Liz Wardley gets unexpected Vendee Globe sponsorship

The solo non-stop round the world race gets its second female competitor
This year’s Vendee Globe is to have two female competitors. In addition to Sam Davies, Papua New Guinea’s Liz Wardley announced today that she is to compete in the race, with an as yet undisclosed sponsor and boat. Wardley, who is based in France, admitted to thedailysail that this has development has fully come out of the blue. She had been planning this year on becoming the first person to cross the Atlantic in an outrigger canoe, a project she unveiled at Paris Boat Show in December. “I wasn’t expecting it. I had just announced the project for the Atlantic crossing and a week later I got contacted for this. So it was really unexpected.” Full details of the project are to be announced at a press conference in the Vendee on 9 March, but it seems likely that her sponsor will be a local company from the Vendee region. At present her backers are trying to find her a boat and rumour exchange suggests that this might be the Finot-Conq designed DCNS, belonging to former Vendee Globe competitor Marc Thiercelin. The Vendee Globe marks a return to solo sailing for Wardley, who originally broke into international yachting when she did bow on board Lisa MacDonald’s Amer Sport Too in the 2001-2 Volvo Ocean Race. Since then she has dabbled in the Mini (she didn’t quite make the start of the 2003 Mini Transat due to the late delivery of her boat) and spent almost five seasons campaigning a Figaro backed by her sponsor Sojasun. Since then her sailing has been limited to catamarans. She has been part of Dona Bertarelli’s LadyCat team in the D35s on Lake Geneva and otherwise has been crewing for former Amer Sport Two team mate Carolijn Brouwer on the Viper 16 beach cat. But her real passion recently has turned