I think it was the English girl Samantha Davies, skipper of Roxy in the Vendée Globe race around the planet (at present in the 13th position), who said recently that there are two prerequisites for starring in this extraordinary sailing challenge. First, it helps if you're crazy; second, you have to be French.
I would say "intrepid" rather than "crazy". As for being French, the latest rankings certainly lend weight to that idea. The first ten yachts form a group extending over a hundred nautical miles, then there's a big gap to the remaining vessels. Of the first ten skippers, one is an Englishman from Southampton. The nine others are French, and they all reside in Brittany.
BREAKING NEWS: As of this morning, Sunday 16 November, instead of ten, there are now only five yachts within a bracket of a hundred miles. And all the skippers are Frenchmen from Brittany!