Finally he made it. On Easter Sunday Irish solo racer Enda O'Coineen, 63, skipper and team ambassador and for Le Souffle du Nord and Team Ireland, who both had to give up their Vendée Globe - yesterday finished sailing around the world.
The solo racer writes a new chapter in the sailing history of Ireland. He took 66 days between New Zealand and Les Sables d'Olonne to finally finish off his own 'race'. As well as completing his personal mission, to complete the circumnavigation after losing his mast off New Zealand there has also been a strong initiative of solidarity with the association Le Souffle du Nord which also had to stop into New Zeland.
Enda's mast came down on January 1st 2017 when he was around 200 miles south of New Zealand. After retiring into New Zealand he combined with the programme of Thomas Ruyant's Le Souffle du Nord. The rebuilt-rebranded Team, Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland was launched from Christchurch.
Since leaving New Zealand on 26th January O'Coineen has covered the returning 13,000 miles as a symbol of solidarity between the teams.
"After 66 days alone at sea since New Zealand I am elated. It's incredible. I'm overwhelmed... and now I'm surrounded by thousands of people who gave me an amazing welcome into Les Sables d'Olonne. It's an honour to be here and to be representing Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland. The support, interest and encouragement has been great.”
“This adventure really started in January 1st 2015 when we decided to 'Go for It' and to take on this challenge. Preparations have gobbled- up all the ranges of personal emotion, physical challenge, personal resource, fear and jubilation in between. There is no logic to the logic. And right to the finish line for the final week, rounding the Azores and the North West corner of Spain, the storm crossing the Bay of Biscay, kept me on edge."