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Boston sailor completes solo voyage around the world

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Boston sailor Rich Wilson completed a solo voyage around the world Tuesday, pulling into Les Sables d’Olonne in France 107 days and 48 minutes after he set off on the Vendée Globe race.

Wilson, who at 66 was the oldest skipper in the competition, finished in 13th place. His finish makes him the fastest American sailor to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation, beating a 2005 record of 109 days, 19 hours.


In a news release, race organizers said Wilson and his vessel, Great American IV, had returned “in almost exactly the same, near-perfect condition as they left.”

It was the second time that Wilson, a lifelong mariner and former math teacher with degrees from Harvard and MIT, has finished the Vendée Globe. He also completed the race in 2009, with a time of 121 days, 41 minutes. Twenty-nine boats began the race.

“To finish two Vendée Globe races with both of his boats in great condition is testament to his impeccable seamanship, his ongoing focus and discipline to stay within the prudent protocols he sets himself, looking to achieve high average speeds and sail very efficiently while keeping the skipper and his boat safe,” Vendée Globe organizers wrote.

Andy Rosen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.

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