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45 Skippers Want to Enter the Next Vendee Globe Race

28th June 2021
The Vendée Globe Race has really never stopped
The Vendée Globe Race has really never stopped

Almost six months after the first skippers crossed the Vendée Globe finish line already the tenth edition, starting November 2024, is on everyone's mind. And the enthusiasm stemming from the last edition is significant, already there are around 45 sailors who are wanting to be on the starting line in just over three years time. And so here is a round-up of the state of play as we go into summer, knowing of course that the clock is always ticking.

As regular readers know, there was a big interest from Ireland in the last race with four campaigns mentioned at one point but none ultimately made it to th 2020 startline.

Only one Irish boat has ever made it to the Vendee Globe start line and that was in the 2016 race when Galway sailor Enda O'Coineen made the Sable's D'Olonne line. His entry Kilcullen was dismasted off New Zealand in January 2017 and he never finished the race but, much to his credit, O'Coineen did complete the course sailing the boat home to France in April 2018 and becoming one of only a handful of Irish sailors to solo circumnavigate the globe.

The Vendée Globe has really never stopped. Yes, the finish line is crossed but the challenge is ongoing for many. Some skippers made no secret that during their last weeks on board they were already working to make their projects continue. "2024 is already only tomorrow", Romain Attanasio said during the latter days of his race.

For those who want to be competing at solo racing’s absolute pinnacle, re-immersing themselves in the most prestigious challenge is a "must".

According to figures from Figaro Nautisme, already 45 skippers would like to enter the next edition (there were 34 in 2020).

Here is a broad overview


The announcement came accompanied by a great fanfare in a massive TV studio in early May. Charal and Jérémie Beyou (13th in the last edition) announced the construction of a new IMOCA monohull. The new Charal 2 will be designed by Sam Manuard and is presented by the skipper as "a break with the rounded bow" and a "relatively easy, ergonomic and versatile" boat.

Boris Herrmann announced on this Vendée Globe site his desire to have a new boat, a VPLP design “We want to continue for the next 4 to 5 years,” he explained aiming for crewed The Ocean Race and the next Vendée Globe. In May he was already in a"full discussion on the design" and has a target of launching by next June. His boat is being built at the Vannes yard Multiplast, like that of Maxime Sorel who has also announced he will build new. The blond haired solo racer who was tenth in the Vendée Globe has a new sponsor, Chocolats Monbana alongside the continuation of the partnership with V and B and the area of Mayenne. He decided to have an Apivia sistership with MerConcept. This, he sees, is a way to give a new dimension to his project" while having "the assurance of having a boat ready as soon as it is launched, scheduled for June 2022".

Same too for Kevin Escoffie who will have a new PRB. Currently freelancing with Banque Populaire to sail in the Transat Jacques Vabre, the skipper announced at the end of May that he would carry on with PRB who have bought a new boat hull. They have in fact bought the hull of an IMOCA which was being built by Carrington Boats to a design by Guillaume Verdier. Escoffier is delighted with the advance in timing he gets from taking on a hull that is all but built and so he says it will "make the new PRB more reliable".

For his part, Armel Tripon, who no longer enjoys the support of L’Occitane en Provence, announced the construction of a new scow (a boat with a rounded bow), while resuming sailing and competing in the Ocean50 multihulls

The ‘transfer window’ or the sales funnel if you like always goes on at the end of each edition, as skippers chase boats which will take their game up a level, or two. Just as he was after 2016-17 the one who got the ball rolling was Louis Burton. Third in the Vendée Globe, the Saint-Malo skipper acquired L’Occitane en Provence on which he is currently competing in The Ocean Race Europe. "It's like a dream, I'm discovering a new machine that makes me want to take on even more challenges," he explained during the launch of his newest boat;

Meantime Bureau Vallée 2 has found a happy buyer: Pip Hare. The effervescent Briton (19th in the last Vendée Globe) and her sponsor Medallia are lining up for a more competitive, faster more sporty boat, a “very efficient” boat, emphasizes the Briton.

At the beginning of May, we learned that Romain Attanasio was also going to experience the joys of sailing with foils. The sailor has acquired the Malizia IMOCA from Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) which he has put in its new colours thanks to the support of a new sponsor, Fortinet, which will be alongside Best Western.

Fabrice Amedeo is the first in this category. After retiring into South Africa he will go for a new cycle with the same boat. He benefits from new colours as the Nexans company has joined it.

Kojiro Shiraishi will also be on the same boat for his third participation. He announced in April that together with his sponsor, DMG-Mori. "The boat and I will set out to be faster and I will try to make the boat more comfortable to sail and improve the foils".

The winner of the last edition, Yannick Bestaven, remains vague on his intentions, even if he assures us that his current boat is "almost sold". First to cross the line, second in the final standings, there is no doubt that Charlie Dalin will be part of the adventure again. He has been testing new foils, the uncertainty about his participation in 2024 boils down to one question: will he leave with the current revamped Apivia or with a new boat?

Same problem for Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur). This is what she said to Tip & Shaft: “With the team and the partners, we are looking for a way to 'upgrade' for the next Vendée Globe. Nothing has been decided we are looking for the best possible solution. "

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) he has not formally announced anything but is believed to favour the creation of a new boat. Nicolas Troussel is not closing the door on the idea of building a boat either: "It will depend on what happens this year," he confided before taking part in The Ocean Race. Damien Seguin (Apicil Group), for his part, reaffirmed in the Journal du dimanche "wanting to sail a foiling boat from 2022 onwards".

Thomas Ruyant explained that his “history with the Vendée Globe is not over”, he is currently with LinkedOut until the Route du Rhum 2022. However, it is difficult to imagine him missing the next round the world and he also currently competing in The Ocean Race Europe. Among his teammates, there is Clarisse Crémer, 12th in the last Vendée Globe, who has reaffirmed her desire to participate again, without any official announcement having yet been made to that effect. Alexia Barrier is also said to be at the same stage.

Arnaud Boissières has also expressed his desire to participate in a 5th Vendée Globe. But the question is with which boat? On several occasions, he has expressed his desire to acquire Maître Coq IV, the boat of the winner and his friend, Yannick Bestaven. “More than ever I want to put a competitive, lasting imprint on the Vendée Globe,” he explained to Ouest-France. Isabelle Joschke also aspires to come back. However, the skipper who races in MACSF colours does not necessarily want to have a new boat, she told Voiles et Voiliers.

For his part, Alan Roura must deal with the withdrawal of his sponsor, La Fabrique. The Swiss sailor, however, remains particularly motivated to find new partners, as he told Voiles et Voiliers: "I am confident in my ability to convince sponsors to come on board with me". Sébastien Simon is also looking for partners as Arkéa Paprec leaves the adventure at the end of the year but will build a new boat for an as-yet undisclosed skipper.

At Miranda Merron, who also experienced the withdrawal of her sponsor, Campagne de France, the equation is more complicated. "Miranda would love to set off again on a Vendée Globe but without sponsors or substantial financial means, I don’t think it can happen," said Halvard Mabire to Voile et Voiliers.


A project is taking shape for Louis Duc. He who had recovered the IMOCA Fortil from Clément Giraud, damaged after a fire, has just announced the arrival of a first partner, the group of landscape gardeners Lantana Paysages. The adventurer Guirec Soudée, known for having sailed around the world with a hen is working on participation. He bought the IMOCA from Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA-Water Family, 9th). This is also the case for Antoine Cornic who has acquired the ex-Spirit of Canada (Derek Hatfield, Vendée Globe 2008).

Sébastien Josse has repeatedly reaffirmed his desire to be there. Yann Eliès, who has just completed the double-handed Transat, says "he has rediscovered his faith" and is aiming for "a boat of the 2020 generation or the previous generation", as he explained to Voiles et Voiliers. Violette Dorange, also entered in the double-handed Transat, expressed her willingness to set up a project and seek funding.

Two other participants on The Ocean Race Europe are also in the running: Justine Mettraux and Yoann Richomme. The Swiss sailor Mettraux who is cutting her teeth aboard 11th Hour Racing, is aiming for a "2nd or 3rd generation IMOCA". Finally, note that the names of Nicolas Boidezevi and Jorg Riechers are also cited for this next edition. Case to follow!

A round up of boats

2024 New Boats

  • Sea Explorer for Boris Herrmann
  • Eleventh Hour 2
  • V&B Monbana-Mayenne for Maxime Sorel
  • Charal 2 for Jérémie Beyou
  • PRB for Kevin Escoffier

Generation 2020

  • Bureau Vallée 3 for Louis Burton
  • Corum L’Epargne
  • DMG Mori
  • Apivia
  • Medallia (ex-Bureau Vallée 3) for Pip Hare
  • Fortinet-BestWestern (ex- Sea Explorer) for Romain Attanasio
  • Nexans-Art&Fenêtre for Fabrice Amedeo
  • Prysmian Group for Giancarlo Pedote
  • For sale : Arkea Paprec, Hugo Boss, Charal 1, Linkedout, Maître Coq

Generation 2014 

  • Nandor Fa's boat

Generation 2013

  • Team Germany, ex-Acciona
  • Banque Populaire sold

Génération 2008

  • Yes We Cam, La Mie Caline, Time For Océan, Omia Water Family sold
  • Apicil for sale
  • Merci de Sébastien Destremau
  • Groupe Setin of Manu Cousin
  • MACSF of Isabelle Jochke
  • La Compagnie du Lit de Clément Giraud
  • Campagne de France of Miranda Merron
  • Plan Farr 2008 of Louis Duc
  • V&B de Maxime Sorel
  • La Fabrique of Alan Roura
  • Spirit of Canada of Antoine Cornic
  • Stark oj Ari Huusela (for sale)
Published in Vendee Globe Team

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The 2020/2021 Vendée Globe Race

A record-sized fleet of 33 skippers will start the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe: the 24,296 nautical miles solo non-stop round-the-world race from Les Sables d’Olonne in France, on Sunday, November 8 at 1302hrs French time/1202hrs TU and will be expected back in mid-January 2021.

Vendée Globe Race FAQs

Six women (Alexia Barrier, Clarisse Cremer, Isabelle Joschke, Sam Davies, Miranda Merron, Pip Hare).

Nine nations (France, Germany, Japan, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, and Great Britain)

After much speculation following Galway man Enda O’Coineen’s 2016 race debut for Ireland, there were as many as four campaigns proposed at one point, but unfortunately, none have reached the start line.

The Vendée Globe is a sailing race round the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance. It takes place every four years and it is regarded as the Everest of sailing. The event followed in the wake of the Golden Globe which had initiated the first circumnavigation of this type via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn) in 1968.

The record to beat is Armel Le Cléac’h 74 days 3h 35 minutes 46s set in 2017. Some pundits are saying the boats could beat a sub-60 day time.

The number of theoretical miles to cover is 24,296 miles (45,000 km).

The IMOCA 60 ("Open 60"), is a development class monohull sailing yacht run by the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA). The class pinnacle events are single or two-person ocean races, such as the Route du Rhum and the Vendée Globe.

Zero past winners are competing but two podiums 2017: Alex Thomson second, Jérémie Beyou third. It is also the fifth participation for Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson, fourth for Arnaud Boissières and Jérémie Beyou.

The youngest on this ninth edition of the race is Alan Roura, 27 years old.

The oldest on this ninth edition is Jean Le Cam, 61 years old.

Over half the fleet are debutantes, totalling 18 first-timers.

The start procedure begins 8 minutes before the gun fires with the warning signal. At 4 minutes before, for the preparatory signal, the skipper must be alone on board, follow the countdown and take the line at the start signal at 13:02hrs local time. If an IMOCA crosses the line too early, it incurs a penalty of 5 hours which they will have to complete on the course before the latitude 38 ° 40 N (just north of Lisbon latitude). For safety reasons, there is no opportunity to turn back and recross the line. A competitor who has not crossed the starting line 60 minutes after the signal will be considered as not starting. They will have to wait until a time indicated by the race committee to start again. No departure will be given after November 18, 2020, at 1:02 p.m when the line closes.

The first boat could be home in sixty days. Expect the leaders from January 7th 2021 but to beat the 2017 race record they need to finish by January 19 2021.

Today, building a brand new IMOCA generally costs between 4.2 and €4.7million, without the sails but second-hand boats that are in short supply can be got for around €1m.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance - Vendee Globe 2024

The 10th edition will leave from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 10, 2024

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