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Vendee Globe Sailing Race News
Jérémie Beyou - news of his return to the race expected today
On a chill, grey November afternoon a drawn and disappointed Jérémie Beyou was touched by the size and warmth of the welcome afforded to the French Vendee Globe skipper on his premature return to Les Sables d’Olonne with his damaged…
Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss leads the Vendee Globe race
Alex Thomson leads the Vendée Globe by some 26 nautical miles this afternoon, first to deal with the worst of storm Theta at some 250 miles south of the Azores. The British skipper took Hugo Boss close to the centre…
Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) managed by Ireland's Marcus Hutchinson
Passing the Azores, some 100 miles to the east of São Miguel island, Britain’s Alex Thomson leads the Vendée Globe fleet this afternoon on Hugo Boss. He moved south away from his closest rivals on the water early this morning,…
Hugo Boss has finally managed to get the skates on for Crosshaven nipper Alex Thomson, and is currently leading the Vendee Globe as the serious contenders shape their course southeast of the Azores. And no, they haven't added a Korean car manufacturer to the sponsorship line-up - it's just a big no No for the Finnish phone makers…….
The Vendee Globe Race has finally started to get serious after several days of faffing around in flukey winds off northwest Spain and Portugal in conditions so volatile that last night they'd a messy frontal system going through to provide…
Jérémie Beyou is returnig to the start with damage to his IMOCA 60, Charal
One of the Vendee Globe race favourites Jérémie Beyou is returning to the start port with rudder damage on his new IMOCA 60 yacht. After last night reporting damage to one of his rudders having hit an object in the water…
Problems with the hook on board L'Occitane en Provence - Armel Tripon diverts towards La Coruña
Last night, Armel Tripon encountered technical problems with the headsail J3 hook aboard L’Occitane en Provence, one of the fast new foiling boats in the Vendee Globe race where the 33-boat fleet is battling strong winds heading south after Sunday's…
Alex Thomson prior to the start of this month's Vendee Globe
The Royal Ocean Racing Club in London has released a special edition of its Time Over Distance video series with Louay Habib talking to Alex Thomson just days before Alex and HUGO BOSS started the 2020 Vendee Globe. This is…
A selfie from Alex Thomson, a Vendee Globe pre-race favourite
Heading west this afternoon and encountering building winds, Vendee Globe skippers of the many of the faster-foiling IMOCAs are preparing themselves for an overnight pounding, set to last five or six hours, when they punch through an active weather front…
Damage at the top of his mast added more frustration for Fabrice Amedeo who is expected to return to the race course tomorrow morning after making a U-turn
Vendee Globe Day One: France’s double Paralympic gold medallist and 2017 winner of the Tour Voile Damien Seguin leads the 33 boat Vendée Globe fleet as the early rankings favour a leading group of older generation IMOCAs as they race…
A salute by the French airforce as the Vendee Globe fleet depart Les Sables d’Olonne
A sea mist shrouding the start zone off Les Sables d’Olonne held up the start of the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe, the solo non-stop round the world race, for nearly one hour and 20 minutes. But for their…
The Vendee Globe starts at lunchtime
When the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe solo non-stop race around the world starts from Les Sables d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast today at 1302hrs French time, the usual, huge partisan local crowds will be absent. The global…
Up, up and away….Jeremy Bayou's Charal was one of the first of the latest generation of IMOCA 60s to be launched, thereby avoiding many of the production delays which the pandemic caused for campaigns on a later time-scale. Having won the Vendee Artique Race in July, Charal is seen as a leading contender in the 24,000 mile Vendee Globe Race, which starts tomorrow at Les Sables d'Olonne
Make no splash, leave no trace, tame the turbulence, and THEN JUST FLY…..That's the thinking which underlines the very latest manifestations of the IMOCA 60, which are expected to lead the fleet of 33 sailing machines in the 24,296 miles…
Alex Thomson inside the nerve centre of his IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss
The Vendée Globe will likely see a new record time set in the edition which starts this Sunday 8 November, with Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson suggesting a finish “between 59 and 70 days depending on the weather”. Such a…
Thanks to main support sponsors Advens Cybersecurity, Thomas Ruyant's new Marcus Hutchinson-managed Vendee Globe-entered IMOCA 60 is providing major publicity for the not-for-profit social organisation LinkedOut
Marcus Hutchinson has been having a good Autumn in his role as a sort of benign marine Svengali with an Irish flavour, operating largely behind the scenes at the sharp end of the French big-time offshore racing scene. But it…
The time to beat for the current Vendée Globe monohull entrants is 74d 03h 36' set by fellow Frenchman Armel Le Cléac’h in his IMOCA 60 Banque Populaire
As 33 potential Cape Horners prepare for the start of the 9th Vendée Globe solo non-stop round the world race from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 8, The International Association of Cape Horners (IACH) has taken on the mantle of…
The famous Vendée Globe Race Village will be closed to the public from tomorrow
Following France's national lockdown measures announced by the President of the French Republic last night as part of the fight against Covid-19, the Vendée Globe Race Village will be closed to the public from Friday, October 30th. The start of…

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

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