The Vendée Globe official rules could not be clearer: « Boats must be in the port of Les Sables d’Olonne by Friday, October 19 at 7PM. Skippers must be physically present at the Sables d’Olonne between Friday October 19 at 7PM and Sunday October 21 at 4PM. » These dates are just around the corner and the boats' transfers to the start city have already started.
On his Groupe Bel, Kito de Pavant is currently sailing off the Portuguese coast surrounded by dolphins. Mike Golding, Gutek and Alex Thomson will soon leave England. Bretons can take their time as Port-La-Forêt, Lorient, St Malo and Brest, home port to a dozen monohulls, are not too far away. As for Arnaud Boissières and Alessandro Di Benedetto they are already home in Les Sables d’Olonne while their neighbour Dominique Wavre will sail from La Rochelle.
« Cherish those moments »
The general public’s heroes are required to be there for a few days and they know they will be assailed by requests from the press, VIPs and sponsors every day. But they will doubtlessly enjoy the walkabouts and generously give a lot of their time. All yachtsmen agree on one thing: « those are special moments that need to be cherished ». Mike Golding says it is like a good vibration while Marc Guillemot compares the atmosphere to positive waves.
Then they will go and spend some time in family because they are also fathers, mothers, sons or daughters. They are all eagerly waiting for the day of the start, when it is high time they left the dry land behind, sail away and remain at sea for a long time…