One thing is shared among the 29 candidates in the Vendée Globe : There is the almost the same number of skippers, who have already taken part and the number of rookies. There are as many newcomers to the race, as sailors, who have already lined up in previous editions of the Everest of the seas. This year, no fewer than five skippers will be joining Marc Thiercelin, Raphaël Dinelli, Mike Golding and Dominique Wavre in the elite group of sailors, who have taken part in the Vendée Globe on four occasions. Six sailors will be taking part in their third Vendée Globe, while four others will be setting sail from Les Sables d’Olonne for the second time. We should add that the 2016-2017 line-up brings together the youngest competitor in the history of the race (Alan Roura, 23) and the eldest (Rich Wilson, 66).
There are ten different nationalities among the 29 entrants, a record in the history of the Vendée Globe. In all, four continents and ten nationalities are represented in this eighth edition. The non-stop solo round the world race has never brought together such an eclectic line-up. Four countries (New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland and Japan) and two continents (Australasia and Asia) will be present for the very first time.