Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Foxall makes Irish Sailing History

Damian Foxall tonight became the first Irish sailor to win a non-stop round the world race, crossing the finishing line in Barcelona shortly before 9pm following almost 93 days at sea.

The Kerry man, who chronicled his progress in the gruelling mile marathon in a series of Irish Timescolumns, triumphed in the Barcelona World Race on board the Paprec-Virbacwith French co-skipper Jean-Pierre Dick.

Foxall and Dick sounded the cannon at the finish line at 8.49pm Irish time, jumping in celebration having covered the 28,329 mile voayge without a single pit stop.

The Franco-Irish pair were pushed all the way by Alex Thompson and Andrew Cape on the second-placed Hugo Boss but successfully managed to keep their rivals at arms length, finishing with a comfortable lead of approximately 400 miles.

Earlier today, Foxall spoke of his relief and excitement as the finishing line beckoned.
"We're certainly looking forward to getting ashore now," he said. "We've been pushing aside thoughts of the finish but it's always in the back of your mind.

"You try and force yourself not to think about it, but now it's so close we can feel the coast getting nearer and we're really looking forward to getting there. Personally, I'm really looking forward to seeing my wife and new son - I've really missed them a lot."
Robert Dix, president of the Irish Sailing Association, was among those to offer his congratulations to Foxall and Dick.

"This is a huge achievement by Damian and JP. They have battled with arctic weather, massive storms and indeed suffocating heat on their journey to bring their yacht back to Barcelona," Dix said.

"It is effectively winning a Grand Prix race, while climbing Mount Everest. Irish people with an interest in sailing have been following this race since November 11th and Damien has proved to be a wonderful ambassador for sailing and indeed for Ireland."

Reproduced courtesy the Irish Times

Image reproduced courtesy http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/

You can read more about cruising the oceans of our planet in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' available on my website www.sailboat2adventure.com

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