Whatever the case is for the sailors, it is sure that they will all pass these days, Christmas and New Year, sailing in remote and hostile waters, very far from their loved ones. And even if the internet connections have improved internet with each edition, and communications are easier and more direct than ever before, nothing replaces physical contact with one’s far distant friends and family.
For the most part Vendée Globe sailors have chosen to take a complete break between Christmas and New Year. Everyone is well aware that the imminent arrival of 2020 marks the start of a year during which there will be very little respite. Between boat preparation then the preseason races and the almost inevitable hiccups, small and large, which will occur on the route to the Vendée Globe start line, the coming months are certainly going to be full on.
French-English couple Romain Attanasio and Sam Davies have been taking full advantage of this festive period to take a family break, enjoying time en famille as both dad and mum solo racers, are entered into the next Vendée Globe. Since 2010 when their son was born dad Romain stayed back in 2008 and 2012, then Sam during the last edition in 2016 when Romain decided to go around the world. The family have taken a complete break, away to a remote Breton island for some complete privacy, chilling out together before the action starts during the first days of 2020.
Arnaud Boissières has left Les Sables d’Olonne for a few days to see his extended family and friends in his native Arcachon. He has enjoyed a few days where he grew up, sharign family meals, walks around the beaches and coast.
For others, Christmas has been busy. In Poole, England Pip Hare took advantage of the Christmas holidays solicit some extra hands as she strips the hull of the Superbigou as she prepares for a refit. The British sailor's monohull still has a big space available on the hull for a major sponsor who may want to make their mark on the pre-season races as well as the Vendée Globe itself.
But for the vast majority of sailors the holiday season is an opportunity to take a break, to let the technical teams rest. Others press on. For the MACSF team, the objective is clear: to put Isabelle Joschke's boat in the back water as quickly as possible to allow her to return to sea in January. Having failed to finish the Route du Rhum and the Transat Jacques Vabre, Joschke wants to be back prepping for the season, seeking to achieve a higher degree of reliability in order to complete the early season races.
And of course some just can’t stay away from the sea and from racing. While he waits for his new boat to be launched Nicolas Troussel took part in the famous Sydney - Hobart race.