Organisers of the Vendée Globe have confirmed the start of this year’s event will take place Sunday 8 November off Sables d’Olonne.
As reported last month on Afloat.ie, the Vendée Council and SAEM Vendée had hoped to maintain that date and ensure a maximum number of people can fully and safely enjoy the Vendée Globe adventure.
Since the closing of registration nominations on 1 November last, 35 candidates have set themselves up to be on the starting line. As it stands today, 18 skippers are already officially registered.
SAEM Vendée also took the decision this past Monday (8 June) to set up a Start Village, which will open on Saturday 17 October. It will turn into the Race Village on 8 November then the Finish Village to welcome the skippers home from their round-the-world race.
Arrangements for the general public will be adapted to public health requirements which may affect sporting events and they will have to be approved by the relevant authorities.
Yves Auvinet, president of SAEM Vendée, said: “We promised to clarify the situation for the Vendée Globe fleet, partners and other bodies before 15 June and that has now been done.
“We are proud to have been able to maintain this sporting event and the start of the ninth edition on 8 November. The race will take place and it looks highly likely that it will be one of the most breathtaking in the history of solo round-the-world racing.
“Our teams are working flat out to come to be able to give the best welcome possible to the general public.”
Meanwhile, with lockdowns leading to the cancellation of the Transat CIC and the New York—Vendée Les Sables d’Olonne, the IMOCA class has set up a brand new race, supported by its headline partner, the Vendée department and the town of Les Sables d’Olonne: the Vendée—Arctique—Les Sables d’Olonne.
This 3600-mile race with the start and finish line in place off Les Sables d’Olonne, with waypoints to the West of Iceland and the North of the Azores, is scheduled to start on Saturday 4 July.
The next date on the Vendée calendar is Tuesday 1 September, when registrations close and by which any additional qualifiers must be completed — currently seven skippers and their boats (among them Alex Thomson and his Hugo Boss) have yet to complete an additional 2,000-mile qualifier approved by the race directors, while four must sail a solo transatlantic race or equivalent, and six others must complete their registration.