so frenchy, not so chic


What is it with these people? Are they so short of dinner party conversation that three months alone at sea will improve their company?

Oh, do please seat me next to Thierry. I nodded off after Day 32 last time … He’d just logged his 900,000th wave.

They are mainly French, these lost round-the-world yachtsmen and women, with the notable exception of the bothersome Tony Bullimore

This is because the French started the madness that is the Vendee Globe, the single-handed, non-stop, round-the-world yacht race.

Between 1995 and 1997 it cost Australian taxpayers $21 million to rescue just four of them: Isabelle Austissier, Thierry Dubois, Raphael Dinelli and Bullimore – all plucked from the briny like human truffles.

Now Alain Delord has joined their ranks, hijacking the holidays of an entire cruise ship of passengers to save his scrawny, uninsured neck.

A miracle he called it. Sacre bleu monsieur, get real!

Why do we tolerate this flotilla of bored old salts bobbing about in bespoke boats worth more than the combined exports of the republic of Burundi when we so revile asylum seekers driven to the water in genuine desperation to reach our shores?

Why rush to buy books about the yachties’ futile flounderings, yet insist on locking up people who’ve real stories to tell?

Circumnavigating the globe? Correct me if it hasn’t already been done … There was that Spanish bloke Magellan for starters and recently even a 15-year-old Australian girl.

But six months non-stop, single-handed in a bathtub full of burgundy and broken baguettes back home in Bordeaux?

Now that – my intrepid French friends – that has not been done.




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