21 Feb 2017
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Wilson Claims Title of Fastest American Solo Sailor


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Photo by Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe

American sailor Rich Wilson (MBA 1982) became the fastest American skipper to race solo nonstop around the world on Tuesday afternoon when he crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race off the west coast of France. He placed 13th out of 29 boats.

Sailing Great American IV, Wilson launched his 27,480-mile singlehanded trek from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 6, finishing with an elapsed time of 107 days 48 minutes 18 seconds, sailing at an average speed of 10.7 knots.

At 66 years old, Wilson was the oldest skipper in the race, which he earlier told the HBS Alumni Bulletin is considered “the Mt. Everest of the seas.” This year’s competition was his second successful solo ocean race. He soundly bested his time in the 2008-9 edition of the race of 121 days and 41 minutes. While battling storms, rough seas, and a gimpy GPS system, Wilson, a former math teacher, also delivered a daily educational program to more than 750,000 school students in 55 countries around the world.

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1982, Section G

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