Goss is best known for the extraordinary 1996-97 Vendee Globe yacht race in which he gave up his chance for victory to save the life of a competitor. Goss became a world hero when he reversed course, turning back into a ferocious storm to find and rescue French competitor Raphael Dinelli. When he finished the race he was greeted and cheered by a crowd of 150,000. For his bravery in the single-handed open-sea rescue under life-threatening conditions, Goss was awarded the MBE medal from the Queen of England and the Legion d’Honneur from French President Jacques Chirac. Goss chronicled his long preparations for the race and the race itself in his excellent book, Close to the Wind (1998).
His father was an agricultural consultation on development projects, and Goss was home-schooled by his mother while they lived in various places around the world. He met his future wife Tracey when he was 14 and she 13. He attended a formal school for the first time at age 14, but only for two years. Following school he worked for the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service, and then spent nine years in the Royal Marines. Goss began planning to sail around the world, alone, in 1986 – it took ten years before that dream became the reality of the 1996 Vendee race. In addition to building world-class ocean racing yachts, his company, Goss Challenges, provides management training, motivational speakers and a variety of other services. Pete and Tracey Goss have three children and live in Cornwall, England.