Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Vendée Globe?
2. What is Ocean Challenge Live! – The Vendée Globe 2016?
3. What can I find on the Ocean Challenge Live! website?
4. How do I send questions to Skipper Rich and the Team of Experts?

1. What is the Vendée Globe?

The Vendée Globe is a, solo, non-stop, around-the-world sailboat race in 60′ sailboats. Racing 28,000 nautical miles (33,000 statute miles) it lasts 100 days +/-. Vendée Globe 2016 starts November 6, 2016 from Les Sables d’Olonne, on the west coast of France. It is the ultimate in single-handed endurance: around the world, single-handed, non-stop with no assistance from shore. Some call it the Mount Everest of sailboat racing. Or perhaps Mount Everest is the Vendée Globe of mountain-climbing!

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Rich Wilson is the only American registered for the 2016 Vendée Globe. The first race was held in 1989-90, and has been run every four years since the 1992-93 event. There is usually a 50% attrition rates of finishers versus starters. Three sailors have been lost at sea since the race began, and others have been dramatically rescued, some by fellow competitors.


2. What is Ocean Challenge Live! – The Vendée Globe 2008?

Ocean Challenge Live! – The Vendée Globe 2016 is an online education program that links school children and teachers to Skipper Rich Wilson, one of the 27 sailors racing in the Vendée Globe 2016, plus a Team of 15 Experts. The Ocean Challenge Live! website contains daily Audio Podcasts, Ship’s Logs, and boat and Biometric data, and weekly Photos, Videos, teaching Essays on Teacher Guide topics, and Q&A with the Skipper and Experts, and much, much more. All of this material can be used with the downloadable Teacher’s Guide. The Weekly Lessons within the Guide are designed to complement academic learning while providing practical lessons and life skills.

3. What can I find on the Ocean Challenge Live! website?

There are many resources on the Ocean Challenge Live! website. Listed by section, these are:

Rich updates certain information daily. These include the log, the boat’s position, audio podcasts, and weather maps.

Each week a set of information is updated on the website, including Essays, Photos, Video, Q&A, and the program’s Newspapers In Education program.


In this section you can find Skipper Rich Wilson’s biography as well as the biographies of the shore support crew; the story of the Vendée Globe; information about Rich’s asthma; and press releases and press coverage.

The Team of Experts is a group of individuals who are experts in their fields. Each one has a unique perspective on the Ocean Challenge Live! – Vendée Globe 2016 program, and each contributes one topic essay and answers a number of questions submitted by the general public, including (especially!) classroom children. The people on this team are well-known in their fields and, in some cases, well known outside of their fields as well.

Rich Wilson’s education program support team crafted a specialized Teacher’s guide designed to help teachers bring the Vendée Globe experience into the classroom. The lessons meet many state and national standards across multiple disciplines, are practical in nature, and help teach life skills to students. Download the Teacher’s Guide.

This education program has taken many years to assemble, and is provided free of charge to those who wish to use it. The sitesALIVE Foundation funds the program, and to allow the Foundation to continue funding programs such as this one, we encourage donations. Please visit the Donate page to contribute to the Foundation.

4. How do I send questions to Skipper Rich and the Team of Experts?

You can send in questions to Rich or the Team of Experts by visiting the Ask a Question page and submitting it to sitesALIVE! We only ask for your name,  city, and country. If, as a teacher or parent, you are concerned with the privacy of your child(ren), we ask that you complete the submission form for them. You can send in their first name (only) when they want to submit a question. The sitesALIVE! shore team will read all questions and distribute to either the Skipper or the Expert best suited to answer the question. Be sure to visit the Q&A page to see if your question has been answered!