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44 Solo Sailors (and 18 Rookies) for Vendée Globe 2024

13th October 2023
Vendee Globe race 2024 inforgraphic

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
  • Eric BELLION (STAND AS ONE) - 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 (Teamwork.net) - 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 (Freelance.com) - FRA
  • Nicolas TROUSSEL (NC) - FRA
  • Denis VAN WEYNBERGH (D'Ieteren Group) - BEL
  • Szabolcs WEORES (New Europe) - HUN
  • Jingkun XU (Singchain Team Haikou) - CHN
Published in Vendee Globe
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The 2024 Vendée Globe Race

A record-sized fleet of 44 skippers are aiming for the tenth 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 10 2024 and will be expected back in mid-January 2025.

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

Vendee Globe 2024 Key Figures

  • 10th edition
  • Six women (vs six in 2020)
  • 16 international skippers (vs 12 in 2020)
  • 11 nationalities represented: France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, China, USA, New Zealand (vs 9 in 2020)
  • 18 rookies (vs 20 in 2020)
  • 30 causes supported
  • 14 new IMOCAs (vs 9 in 2020)
  • Two 'handisport' skippers

At A Glance - Vendee Globe 2024

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

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