These are the first words of Isabelle Joschke at the pontoon when she returned to Les Sables d'Olonne today to a huge welcome.
I am proud that I was able to leave once again and pleased that the damage was not so bad that I could not go back out and finish my passage. This was a real encounter with myself, a voyage of self discovery a chance to learn more about myself. It was so hard, incredibly difficult, much harder in the end than I expected, and so I am incredibly proud of myself as I pushed myself to the maximum and gave my best. It is hard mentally and for your morale and very difficult physically. At some points I realised I was at the limits of what I could give. There were some magical moments, though, not that many but the ones there are were so precious.
Now I need to take things step by step, to not be pushing myself and to just rest and take the pleasure in having accomplished this. It is so huge that you must take time to realise what you have done.
For me it was very important to finish this round the world passage. In fact, I did not make the decision to start again right away. I had a lot of emotions throughout this round the world trip and especially during my damage but when I decided to come to the finish, it became so obvious! It was so important to complete this story, to give it all its meaning and also to get back on my feet, because it is certain that the Vendée Globe, It's not always fun. There are moments when you are up and moments of despair. I wanted to show that I could go back and also that it doesn't matter that much. It's also an act of and that was really important.