It looks like perfect day for what will be the biggest ever Vendée Globe fleet starting this ninth edition. The 33 skippers will have a moderate 12-15kts southerly breeze, some sunshine and flat water at 1302hrs when the start gun sounds to send the 27 men and 6 women off on this 24 296 nautical miles solo non stop race around the world.
Prudence on the start line will be required in this big fleet especially with the mix of racing abilities, for many this will be not just the biggest day in their sailing careers so far, but the biggest IMOCA fleet start they have ever made. At the same time there will be the hard bitten Figarists and Vendée Globe regulars looking to make the best possible start, not least to feel they are straight into race node.
Although it should be a relatively straightforward afternoon and evening, the winds will build during the second part of the night tonight the first front will come through with gusts of 30knots, but after the front the boats will be able to make more directly south in a lighter SW winds in a high pressure ridge during tomorrow, Monday morning.
The first boat off the dock this morning is Armel Tripon at 0815hrs local time.