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The IMOCA Globe Series: three key races inform Vendée Globe selection during 2019

Fleet at start of the Vendee Globe, in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 6th, 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendee GlobeFlotte au départ du Vendée Globe, aux Sables d'Olonne le 6 Novembre 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendee Globe

Thurday, May 9th - The imminent Bermudes 1000 Race starts from Douarnenez and takes the 17 boat fleet out to the  legendary Fastnet lighthouse off the SW of Ireland before a long leg down the Atlantic to the Azores. From there the IMOCAs head back to the NE in to the haven of Brest, the finish port.

They are 17 IMOCAs entered in the event. For six of them, it will be their first race as they pursue selection: Clément Giraud, Pip Hare, Miranda Merron, Giancarlo Pedote, Maxime Sorel and Denis Van Weynberg all head in to their first races solo in an IMOCA.

Saturday, August 3rd - The Rolex Fastnet Race may be the shortest event of the 2019 season at 608 nautical miles, it remains a must do on the itinerary of keen offshore racers in the north of Europe. The start is special, in front of the manicured lawns of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, to the sound of the renowned club’s cannons. The total armada which heads west out of the Channel and across the Celtic Sea numbers more than 300, the IMOCA fleet being one of the focal points of the race. They will race two up for the Fastnet race as a preparation for the Transat Jacques Vabre. From Cowes the race goes to Plymouth via the Fastnet. By all accounts the race is a sprint rather than a marathon, everyone looking to find their marks prior to the pinnacle IMOCA Globe Series event of the season, the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Saturday, October 27th - The Transat Jacques Vabre already has twenty-two duos registered. Because of its length, 4340 nautical miles and its route, it will be the benchmark race for the 2019 season, taking the fleet across the Bay of Biscay and into the Brazilian trade winds mirroring certain aspects of the Vendée Globe course. So it is a major test as well as an important opportunity to log a big number of qualifying miles at one year from the start of the Vendée Globe.

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