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The Vendée Globe is considered one of the toughest quests of individual endurance and the ultimate test in Ocean Racing.


Ocean racing is incredibly physically demanding. Like all endurance sports, an overall level of fitness is required in addition to sport-specific strength. The added challenge of moving around a heeling yacht requires excellent mobility and balance too.


Ollie works with a personal trainer and follows a regime of strength and conditioning sessions combined with cardio training – all of which intensifies ahead of each major race.

Oliver Heer


In solo racing, mental preparation is equally as important. During the Vendee Globe itself, Ollie will be alone for almost 4 months, and he needs to be well prepared to deal with the prolonged isolation. In addition, he needs to be able to make sound decisions in challenging and potentially dangerous situations, remain calm and positive in the face of setbacks, and stay motivated and focused 24 hours a day.


Since the beginning of the campaign, Ollie has been working with one of the best and most renowned mental performance coaches, Dr Wolfgang Jenewein to develop psychological tools and techniques for use prior to, and during the Vendée Globe race.

Oliver Heer
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Sailing is extremely active and physical - every day of the race Ollie will be moving about the boat, manoeuvring sails which weigh up to 100kg – and more when wet - and using the grinder to hoist or drop sails. This burns a huge amount of energy, and Ollie will need to consume approximately 6,500 calories per day to maintain energy levels.


On board, Ollie’s yacht is equipped with just a single jet-boil stove, one thermos cup and one spoon. With such limited facilities, Ollie will rely almost entirely on pre-prepared, vacuum-packed meals which are specifically designed for sports nutrition. High in calories and essential nutrients, they can either be consumed cold or quickly heated and are eaten straight from the packet.


In addition, many studies have shown significant performance decline with just a 2% decrease in hydration level, so Ollie will need hydration strategies to maintain optimum performance over prolonged periods of racing. It is impossible to carry enough fresh water on longer races, so Ollie’s boat is also equipped with a water maker.

Burgerstein Vitamine logo

Burgerstein Vitamine, one of Ollie’s key partners has created a bespoke fully-natural vitamin supplement for Ollie to take whilst racing. It's designed to provide all the essential minerals based on Ollie’s unique biology and microbiome. Please note – this is a natural vitamin supplement, not a performance enhancing chemical supplement.


One of the biggest challenges of solo sailing is managing sleep. Whilst sleeping, sailors miss the opportunity to respond to changes in wind and weather, which can result in underperformance. However, staying awake too long results in fatigue and impairs decision making ability which can also impact performance.


Ollie will usually stay awake for the first 48 hours or so, and then grab 20-40 minutes of sleep every 2 to 4 hours, enabling him to maintain awareness of the weather, boat conditions and competitors.


One of the key challenges that Ollie faces is managing himself, and forcing himself to sleep even when he doesn’t want to.

Oliver Heer Ocean Racing



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calories burned by Ollie in an hour when sailing


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hours without sleep at the beginning


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kilos in weight lost during
the race

20 - 40




minutes of sleep every
2-4 hours
kilograms of headsail to be manoeuvred
vacuum-packs consumed
jet-boil stove, 
cup & spoon
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