Press Kit

Why compete in another race around the globe at age 66 when you have already completed one? When sailing connects with education = the story of Rich Wilson.

pdficon_large About Rich Wilsonpdficon_large About sitesALIVE!pdficon_largeVendée Globe History

Rich Wilson is:
  • Highly educated: Harvard (AB 1972), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Master of Science 1976), Harvard Business School (MBA 1982) , Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Doctorate in Public Administration (Honorary), 2011)
  • Experienced: a math teacher in Boston, defense analyst in Washington and consultant for a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia, among others.
  • A successful sailor: Rich became known back in 1980 when he won the Newport- Bermuda Race. He smashed the San Francisco-Boston record sailing double-handed aboard Great American. Aboard Great American II, he set two new records between New York and Melbourne, and Hong Kong-New York, and finished second in the Transatlantic Race in 2004. In 2008 he entered Vendée Globe race and finished it, when only 11 of 30 boats in the fleet managed to complete the course.
  • An inspiration: Rich has dealt with severe asthma since early childhood and needs to use 4 drugs daily “If he can do that, I can do anything” says an asthmatic 10th He will be 66 years old when the race starts in November, 2016.
  • A life-long educator: in 1990, he founded sitesALIVE! to use sailing and other live adventures as an live educational platform using the nascent Internet
  • A Writer:
  • Rich Wilson’s Skipper Profile for Vendée Globe
sitesALIVE! is:
  • a non- profit organization created in 1990 by Rich Wilson
  • its mission is to excite and engage thousands of kids in learning, for science, geography, math, and history, by connecting them to live, real-world adventures
  • sitesALIVE! allows students to communicate with and learn from their peers
  • sitesALIVE! provides teacher’s guides and assessment materials correlated to national and state curriculum standards
  • sitesALIVE! has produced 75 live, interactive, semester-long, curriculum-based, learning adventures since 1990
  • Ocean Challenge Live! is the sitesALIVE! program and curriculum created for the 2016-17 Vendée Globe, available in English, French & Chinese (How It Works, and Signing Up)

Video Testimonials

“Your inspirational adventure has opened up many young minds to not only educational avenues but also higher level critical thinking and life-long lessons. In addition, it has permitted children the opportunity to dream beyond their predictable four walls…Thank you for sharing your dream. Hope to set sail with you again!”
Janet Buckholz & Elizabeth Natke, John P. McKenna Elementary, Massapequa Park, NY

“We loved it! We used this program with social studies, math, science, computers and language arts! We did it all!”
Sixth grade teacher, Franklin Square, NY

Ocean Challenge Live! is:

  • Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.01.01 PMsitesALIVE! educational program for the 2016 Vendée Globe
  • a live, interactive, curriculum-based, learning adventure to excite and engage students in learning science, geography, math, and history, and all in a real world context.
  • For Vendée Globe 2016 (November 2016 – February 2017) we will offer:
    • Free Teacher’s Guide, written by teachers, with 15 weekly classroom activities, 15 current events activities and 10 team projects, focusing on Science, Math, Geography, & History. Click to view Common Core Correlations for each lesson.
    • Free on our website:
      • Daily: Ship’s Position & Log; Audio Report; Sleep & Asthma Data
      • Mon-Wed-Fri: Q&A with Skipper & Experts, Photos & Videos
      • Weekly: Essays by Skipper & an Expert on the Curriculum Topic of the Week
      • Meet our Team of Experts
      • Forums: Online, interactive, moderated forums on weekly curriculum topics allow students to comment, and to interact with peers, globally.
      • Participation certificate: A PowerPoint template will be available for download that can be customized to add a student’s name and school, awarding their participation in Ocean Challenge Live! See an example of the certificate.
  • Program Brochure: Ocean Challenge Live!: Vendée Globe 2016-17
  • How it Works Online
  • How it Works in Newspapers

Teacher’s Guides ( English, French , Chinese (traditional) , Chinese (simplified))

Vendée Globe is:

  • Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.14.16 PMThe only non-stop solo race around the world without assistance: 28,000 miles and approximately 100 days
  • In the first 7 editions, 138 skippers started and about half finished. Rich Wilson was 9th of 11 who finished out of 30 starters in the 2008-09 race.
  • The Vendée Globe is above all a voyage to the ends of the sea and deep down into the sailor’s soul
  • The public refers to it as the “Everest of the Seas”, a race “that is almost beyond belief” says Gary Jobson (ESPN-TV Commentator)

The eighth Vendée Globe will set sail from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday 6th November 2016 and Rich Wilson will return aboard Great American IV!

“Ask Rich straight out why the hell he’d want to do this again and he will tell you straight out it is all about sitesALIVE!”
Charles J. Doane in Sail Magazine, May 2016