The Vendée Globe Race is not well known in North America but is a huge sporting event in Europe, particularly in France and England. The race runs every fourth year and is a non-stop singlehanded adventure that pits skippers and their IMOCA 60 racing yachts against a 24,500-mile course around the world via the five great capes in the Southern Ocean. It starts and finishes in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France and, remarkably, the record for the event is just over 74 days. The Vendée is sailing’s severest offshore sailing test and fraught with danger. This week skipper Kevin Escoffier aboard his 60-foot PRB met that danger face to face 830 miles southwest of Cape Town, South Africa. In 25 knots of wind and 15-foot seas, his boat was crashing ahead at 25 knots when it plowed into the back of a wave and suffered fatal damage. When Escoffier got on deck, he could see that the bow had broken off and was hanging at 90-degrees to the hull. Water was filling the boat and he had only time enough to send off a quick SOS text, switch on his EPIRB, get into his survival suit and launch the life raft. All of the other skippers were immediately notified of Escoffier’s position and the nearest, five time Vendee veteran Jean Le Cam aboard Yes We Cam, was able to sail back to that position in a matter of two hours. It took Le Cam’s amazing skill and determination to find the life raft and maneuver his boat near enough to throw Escoffier a line. But the rescue was accomplished successfully in towering seas and in the blackest of nights. It is a coincidence that in Le Cam’s third Vendée, he flipped his 60 near Cape Horn and was rescued by the skipper of none other than an earlier 60 also sponsored by PRB. You can read all about this week’s rescue of here.