Not forgetting your wife's birthday

Brian Thompson, sailing the Vendee Globe on board his boat ‘Bahrain Team Pindar’, was determined not to miss out on his wife’s birthday celebrations, despite being in the middle of the Atlantic. As a romantic birthday surprise, he organised for musicians from the Royal Marines Association to deliver gifts and serenade Nathalie with ‘Happy Birthday’ on the doorstep of their family home, accompanied by a life sized cardboard cut out of himself.

The celebrations were far from flat when an elated Nathalie and their two young children Genevieve (3) and Tristan (18 months), later enjoyed a traditional birthday tea party, speaking to the ‘real’ Brian at sea on board his boat ‘Bahrain Team Pindar’, whilst his cardboard stand-in looked on.

Wife Nathalie commented, ‘I got the shock of my life when I saw Brian on the doorstep, but it was a wonderful surprise and a very romantic gesture. We all miss him so much. It’s been a difficult three months without him, but we’re starting to get very excited about him coming home.”

Nathalie continued “I felt quite guilty when I told him we were tucking into the delicious cake and champagne he’d sent, knowing that he only has freeze-dried food left on board. He said he’s looking forward to some home-cooking, fresh fruit and vegetables, a cold beer and a nice bath.

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