Single-handed ocean racing is certainly one of the sports most suited to an extreme of social distancing, but welcoming the public to Les Sables d'Olonne is a big challenge in these difficult times.
The Vendée Globe is a popular event, a public event which in essence belongs to the Vendée region and the Vendée people. The presence of the public is an essential and historical part of the mix. The organisers, the SAEM Vendée have been working together for months with all the stakeholders of the event and the associated authorities in order to make the presence of the public possible in this context.
The Village will therefore open its doors on October 17, but its access will be subject to a system adapted to the health measures in force:
• The reception capacity of the Village will be limited to 5,000 people at the same time, with real-time flow management and a direction of circulation imposed in indoor areas.
• Access to the village is free, but the public must make a mandatory reservation beforehand. Registration details will be communicated shortly.
• Wearing a mask will be compulsory, as will respect for all social distancing upon entering the village.
• A specific health protocol for skippers and their close entourage, with in particular strict confinement for seven days before departure.
• A health protocol for the organization and accredited persons, including the media, with the obligation to present a negative PCR test dated within the previous 72 hours to access the village. All those provisions will be communicated shortly.
• An agile organisation, in permanent contact with the competent authorities, in order to constantly adapt to the changing situation.