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Sailors show respect to missing Guo Chuan before event


11-10-2016 15:57 BJT

It has been nearly half a month since Chinese sailor Guo Chuan lost contact with his team in waters off Hawaii on October 26th, and there has still been no news from the resuce operation.

Guo went missing on his voyage from San Francisco to Shanghai in which he was aiming to set a new solo non-stop trans-Pacific world record. But despite the inherent risks of such voyages, many top sailors are in France for the start of the Vendee Globe competition, the only solo, non-stop and non-supplimentary sailing competition in the world that's seen as the top challenge in extreme sailing.

The Vendee Globe is held every four years and in this eighth edition, 29 prestigious sailors from various countries are taking part. They weighed anchor in Vendee, France and will head to the South African coast and the Cape of Good Hope before circling around Antarctica. From there they round Cape Horn and travel along the South American coast and return to France.

The voyage lasts about four months and the solo sailors will cover around 26,000 nautical miles with no stops or help and can only contact the outside world by email and satellite. Certainly a competition favouring the courageous. At least 30-percent of the sailors are expected to quit before the finish for a variety of reasons.

Before setting off, the 29 sailors paid tribute to Guo Chuan and some even hung the Chinese flag to show their respect for the record setting skipper. Chinese sailor Zhai Mo attended the opening ceremony as a guest.

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