Having been forced to retire from the race on two previous occasions (in 92 and 96), Bertrand proudly headed back up the canal in Les Sables d’Olonne at the weekend after looping the Vendée Globe loop. Despite launching his project fairly late in the day and a logically less comfortable preparation period than some, it’s a dream come true for him.
Taking ninth place, the skipper is happy to have had a successful outcome to his adventure and to be at one with this boat (the former Brit Air skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h), which he has brought safely home. Adopting the same initiative as in 1996, namely a project christened ‘Votre nom autour du monde’ (Your name around the world), the Breton has called upon the generosity of the public and taken nearly 4,000 individuals-come-sponsors with him on his journey, as well as a hundred or so companies, including EDM Projets, as title partners.
In this age of ultra-professional projects and some large well-oiled racing stables, De Broc’s approach is a reminder that everyone’s goodwill has the ability to move mountains. Bertrand has finally completed this Vendée Globe, of which until now he has been unable to write the last chapter. Back on dry land, the sailor’s mind is already full of plans. Having put together this ambitious project thanks to the involvement of some enthusiastic unknowns, Bertrand is now intending to support those keen to follow in his wake.