Prize giving was on the first day of the Paris Boat show, and it seemed really odd to venture back there as it was the first day of the paris boat show last year when I entered the race and I committed myself to the whole adventure.
Julie and Liam both accompanied me this time, and wew caught the overnght ferry from Portsmouth to Caen and then drove to Paris arriving at the show around 10 O’clock, the prize giving was not until 5:30 so we spent the day jus wandering around the show, on the way bumping in to a few mini friends which was great, we also saw a few of the vendee sailors, Mich Desjoyeaux, Marc Guillemot this kept Liam very happy as he was a great follower of the last Vendee Globe and the Jaques Vabre especially as he was able to talk to Marc for quite a while.
During the afternoon I checked out the location for the prize giving and got there just as the Dragons were having there ceremony, there were only a couple of people present and this left me wondering whether it had been worth the effort to travel over, however I was not disappointed, nearer the time the whole area started to fill up, and by the time the ceremony started it was standing room only!!!
In typical french fashion there were lots of speeches from the various sponsors and officials as well as from Sam Davies but eventually they got around to the prize giving, every competitor got a mention and each finisher was presented on stage and was given a momento in the form of a laminated photo with every competitor plus the officials on it, I was also given a few other freebies form various sponsors.
Once finished it was into one of the private lounge areas for drinks, where I was very pleased to meet Steve White (Vendee Globe) and his family as well as Nigel King (Figaro) another Lymington based sailor doing the french solo bit.
After drinks it was back to the hotel to eat, bed and then back to England the following morning.