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The wind gods only partially delivered for the NY-Vendee fleet competing in the Vendee Liberty exhibition speed trials on upper New York Harbour on Friday with puffs of breeze deciding the fortunes of the fleet.

Battling north and south winds gave the 60-foot IMOCA sailboats some opportunities to lay down their rails and charge along the one-mile course in front of the Governor’s Island audience while others ran out of luck and slid along at sometimes pedestrian speeds.

Romain Attanasio, Fortinet/Best Western, from the first heat of the day, sailed up towards the Statue of Liberty, then foamed off in a big blast of breeze to capture the fastest run of five minutes and 55 seconds.

Even though the sailors are preparing for next Wednesday’s NY-Vendee transatlantic race and are maxed out with sponsor obligations and boat repairs, they see this day with friends and VIPs as a time to enjoy this moment in their careers and bathe in the Big Apple atmosphere.

“It’s like a dream, you take a five-minute ferry here and just a dinghy ride from madame Liberty,” said Louis Burton of Bureau Vallee whose daughter was trotting at his side today, a big smile peaking from beneath the brim of a familiar dark blue baseball cap with the curvy “NY” logo of the New York Yankees baseball team. “This time in my life to do that, I don’t know if will ever come back here like this. To live that with my team, partners and family, that’s incredible.”

The IMOCA class is building on the success of transatlantic and other ocean races originating from the U.S. East Coast by inviting the latest American talent to join the NY-Vendee. Rising ocean sailing star and social media phenom Cole Brauer, the first American woman to complete a solo around the world race this year. Brauer teamed up this week with Malizia skipper Boris Hermann. Her efforts to do the 2028 Vendee Globe is expected to raise the profile of this sailing discipline in the States.

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With six months to go before the start of its 10th edition, the Vendée Globe is making an American aside! The last qualifying and selection race for the solo round the world race, the New York Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne, will set sail in 15 days time, on 29 May, at 20h00 French time.

Last confrontation before the Vendée Globe

While some of the skippers have already reached Uncle Sam's country, the excitement is at its peak: the last transatlantic race is generating a lot of sporting interest. The sailors are embarking on this final test before the Vendée Globe to put their boats through their paces, while seeking to assert their superiority over their rivals. It is also the last chance for some to qualify and be among the 40 selected for the 10th edition of the Everest of the Seas.

30 sailors in search of records

On 29 May at 8 p.m. French time (2 p.m. local time), off the coast of New York, 30 sailors will set sail in the New York Vendée, twice as many as in the first edition in 2016. This transatlantic regatta, which includes the favourites for the Vendée Globe, is likely to be extremely fast: the downwind conditions should propel the first competitors towards Vendée very quickly... Given the technological advances in the IMOCAs, the record time of 9d 16h 57min 52s set by Jérémie Beyou in 2016 should be beaten.

Vendée shines on the other side of the Atlantic

Beyond the sporting aspects, this adventure represents a fantastic opportunity for the Vendée to shine on the international stage and to promote economic exchanges with the United States.

Indeed, the race partners and boat sponsors are taking advantage of the event to consolidate their presence on the other side of the Atlantic. Alongside the race, an exceptional show has been organised to meet this objective: the Vendée Liberty. This speed race against the clock will take place on 24 May in Manhattan Bay. For the partners, gathered on Governors Island for the occasion, this high point is a unique opportunity to forge new business relationships.

The ocean: the common thread

The New York Vendée is part of the Vendée Globe and its environmental roadmap, which focuses in particular on protecting the oceans.

In order to minimise the risk of collision between the IMOCA boats and marine megafauna, Biodiversity Protection Zones (BPZs) have been set up along the course. These zones, identified as key breeding and feeding grounds for cetaceans, have been determined by the organisation following studies carried out with the Share The Ocean consortium, supported by the Vendée Globe Foundation. Their delimitation is based on scientific criteria, statistical analyses and documented collision incidents.

For the same reasons and for safety reasons linked to the dense maritime traffic around New York, the start of the race will be 80 miles from the coast. The skippers will be travelling to the start area at reduced speed

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On May 29, 31 skippers from around the world will set sail from New York towards the Vendée, for the final qualifying and selection race to qualify for the Vendée Globe: the most challenging sailing race around the world. The race, which includes the favourites for the Vendée Globe, is likely to set a new transatlantic record: the expected downwind conditions should propel the first competitors towards Vendée very quickly.

The event will begin with a show of all the IMOCA boats on May 24. These impressive 60-foot-long racing boats, which can sail up to 50 mph, will make the Show in Manhattan Bay. 

From one edition to the next, the Vendée Globe is becoming increasingly international. While 2020 was a record year in this respect, 2024 is once again a record year with 16 international candidates.

New York Vendée - Les Sables d'OlonneThe New York Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne race is a significant event, and on May 23, 2024, all the IMOCA boats will be docked in New York and Newport. It is a race that brings together the best sailors from around the world, and the competition is expected to be fierce

International Fleet

The New York Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne, the final qualifying and selection race for the Vendée Globe, further underlines this trend. Among the 31 competitors are 14 international skippers, representing over 45% of the fleet and 11 nationalities.

The appeal of this race goes beyond national borders, as illustrated by the fact that it is attracting a new nationality with Scott Shawyer, a Canadian skipper whose ambition is to take part in the Vendée Globe 2028. "This race means a lot to me, as it will be my first solo race, my first solo transatlantic race and therefore a whole series of firsts! It's a big step in my programme," explains the Canadian skipper.

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On 10 November 2024, the Vendée Globe skippers will set off on the 10th edition of the non-stop, non-assisted, single-handed round-the-world race.

They will sail down the legendary Les Sables d'Olonne channel, cheered on enthusiastically by the public in Vendée, before setting off across the seas of the globe and attempting to beat Armel Le Cléac'h's record by completing the 45,000-kilometre course in less than 74 days, 3 hours and 35 minutes.

The toughest sailing race

Nicknamed the Everest of the seas, the Vendée Globe is the most demanding of all sailing races. Kojiro Shiraishi, the Japanese skipper who has already finished the circumnavigation in the 2020 edition, can testify: "There is no safe place on the Vendée Globe course. The southern seas are the most hostile, but from start to finish, there is danger everywhere." But its toughness is also its beauty: "It's the most extreme and the most beautiful race", confides Arnaud Boissières, who is about to participate in his fifth Vendée Globe.

Benjamin Ferré, a young rookie, adds: "It's the greatest race of all, the one that most people dream about, and it has incredible symbolism: it's one man, alone on his boat, sailing around the planet. It's the most poetic thing in the world, and that's why it brings people together so much." He continues: "We come here to find the value of deprivation: we leave what we love most in the world so that we can be even more aware of it when we find it again". While the skippers come to learn about their limits, above all they learn to go beyond them. In the most remote corners of the planet, on the most hostile seas, they seek to apprehend the unknown: "It's this unknown that makes this race so unique", adds Arnaud Boissières.

An eagerly awaited popular event

During a Vendée Globe, the skippers forge very close links with the public, who are always in ever greater numbers in the village of Les Sables d'Olonne and on the sides of the channel for the start and for all the finishes. Paul Meilhat - forced to retire in 2016 and returning in 2024 - remembers: "The descent of the channel in Les Sables d'Olonne, in terms of emotions, is one of the most powerful moments I have ever lived through".

As well as being a sporting competition and an extraordinary adventure, the Vendée Globe is also one of the biggest popular sporting events in France. The event is becoming increasingly international with every edition: in 2024, 1/3 of the candidates are international.

Strong enthusiasm for this 10th edition

Alain Leboeuf, President of the Vendée Globe: "We are extremely enthusiastic about celebrating the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe in 2024. Never before has the event generated such enthusiasm. This anniversary edition promises to leave a lasting impression".

The first record for 2024 is the number of candidates: 44 for 40 places at the start.

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Zodiac, a well-known international brand in RIBs with over 125 years of experience, has renewed its partnership with the Vendée Globe, one of the most renowned ocean races in the world.

As an official partner of the 2024 Vendée Globe, Zodiac will provide a safety fleet of 42 RIBs to escort the 40 solo skippers competing in this unique race. 

Zodiac RIBs are known for their exceptional speed and crossing capacity in rough seas, making them reliable and resistant.

Their low centre of gravity, deep V hull and seaworthy floats ensure the best possible safety measures for the skippers. The deep V hulled RIBs will be available to the race organisers to welcome the winner of the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe and all other competitors to the finish line. 

As part of a partnership agreement, Zodiac will produce 42 limited edition custom-built RIBs in the colours of the Vendée Globe. These RIBs will be available for sale to the public.As part of a partnership agreement, Zodiac will produce 42 limited edition custom-built RIBs in the colours of the Vendée Globe. These RIBs will be available for sale to the public.

The Irish agent for. Zodiac RIBS is Dun Laoghaire Harbour's MGM Boats

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The tenth edition of the non-stop, non-assisted, single-handed round-the-world Vendee Globe race has set a new record with 44 skippers applying.

There are a number of newcomers, the 18 'rookies'. The youngest skipper, Violette Dorange, is just 22! She is due to compete in her first round-the-world race aboard the boat on which Jean Le Cam completed the 2020 Vendée Globe. King Jean, the emblematic face and oldest skipper in the race, should be lining up at the start for the sixth time, on his brand new IMOCA with straight daggerboards, which has just been launched.

But as exciting as it is, there will be some disappointment, from a home perspective at least, that a number of fledgeling Irish campaigns are not on the list.

Among the six female candidates - as many as the 2020 record - Sam Davies, Justine Mettraux and Clarisse Crémer have high ambitions at the helm of high-performance boats and are looking forward to taking part in the battle for the podium. Also racing is Pip Hare, who visited Ireland recently as interviewed by Afloat here.

Damien Seguin, the first disabled skipper to complete a Vendée Globe in 2020-2021, should be back alongside Jingkun Xu, a young Chinese skipper with an arm amputation. Their candidacy highlights that Vendée Globe is also an inspiring demonstration of inclusion.

A race more international than ever

The internationalisation of the Vendée Globe is reaching new levels: applications are coming in from the four corners of the globe! If 2020 was a record year in this respect, 2024 is once again, proof that the trend is set to continue. The candidates include 16 international skippers, representing more than a third of the entries, compared with 12 in 2020. In addition, the 11 nationalities represented are spread across 4 of the Globe's five continents. 

Sailors increasingly committed

From social action to environmental protection and medical research, the Vendée Globe is an opportunity for more and more skippers to use their achievements to support causes that are close to their hearts. There are more than 30 causes supported by the sailors. Some, like Tanguy Le Turquais with Lazare or Manuel Cousin with Coup de Pouce, have named their boat after the charity they support, to give them maximum visibility. Others are taking a different approach, like Thomas Ruyant and Sam Goodchild, sailing under the common banner of the "We sail for people and planet" collective, which works to help people and the planet.

The Initiatives-Coeur project with skipper Sam Davies enables children with heart malformations to be operated in France when this is impossible in their own country. Their ambition is to save 500 children by the end of the next Vendée Globe. Maxime Sorel, skipper of the new IMOCA V and B - Monbana - Mayenne, has been deeply involved with "Vaincre la Mucoviscidose" for nearly 10 years, an association he has promoted through his various exploits, at sea during Vendée Globe and on land when he climbed the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest.

40 places at the Start, 10 November 2024

For the 2020 edition, 37 skippers applied. In the end, only 33 took part in the race.

To find out which 40 competitors will set sail on 10 November 2024, we will have to wait for the final qualifying and selection race: the New York Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne, which will start from the United States on 29 May 2024.

2024 Candidates :

  • Fabrice AMEDEO (Nexans - Arts & Fenêtres) - FRA
  • Romain ATTANASIO (Fortinet - Best Western) - FRA
  • Yannick BESTAVEN (Maître CoQ V) - FRA
  • Jérémie BEYOU (Charal) - FRA
  • Arnaud BOISSIÈRES (La Mie Câline) - FRA
  • Louis BURTON (Bureau Vallée) - FRA
  • Conrad COLMAN (Imagine) - USA/NZL
  • Manuel COUSIN (Coup de Pouce) - FRA
  • Antoine CORNIC (Human Immobilier) - FRA
  • Clarisse CRÉMER (L'Occitane en Provence) - FRA
  • Charlie DALIN (MACIF Santé Prévoyance) - FRA
  • Samantha DAVIES (Initiatives-Cœur) - GBR
  • Violette DORANGE (DeVenir) - FRA
  • Louis DUC (Fives Group - Lantana Environnement) - FRA
  • Benjamin DUTREUX (GUYOT environnement – Water Family) - FRA
  • Benjamin FERRÉ (Monnoyeur - Duo for a Job) - FRA
  • Sam GOODCHILD (For the Planet) - GBR
  • François GUIFFANT (Partage) - FRA
  • James HARAYDA (Gentoo Sailing Team) - GBR
  • Pip HARE (Medallia) - GBR
  • Oliver HEER (Oliver Heer Ocean Racing) - SUI
  • Boris HERRMANN (Malizia - Seaexplorer) - GER
  • Isabelle JOSCHKE (MACSF) - FRA/GER
  • Tanguy LE TURQUAIS (Lazare) - FRA
  • Jean LE CAM (Tout commence en Finistère - Armor-Lux) - FRA
  • Nicolas LUNVEN (Holcim - PRB) - FRA
  • Sébastien MARSSET (Foussier - Mon Courtier Energie) - FRA
  • Paul MEILHAT (Biotherm) - FRA
  • Justine METTRAUX ( - SUI
  • Giancarlo PEDOTE (Prysmian Group) - ITA
  • Yoann RICHOMME (Paprec Arkéa) - FRA
  • Alan ROURA (Hublot) - SUI
  • Thomas RUYANT (For People) - FRA
  • Damien SEGUIN (Groupe APICIL) - FRA
  • Phil SHARP (OceansLab - Cleantech Accelerator) - GBR
  • Kojiro SHIRAISHI (DMG MORI Global One) - JPN
  • Sébastien SIMON (Groupe Dubreuil) - FRA
  • Maxime SOREL (V and B - Monbana – Mayenne) - FRA
  • Guirec SOUDÉE ( - FRA
  • Nicolas TROUSSEL (NC) - FRA
  • Denis VAN WEYNBERGH (D'Ieteren Group) - BEL
  • Szabolcs WEORES (New Europe) - HUN
  • Jingkun XU (Singchain Team Haikou) - CHN
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Organisers of the Vendée Globe have released the Notice of Race for the transatlantic New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne in May 2024.

Last held in 2016 with 14 IMOCAs, this second edition will be the first organised by the Vendée Globe team itself. Set to start off in New York on 29 May 2024, it’s already shaping up to be a major event with 40 skippers expected to line up, and will be decisive for the next Vendée Globe in several respects.

Moreover, considering the lightning technological development of Vendée Globe boats in recent years, the race’s current record time set by Jérémie Beyou in 2016 — nine days, 16 hours, 57 minutes and 52 seconds — looks set to be smashed.

Taking place just a few months before the Vendée Globe, this final confrontation will be an opportunity to determine the strongest contenders for the next solo, non-stop, non-assisted round-the-world race. It is the ultimate opportunity for the favourites to assert their power.

Before setting off on this demanding 3,200-mile course, the sailors will treat the New York public to a great show in Manhattan Bay, organised on 24 May 2024 at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. The so-called ‘Liberty Race’ promises breathtaking images.

New York Vendée poster

This Atlantic crossing will be the last qualifying race for the 2024 Vendée Globe. To qualify, skippers must take part in two qualifying races: one in 2022 or 2023 and one in 2024. They must finish one of them in a time that cannot exceed the winner’s time plus 50%. That’s why taking part in this race is a real challenge for future Vendée Globe competitors.

The New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne is also the last race in which the skippers clock up miles for their selection in the Vendée Globe, if more than 40 of them qualify. To underline its importance, the organisers have given it a special feature: for every mile sailed, the sailors will clock up 1.5 miles. So this transatlantic race counts for more than any other selection race.

After crossing the Atlantic and heading up the legendary channel in Les Sables d'Olonne, 40 competitors will pick up their precious pass: the entry ticket to the next Vendée Globe.

It’s a unique moment for the teams, the sponsors and the sailors, for whom this round the world represents the achievement of a four-year project and, for many of them, the dream of a lifetime. Sharing and emotion will be the watchwords of these finishes, which will serve as a dress rehearsal for those of the Vendée Globe in 2025.

Organisers say they look forward to seeing everyone on 9 June 2024 for the prize-giving ceremony, which will be held on the Vendée Globe esplanade in Les Sables d’Olonne.

Alain Leboeuf, president of the New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne, of the Vendée Globe and the Département de la Vendée said at the launch on Thursday (6 July): “We are very proud to be organising the New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne. This race is particularly important as it is the last qualifying and selection race for the Vendée Globe.”

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Following Vendée Globe competitor Clarisse Crémer’s “shock” at being dropped by her main sponsor after taking time off to have a baby, the World Sailing Trust was among those who took notice and has now published a set of recommendations to improve maternity policies in high-level sailing.

Titled ‘Project Juno’, the trust’s report comprises six recommendations “to look to set the sport of sailing on a more inclusive course when it comes to women who wish to become mothers and remain in their chosen fields”.

Speaking about the report, World Sailing Trust chair and legendary offshore sailor Dee Caffari said: “Following our publication of the Women in Sailing Strategic Review in 2019 and subsequent research into participation and the governance of the sport, we are well-placed to understand the challenges that face athletes and others who wish to become mothers.

“The pace of change regarding attitudes to mothers in sailing has been slow. When Clarisse Crémer confirmed on social media that she had been let go by her sponsor, Banque Populaire, there was uproar.

“But one does not need to dig too deep to find similar stories that. Olympians Theresa Zabell and Shirley Robertson both fell foul of the ‘system’ not being sufficiently flexible or accommodating of pregnant and new mothers, and there are doubtless many more.

“Project Juno looks at the four primary areas that athletes, teams, organisations and stakeholders should consider when looking at how to best support mothers and fathers. Through them, we also call on our sport to remove the ‘mother blinkers’ and accept that it will only be the best it can be only by being diverse and inclusive.”

Duncan Truswell of Sport England and a World Sailing Trust trustee added: “The rules are not deliberately made to discriminate, but, in the main, they do. This does not come from a place of prejudice or negativity but rather from a history of being a male-dominated sport. There is no immediate overnight fix and Project Juno is a work in progress, a first step to improve and make things better.”

The Project Juno report is available to download from the World Sailing Trust website HERE.

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Welsh Solo offshore Alex Thomson, who has ties to Cork Harbour in Ireland, has bought Banque Populaire’s IMOCA 60 following the team’s withdrawal from the next Vendée Globe in 2024 due to the controversial circumstances over dropping female skipper Clarisse Crémer.

5 West Ltd, represented by British four-time Vendée Globe competitor Alex Thomson, announced it had reached an agreement with Team Banque Populaire on its social media channels earlier this week (21 March 2023).

Banque Populaire posted a similar message via its social channels, stating: Team Banque Populaire has concluded an agreement for the sale of its IMOCA with the company 5 West Ltd represented by A. Thomson, for a project which will allow a future skipper to participate in the Vendée Globe. [Banque Populaire] wishes them success in this new challenge.

The skipper has not yet been announced, although some fans are hoping that Clarisse Crémer might return to the helm of the boat for the 2024 event.

Crémer came 12th overall in 2020/2021 Vendée Globe and was the first woman to complete that iteration, becoming a record holder. She was shockingly dropped by her sponsor Banque Populaire in February (2023) after she gave birth to a baby girl in November 2022.

In October 2021, new rules were implemented to qualify for the Vendée Globe. Previously, finishers automatically qualified for the next edition. Now skippers must gain points by participating in intermediate races with only the first 40 qualifying. Crémer’s maternity leaves meant she couldn’t accumulate enough points.

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The Vendée Globe logo for the non-stop solo race around the world has been updated with capital lettering, on two lines, for a "more compact and modern expression".

The race departs on November 10th 2024, generally covering approximately 24,000 nautical miles (44,000 km). 

The visual celebrating next year's 10th edition of the event has been officially unveiled. "Sober and powerful, it highlights the sailor, alone on his IMOCA, facing the immensity of the Globe, " said the French race promoters.

This brand, accompanied by a sound identity, is used for the "Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne" and the "New York Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne" races.

"The Vendée Globe brand is now becoming a real umbrella for the other races we are organising, the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne and the New York Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne," declared Alain Leboeuf, President of the Vendée Globe.

The race is scheduled to run from November to February, timed to place the competitors in the Southern Ocean during the austral summer.

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