Originally Posted by PCP
En Solitaire - Bande-annonce officielle by EnSolitaire
That's a movie
and it seems to be an interesting one:
Yann Madec, long-time best mate of Frank Drevil, the star skipper of Global System Insurance, sees his dream come true when he replaces the injured Frank at the last minute for the start of the Vendée Globe. Nine days into the race and leading, Yann is forced to stop in Cape Verde to repair his broken center-board. Back in the race, Yann discovers a stowaway on board, a Senegalese teenager named Moussa. Faced with the risk of disqualification because of Moussa’s presence, Yann hesitates… Their encounter leads to the most unforgettable round-the-world race ever.
En solitaire (2013) directed by Christophe Offenstein ? Film + cast ? Letterboxd
So much of the storyline is absurd but I never get tired of seeing IMOCA 60 footage, particularly when it's well produced. If you look at the vast majority of commercial films that feature sailing, the underlying assumption of the producers is that the sailing part will never be enough to interest a mass audience, so you must have some additional plot - often ridiculous - that typically has nothing to do with sailing.
In the case of "En Solitaire", it is highly unlikely that a top IMOCA program would substitute in a replacement skipper for their "star" at the last minute - the training and preparation that go into the Vendee make it nearly impossible to simply drop one skipper into another skipper's boat - unless you were substituting MichDes for just about anyone.
And even then, Le Professeur would probably not do such a thing precisely because he is such a professional and would fully comprehend the problems of such an action.
Similarly, there are quite a few cases of Vendee skippers having "guests" aboard their boats, often for long stretches of the race. Obviously not "stowaways" like in "En Solitaire" but fellow sailors rescued from their boats in the Southern Ocean and carried all the way to the finish. Indeed, the movie that really needs to be made is of Peter Goss' miraculous rescue of Raphael Dinelli from his overturned boat in a full gale. I confess that reading Goss' account in his book brought tears to my eyes. Goss carried Dinelli the rest of the way around the world to finish the race. (Note: These days Dinelli is roaring about the world setting records in his "Maserati", a very beautiful boat.)
Now, I'm hoping the new Robert Redford film might be different, in this respect, because it focuses precisely on one of the biggest fears / risks facing offshore sailors - collision at sea and having to abandon your boat. From what I've read, the film focuses on the psychology and emotions of that experience, which sounds like a good thing.
Anyway, I will probably rent "En Solitaire" on DVD just for the sailing footage, and maybe the story will not be too laughable. And hopefully lots of real sailors got some employment during the filming.