Liz Wardley officially launches her Vendee Globe project

Liz Wardley faces new challenge
© Barbara Bernard / La Septième Vague
Vendee Globe - Impossible is not Liz! Inspired by the motto of a famous sporting goods brand, Liz Wardley is now officially launching her 2012 Vendée Globe project. Only a week after the contract she had signed with an unscrupulous sponsor who kept none of his promises was terminated.

The Papouasia New Guinea-born yachtswoman is trying to move on. But the rage and anger she is feeling are still there. Yet ‘Chook’ - as many call her – is now willing to use that energy to put together a new project and face a new challenge. With seven months to go before the start of the most mythical offshore race in the world, another race has just begun for Liz. A race against time…

Here is a quick reminder of the context. In the end of Decembrer 2011, Liz Wardley received a phone call from Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty. The Sensation Sailing Team offshore skipper told her he had found a miracle partner willing to sponsor a second boat on the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe. Liz’s eyes started to sparkle when Dejeanty mentioned a possible participation in the Vendée. She was promised wonders: A boat and a budget, but above all, she was given the opportunity to make her wildest dream come true! But it all turned out to be nothing but hot air…

Despite contracts, official announcements and press conferences, the pseudo-sponsor did not keep his promises. Liz Wardley then decided to terminate her contract, but moving on to something else, and forgetting the Vendée Globe that was stolen, to her wasn’t an option.

Leaving doubts raised by the ticking clock aside, she threw herself in a huge challenge: To be on the start line of the round-the-world race on November 10. The challenge now has a name: Impossible is not Liz and Liz always has partnership presentation files with her and she is back to her usual self: Independent and totally focused.

Liz, the Vendée Globe start is in less than seven months now… Are you still hoping to be on the start line in Les Sables d’Olonne on November 10, 2012?

Of course, I’m truly confident! My goal is as crazy and simple as the Vendée Globe itself, at least in theory, but harder in reality. It’s very Liz Wardley-like too! In the end of June, in about two months, I will try to find a new partner. A real one, a serious one this time, one that can help me purchase a boat as soon as possible.

Basically, to purchase a yacht and get it ready to sail and qualify over the summer, I need a 5000,000-euro budget. I am aware it is a large figure, even though it is clearly less than the regular budgets, which are usually between 1.5 and 2 million euros. I also know the current context is not helping and that my timing is very short, but I still want to try my best. I want and I need to race in that Vendée Globe! I haven’t been lucky so far but there can be a change of wind bringing a company that would want to share that great adventure with me!

What would you like to say to the possible business executives reading this?

First, I’d be frank: I’m not a sales expert or a communication specialist. I’m not sure what the return on investment can be in a Vendée Globe sponsorship operation. All I can say is that it’s a lot and that it goes way beyond just money. I can’t promise anything, except to fight hard, to do my best and to go as far as I can go, which is what I’ve always done anyway.
I can tell them how sea and sailing are my life! I can tell them the Vendée Globe is the most beautiful and the greatest sailing adventure I know and that’s why I have to be part of it! I want to feel the emotion of start day, to experience amazing moments at sea, to see albatrosses fly and to push my own limits in the scary Southern seas and to make it around Cape Horn solo. I want all that for myself but also for the people who stand by me and who will support me.

I know the Vendée Globe makes hundreds, thousands of people dream. Kids will follow little plastic boats on a map every day. Adults will play virtual sailing games on the internet. People will live this unique adventure through us. I know my French isn’t perfect and I’m also aware that when someone says they will sell you dreams, it’s not always a good thing. But like it or not, selling dreams is precisely what I want to do with my Vendée Globe project. Come and dream with me! That’s what I want to tell everybody. I just hope I will be heard…

Vendee Globe website