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17 March 2001, 09:10 am
Parlier Arrives Home
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A Hero Returns ©Thierry Martinez

Vendée Globe

Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe in 13th place despite having to stop and rebuild his mast.
After spending a total of 126 days, 23 hours and 36 minutes at sea, his prolonged voyage lived in true 'castaway' style is officially over. Parlier immediately hugged his boat and his shore team as they climbed on board the jury rigged Open 60 and handed him a big bar of chocolate. Both Ellen MacArthur and Thomas Coville, as promised, climbed aboard as well to be reunited with their old sailing teacher.

With the sun setting behind her, Aquitaine Innovations was towed into port, welcomed by a crowd of thousands lining the channel, all with hooters sounding, flares and banners raised high, loudly applauding their hero. Parlier was positively beaming, with a sure glint in his eye, as he docked on the race pontoon and threw his arms around his mother waiting on the pontoon. Unable to speak, simply smiling, and notably thinner than when he set out just over 125 days ago, Parlier still managed to shake a magnum of champagne open over the media pressing in from all sides, hungry to record his first moments on land.

Parlier then mounted the podium to be greeted by hundreds more people and gave his first impressions on finishing his adventure and the Vendée Globe race: "On the boat, once I'd crossed the line, I was immediately tossed a whole baguette and a bar of chocolate, which I wolfed down. There are some tastes I am longing to rediscover, like fresh meat and cheese from the Pays Basque.

"For me the first Vendée Globe was a chance to achieve a youthful dream. I came back the third time to relive this adventure. So in this edition, I was always racing, but for at moments I had become a fisherman. It was my priority to fish: I donned my Arcachon T-Shirt and I dedicated myself to the art of fishing."

"When no fish took the bait, I would scan the horizon, looking for something that wasn't from the water and which could satiate my hunger. So I discovered seaweed! The first time I saw an immense mass of seaweed I filled the entire cockpit!"

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