With the Vendee Globe Round the World race start less than a month away, Ireland's first ever entry in the race departs Dublin on Monday for the French Race start at Les Sables d’Olonne.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr and Dublin City Council will host a ‘Bon Voyage’ event for the Kilcullen Voyager solo skipper Enda O’Coineen on Monday in Dublin’s Docklands.
At age 60, O’Coineen takes on the world's hardest non–stop race for the first time in November. He will sail around the world non-stop from east to west via the three major capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn - on its 29,000-nautical-mile route.
In a week from now on Friday 14th October, the 29 competitors taking part in the eighth Vendée Globe will have to be moored up at the pontoon in Port Olona.
Already some competitors have arrived. Kito de Pavant got there early, along with Arnaud Boissières, Nandor Fa and Rich Wilson. Others are already on their way, with most of them planning to carry out their delivery trip next week.
The official Vendée Globe Village will be opening its doors in Les Sables d’Olonne on the following day, Saturday 15th October. Four years ago, the Vendée Globe attracted 1.8 million visitors.
Among them, there were many schoolchildren. Local schools will be able to discover the event again this year thanks to a teaching pack distributed in Vendée.
O'Coineen continues the school children theme in his departure on Monday with schools St. Laurence O'Toole Junior Boys School, North Wall, St. Mary's Primary School, Dorset Street and St. Louis Senior Primary School, Rathmines, attending the send–off from 11.15am on Custom House Quay next to the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship where the Kilcullen Voyager will be moored and O’Coineen will pose for pre-departure photographs.
The race is now less than a month away, with the starting gun due to be fired at 1202hrs UTC on Sunday 6th November.