This time he knows what he can expect. The youngest competitor and a rookie in the last Vendée Globe, Louis Burton saw his adventure come to an abrupt end after colliding with a trawler off Portugal. Understanding now how much it takes to compete and how much pressure there is at the start, Louis will gain from what he experienced in the first race, when he returns in 2016 after much more preparation and in very different circumstances. He will once again be aboard Bureau Vallée, a boat he has been sailing since 2011 and that he knows like the back of his hand. For his first solo race since the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, Burton finished in a fine fifth place in the last Route du Rhum. A boost to his confidence, which should strengthen his determination as he looks forward to the next solo race around the world.
Louis comes from a rather unusual background in comparison to the other sailors. Born near Paris, he first sailed while on holiday in Southern Brittany. From the age of 18, he regularly raced and then carried out solo delivery trips. The turnaround came in late 2009, when he decided he wanted to compete on a Class40 in the 2010 Route du Rhum and he managed to get his budget together thanks (even back then) to Bureau Vallée. He made a highly successful entrance into the world of ocean racing. In spite of colliding with a trawler in mid-Atlantic, Louis continued his race at the helm of his damaged Class40 and managed to complete the race. He clearly wanted to leap ahead and in 2011 bought a 60-foot boat to begin his career in the IMOCA circuit. In spite of the scepticism of some, Louis Burton has found his place in the circuit. Apart from the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, the young skipper finished all the races he has competed in, including the BToB transatlantic race in 2011, two Transat Jacques Vabre races (in 2011 and 2013) and the 2014 Route du Rhum.
Louis Burton has two careers going today. He is both a skipper and businessman, as he runs the BG Race yard in St Malo. In spite of his busy schedule, he is spending a lot of his time focusing on the next Vendée Globe. His first goal will be to complete the race. But he will also want to do battle against boats from the same generation as his Bureau Vallée. In spite of some technical problems, he finished ninth in the last double-handed transatlantic race, in which he took part alongside another 2016 Vendée Globe contender, Romain Attanasio.