British competitor, Miranda Merron is racing on her Imoca named Campagne de France. This is her first Vendee Globe, but she is no stranger to racing around the world. In 1998 Miranda, alongside fellow British sailor Samantha Davies, joined the team of „Royal Sun Alliance“ led by Tracy Edwards on a Jules Verne attempt. Sadly, their efforts were thwarted when they dismasted off New Zealand after 43 days.
Originally this venture was to be a break from being an advertising executive, but Miranda never returned. A graduate from Cambridge University in Oriental Studies and Japanese, Miranda speaks five languages but has spent the last 22 years since that Jules Verne Attempt in ’98 professional sailing and racing in predominantly solo and double handed races.
Her boat was built in 2006 from an Owen Clarke design in New Zealand at Southern Ocean Marine. Originally this boat was for Swiss sailor, Dominique Wavre, where he did a Vendee Globe in 2008 and two Barcelona World Races, before ownership went to US Skipper Rich Wilson when he raced in the 2016 Vendee Globe Race finishing in 13th place, aged 66 years old and the oldest competitor in the race.
The journey for Miranda to get to the Vendee Globe has been a long one. Her experience and success have been built up over time racing fully crewed, double handed and solo. She has experience from The Ocean Race, the Global Ocean Race, high latitudes sailing, Class 40 races and Imoca races. Now she gets to put it all into practise on her Vendee Globe. She genuinely loves being out at sea and knowing that her partner Halvard is at the end of the phone to assist and support her is greatly reassuring.
Miranda’s aim for the race is to finish but she would like to beat Dominic’s time of 90 days and Rich Wilson’s time of 104 days. Her competition will be predominantly with the older boats of Pip Hare on Medallia, Alexis Barrier on TSE 4 my planet and Ari Huusela on Stark. But there is little Miranda has not seen or experienced so nothing will really phase her, and this is the Vendee Globe so anything can happen.
Miranda took ownership of this boat and has worked on the refit and modifications in the yard her partner Halvard Mabire owns. Most of the work has been carried out by themselves with the help of volunteers from time to time. It has been hard work but there is not an inch of boat Miranda does not know.