Vendee Globe - Energa, 'Gutek' bow out of the race

Gutek on board Energa - 2012 Vendee Globe
The Vendee Globe has been nothing short of hectic for the skippers who set off from Les Sables d’Olonne and now, yet another skipper has been forced to retire. Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski, sailing on board Energa, has announced his retirement from the race.

Today I need to officially announce what I’ve been thinking about for days. Being brave is not only about fighting, it is also about knowing where to stop.

I know I did everything I could, working on my electronics issues for many days. I know my team and friends did their best as well. And I am extremely grateful for the huge support I got. But I can’t carry on like that. Having no autopilot means I can’t race, and if I can’t race, I have to retire.

That’s a tough decision, one of toughest in my life. But that’s Vendee Globe, that’s the power of the ocean and you can’t fight it.

It’s like driving at night on a road you don’t know, a road with many turns, surrounded with trees. Suddenly your lights go off and you can’t slow down. How many chances do you have to survive?

That’s what is happening with my autopilot, if you replace the road and the trees with the ocean and the waves…

Vendee Globe website