The man they dubbed 'the underdog'
Modest Steve White dubbed ‘the underdog’ for his virtually unsponsored Goliath battle just to get to the start line, is the true Corinthian champ of the Vendee Globe, solo, non-stop round-the-world race.
White, 36, and wife Kim – with four children’s mouths to fill – remortgaged their Dorset home twice twice to realise his dream.
And therefore it is not surprising that; he says: ‘It will take some time to sink in what I have done, but at the moment it just feels like I have been on a long sailing holiday.’
Sailing in technology a decade old, some might consider Josh Hall’s former Gartmore, an old tub. But she proved to be a sound boat against other state-of-the-art Open 60 machines.
‘I never thought that I might not finish, there were some difficult times when I had to deal with different things on the boat, but you do what you have to do. At times it was frustrating with an older boat to keep it going, but also I was very lucky. The result? It’s incredible in some ways. You don’t like to think of others who did not make it, or to feel you have profited because someone has broken something or their boat is upside down, but it is a race of attrition.’
‘The people who pulled out are all really, really good sailors, and so I had a real battle with that, I would rather have come where I come than see another boat upside down or dismasted, to see someone else’s dreams shattered at my expense. I would have been quite happy wherever I should have come. There are a few people I felt I should have beaten come what may, and I would like to have been closer to Cali and to Dee, but the weather deals you the cards you get.
‘The gooseneck repair has been as good as gold. It makes some horrendous creaking noises under load, I gave it a couple of turns to keep it bar tight coming up the Atlantic, but it has been fine. Time loses all meaning. I am really weird with time. Anyway it has gone very quickly.’