The 2019 season kicks off on May 8 with the first IMOCA Globe Series event, the Bermudes 1000 Race.
At the start of this decisive year for those who want to line up on the next Vendée Globe, here is a quick run down of the qualification process, the application process, the rules which will apply to competitors who want to be sure they are on the starting line. What do they have to do and by when? And it can get down to those who will have to pass a selection based on the number of miles sailed in the IMOCA Globe Series Races
First and foremost, all competitors must respect a first deadline of 1 November 2019. On that date, all Vendée Globe applicants must have submitted their application form to the SAEM Vendée, the owners and organisers of the race.
First obligation, to be qualified:
To qualify, a competitor must have completed one of the following races: Vendée Globe 2016, Route du Rhum 2018, Transat Jacques Vabre 2019, The Transat 2020, New York - Vendée, Les Sables d'Olonne 2020.
There are two exceptions: a competitor who has completed the 2016 Vendée Globe and wants to start on a different (usually newer) boat must - at least - make an approved solo passage of 2000 miles. The same applies for a competitor who would have qualified on a two handed race. As an example the 2018 Transat Jacques Vabre will validate the qualification of several competitors, provided that they complete their 2000-mile solo course.
Take, for example, Jérémie Beyou who finished the 2016 Vendée Globe. To be qualified in 2020, he will have to complete a 2000-mile solo passage. Alex Thomson, as a 2016 finisher with a new boat will need to only complete his 2000-mile solo passage.
As for Sam Davies, by finishing the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Bermudes 1000 Race, she will have done a two handed transatlantic race and completed a 2000-mile solo passage.
Competitors who will have a new boat and competitors who finished the Vendée Globe 2016-2017, provided they have met the qualifying conditions set out above, that is sailing their 2000 miles passage.
Assuming that the limit of the thirty starting places is reached, others will be admitted according to , the number of miles raced during the IMOCA Globe Series.
As a reminder, the IMOCA Globe Series events were defined by the IMOCA Race Management and the Class as The Monaco Globe Series and the Route du Rhum in 2018, The Bermudes 1000 Race, the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2019 , The Transat and New York - Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne in 2020.
The whole process is designed to afford greater confidence to organization of the Vendée Globe that those who start from Les Sables d'Olonne on November 8 2020 will be well seasoned racers with enough miles under their belts.