievements.
Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu, ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the the Year 2012
© Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Shirley then heads to France and to an event that is likely to deliver nominees for the 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the the Year. The Vendée Globe, non-stop solo race around the world has a brutal reputation and history says that only around half who start will make the finish, competitors have paid the ultimate price trying. Winning the race is the ultimate achievement in solo racing.
Those who have won the Vendée Globe have all been French, all over thirty years old, all male and all fathers but Shirley is with four skippers who do not fit the traditional winners profile but who each believe that they have potential to buck the trend.
She is dockside for the moment when each skipper says good bye to those they love and slide away to begin a dangerous adventure into the unknown. It is an extraordinary day as over 250,000 visitors come to the French fishing port to see the solo sailors leave.
Watch here: CNN Mainsail – December 2012
The March edition of the MAINSAIL the full story of the race will be told and Shirley will discover if one of the four sailors she selected can be the win the Vendée Globe or if once again the first person home will, as they have done in every edition since 1989, be a French father in his mid thirties!
Sam Davies departs Les Sables d’Olonne © Mark Lloyd / DPPI