With five months to go to the start of the Vendée Globe, almost all of the competitors have relaunched their boats and restarted their preparation for the ninth edition. Now is the time to look at some of the details concerning the key steps that lie ahead as the skippers prepare for 8th November.
The start of the 9th Vendée Globe will take place on November 8, off Sables d'Olonne. This was confirmed by the Board of Directors of SAEM Vendée, the organizing company of the Vendée Globe, this Monday, June 8, a symbolic date since it is also World Ocean Day, five months before the Vendée Globe start.
Since the closing of the registration nominations on November 1st, 35 candidates have set themselves up to be on the starting line. As it stands today 18 skippers are already officially registered.
The SAEM Vendée also took the decision to set up a Start Village, which will open on Saturday 17th October. It will turn into the Race Village on 8th November then the Finish Village to welcome the skippers home from their round the world race. The arrangements for the general public will be adapted to public health requirements which may affect sporting events and they will have to be approved by the relevant authorities.
© Vendée GlobeYves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée: “We promised to clarify the situation for the Vendée Globe fleet, partners and other bodies before 15th June and that has now been done. We are proud to have been able to maintain this sporting event and the start of the ninth edition on the 8th November. The race will take place and it looks highly likely that it will be one of the most breathtaking in the history of solo round the world racing. Our teams are working flat out to come to be able to give the best welcome possible to the general public.”
Five dates for your diary before 8th November
At 1202hrs UTC on 8th November, the ninth Vendée Globe will begin with its entrants setting off in this non-stop solo race around the world without assistance… but with a lot of excitement. Even if the lockdown period led to an interruption in the calendar of events that was initially in place, the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe could still become a record-breaker, starting with the number of competitors on the start line on 8th November*.
- Saturday 4th July: Vendée – Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne
The lockdown led to the cancellation of The Transat CIC and the New York - Vendée Les Sables d’Olonne, and the IMOCA class has set up a brand new race, supported by its headline partner, the Vendée department and the town of Les Sables d’Olonne: the Vendée – Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne. A 3600-mile race with the start and finish line in place off Les Sables d’Olonne, with waypoints to the West of Iceland and the North of the Azores. The planned start date is 4th July.
Tuesday 1st September: registrations close and date by which they have to complete any additional qualifiers
Seven skippers and their boats have to complete an additional 2,000-mile solo qualifier approved by the Race Directors. Initially planned for 1st July, the period during which they have to complete this additional qualifying distance has been pushed back to 1st September. This is also the date on which registrations close.
Thursday 17th September: press conference
The Vendée Globe press conference will take place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris respecting the public health measures that are in place at that point. This is a useful and symbolic date coming exactly one month before the start village opens.
Friday 16th October: arrival at the Vendée Globe pontoon
All of the boats registered for the ninth Vendée Globe have to be present to be measured on the Vendée Globe pontoon in Les Sables d'Olonne on by 1900hrs local time on Friday 16th October.
Saturday 17th October: official opening of the Start Village
Open for three weeks, the Start Village will be the perfect place for everyone to get together. It will be adapted to the circumstances at that point and the public health rules laid down by the government.
Sunday 8th November: 1202hrs UTC: start of the ninth Vendée Globe
While the start will be from the South Nouch buoy off Les Sables d’Olonne, the event will already be in full swing from the early hours that day with the boats leaving the pontoons and making their way out of the legendary harbour entrance in Les Sables d’Olonne.
The state of play with the skippers:
As it stands 18 skippers have completed their registration. 17 still have to sail a 2,000-mile solo course or compete in and finish the equivalent of a transatlantic race, or complete their registration paperwork for the Vendée Globe.
- 18 registered:
Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest – Arts & Fenêtres), Romain Attanasio (Pure – Best Western), Alexia Barrier (4myPlanet), Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV), Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle), Manuel Cousin (Groupe Sétin), Clarisse Crémer (Banque Populaire X), Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Samantha Davies (GBR, Initiatives-Cœur), Benjamin Dutreux (Water Family – Oceania Hôtels), Kevin Escoffier (PRB), Boris Herrmann (ALL, Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco), Jean le Cam (Yes we Cam !), Stéphane le Diraison (Time for Oceans), Miranda Merron (GBR, Campagne de France), Giancarlo Pedote (ITA, Prysmian Group), Alan Roura (SUI, La Fabrique).
- 17 skippers have to complete their registration:
. 7 have to sail an additional qualifying distance: Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2), Conrad Colman (USA and NZ, Ethical Racing), Didac Costa (ESP, One Planet One Ocean), Sébastien Destremau (AUS and FRA, FaceOcean), Sébastien Simon (Arkea – Paprec), Alex Thomson (GBR, Hugo Boss) and Nicolas Troussel (Corum L’Epargne).
. 4 have to sail a solo transatlantic race (or its equivalent) to complete their qualification: Isabelle Joschke (GER and FRA, Macsf), Clément Giraud (Monsieur et Madame), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori) and Armel Tripon (L’Occitane en Provence).
. 6 have already completed their requirements: Ari Huusela (Stark), Eric Nigon (Vers un monde sans Sida), Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut), Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil), Maxime Sorel (VandB – Mayenne).
*The records we can look forward to: The Vendée Globe will probably welcome six women this time, which represents 17% of the fleet, 12 skippers from outside of France (34%), 17 who have already taken part and 18 boats with foils.