Introduction, by Rich Wilson
When we crossed the equator heading south on November 19, I wondered what would lie ahead, for us and for each of the skippers, in the south and in the Southern Ocean, rounding the three Great Capes, before we would cross the Line again heading north.
As I think about it now, I find many of the skippers’ exploits completely inspiring: Eric Bellion and then Alan Roura having to change a rudder at sea, a prodigious task; Conrad Colman putting out a fire in his solar regulators; Romain Attanasio going to the masthead to try to get his wind instruments to work; Enda O’Coineen going aloft to repair his lazy jacks; and many more. These feats were obviously done all alone, hundreds if not thousands of miles from land.
Not many will undertake the solitude of the Vendée Globe, which places the skippers starkly in this ‘alone’ environment. Although people on land will have others around, we all will be conducting voyages through life on our own, with our one chance at this life.
I started to muse on Inspiration, and who has inspired me, toward making me the person I am, with the result that I am out here sailing the Vendée Globe and delivering all manner of content into our sitesALIVE! school program for global consumption by students and teachers.
Three people came to my mind. We have decided to add extra essays to our sitesALIVE! program, to stand separately from our formal curriculum, but usefully I believe, in a category called Inspiration. We have invited two of those to write for us along with my essay on why they inspire me.
‘The Original Adventurer in our Family: My Mother, Dorothy Ann (Simpson) Wilson’
My mother, Dorothy Ann (Simpson) Wilson, was the original adventurer in our family, going as a single woman in 1940 to Fairbanks, Alaska to help build and then operate the first commercial radio station in the Alaskan Territory, KFAR-660. What kind of adventure must that have been! Twenty years before Alaska became a state! Instead of writing a new essay on my mother, who died in 2010, we include my Eulogy at her funeral, as it is the best writing that I could do to describe her. Read Eulogy
‘My Most Admired Career: Steve Schanzer, U.S. Government Worker’
Please see my Essay on Steve, and his own on why he worked for the U.S. Government for his significant career.
‘My Most Courageous Friend: Nadeem Qureshi, Founder, Mustaqbil Pakistan’
Please see my Essay on Nadeem, and his own on why he left a successful business career to go back to his native Pakistan and start a new political party.
I grew up in Pakistan, a country that was then peaceful and progressive. After high school I had the good fortune to get admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. So in the fall of 1974 on a rainy August evening I arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It...
In late 2009, after safely finishing Vendee Globe 2008-9 and delivering our sitesALIVE program to 250,000 students in the US, I read in the Harvard Business School Bulletin (I had received my MBA from there in 1982), that one of my section mates, Nadeem Qureshi, was...
Rich and I first became friends in 1977 at Analytic Services, a federally funded “think tank” in Washington, D.C., where we spent a few years supporting future Air Force development. When we left Analytic Services, Rich set off for Harvard Business School and I joined...
In the late 1970s, after I studied at MIT, I was offered a job in Washington, DC working for Analytic Services, Inc., a company that was contracted to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. This was during the Cold War, where the world had aligned itself either...
Dorothy Ann (Simpson) Wilson Eulogy - Rich Wilson - December 22, 2010 Mom came from the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Tacoma, Washington. Her family were hard workers in a serious time, with World War I ending and the Great Depression coming on, yet always with a...