31 October 2012 - 19:16 • 1604 views



One day, one skipper - Zbigniew « Gutek » Gutkowski’s wife Eliza took the time to explain to us a few things about her husband’s Vendée Globe participation and what her own daily life will be like when Gutek is at sea.

Eliza Gutkowska© J.KozlowskiWhen did Gutek tell you he was going to compete in the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe and how did that make you feel?
It all started two years ago, when Gutek told me that he wanted to compete in the Vendée Globe. My first reaction was to ask him when he wanted to do it, because it is such a long-term project. When he told me he was thinking about the next edition, only two years later, I sincerely thought it was a joke at first. But no, he was dead serious. So I may have been very surprised initially, but I can also see the Vendee Globe has always been a dream of Gutek’s and now, his dream has come true.

If you had to describe Gutek in a few words, what would you say?
This is such a difficult question… Gutek the sailor and Gutek my husband are so different from each other you could almost think they’re not the same person. No, really, describing him in a few words is simply impossible for me.

What is your daily life going to be like once the Vendee Globe has started?
During the race, my life will be both ordinary, because life has to go on as usual, and crazy, because of the obvious exceptional circumstances. So I’ll be waking up at 6 in the morning as our daughter Susan goes to training and to school. I’ll be having my first coffee of the day while checking emails and the Vendée Globe live tracking. Then I’ll take a walk with our dog before making phone calls, writing emails and drinking much more coffee! Around 5PM, Susan is coming back from school so we’ll have dinner and I will be time to call it a night and prepare for the next day.

How are going to communicate with Gutek during the race?
We’ll communicate through phone calls and emails.

Will you be at the start in Les Sables d'Olonne?
Yes, absolutely. I'm actually already in Les Sables d'Olonne right now.


Cécile Verin