A new record sized fleet will compete in the 2020 edition of the Vendée Globe as 33 competitors are now registered to be on the start line off Les Sables d’Olonne on November 8. The strong entry underlines the growing interest in the solo, non-stop round the world race.
The field sees a notable return of women skippers as a record six female solo racers are set to take the line, while there is an almost equal balance between first time ‘bizuths’ or rookies and skippers returning for another crack at the ultimate solo ocean racing challenge. Clearly the Vendée Globe has matured to be an event which sailors do not only do once in a lifetime.
September 1st was the deadline nominated, by which time contenders had to have completed their application files, that is to say having fulfilled the administrative and medical formalities, to have completed validated a qualification course, but also being able to have produced a valid, up to date IMOCA class measurement certificate before October 15th. The additional time allowed for the presentation of the certificate is designed to allow teams to work on their late modifications before finally setting up the configuration of the boat for the race.
A few competitors validated their qualification by finishing the Vendée - Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne race, so completing their required solo course. Isabelle Joschke (MACSF), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori) did this when they crossed the finish line near the legendary Nouch Sud buoy.
They were joined by Clément Giraud who, following his participation in the Vendée Arctic Les Sables d'Olonne will be able to participate in the Vendée Globe on Erik Nigon's boat as he was unable to raise the necessary funds to be at the start.
Others chose to qualify on their own agreed solo passages of a 2000-mile solo course, including Nicolas Troussel (Corum L'Épargne), Sébastien Simon (Arkéa - Paprec) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2), all three sailors already having the recent Transat Jacques Vabre to their credit. And Sébastien Simon (Arkéa-Paprec), following the breakage of one of his foils in the Vendée Arctique Sables d'Olonne, was able to benefit from a similar options having also completed the Transat Jacques Vabre. They are all done and can now focus on their preparation. As a Vendée Globe 2016 finisher Spain’s Didac Costa (OnePlanet-OneOcean) has also just completed his qualification passage from his native Catalonia.
Two remaining candidates
As of September 1, two skippers still had some boxes to tick but are considered ‘in’. Sébastien Destremau (Merci) completed the 2016 Vendée Globe and so had to complete a solo course of 2,000 miles. With much of his qualifying completed, a spreader root breakage forced him to retire. Making an exception, the race director has said he should complete the additional 1,000-mile course before September 15. The job has been done this Thurday.
Armel Tripon (L’Occitane en Provence) had to retire during the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne race and so was offered a 2,000-mile solo course as a replacement option. Tripon completed his passage today Wednesday, September 2 and is heading to La Trinité sur Mer, his home port, with his qualification in his back pocket.
Two major meetings
The skippers have two major dates inked in red on their calendars
On September 17, at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, there will be the press conference to present the event with all the sailors (subject to the rules imposed by sanitary conditions).
On Friday October 16, the entire fleet must have reached Port Olona for the inauguration of the Vendée Globe village and the start of the rule checks. There will be three weeks left before the big start
Registrants, year by year
1989-90 : 13 boats
1992-93 : 15 boats
1996-97 : 15 boats
2000-01 : 24 boats
2004-05 : 20 boats
2008-2009 : 30 boats
2012-2013 : 20 boats
2016-2017 : 29 boats
2020-2021 : 33 boats
Sailors registered on the 1st of September
Fabrice AMEDEO : NEWREST – ART & FENÊTRES
Romain ATTANASIO : PURE – BEST WESTERN
Alexia BARRIER : 4MYPLANET
Yannick BESTAVEN : MAÎTRE COQ IV
Jérémie BEYOU : CHARAL
Arnaud BOISSIÈRES : LA MIE CÂLINE – ARTISANS PÔLE
Louis BURTON : BUREAU VALLEE 2
Didac COSTA : ONE PLANET ONE OCEAN
Manuel COUSIN : GROUPE SETIN
Clarisse CREMER : BANQUE POPULAIRE X
Charlie DALIN : APIVIA
Samantha DAVIES : INITIATIVES-CŒUR
Sébastien DESTREMAU : MERCI
Benjamin DUTREUX : OMIA - WATER FAMILY
Kevin ESCOFFIER : PRB
Clément GIRAUD :
Pip HARE : MEDALLIA
Boris HERRMANN : SEA EXPLORER – YACHT CLUB DE MONACO
Ari HUUSELA : STARK
Isabelle JOSCHKE : MACSF
Jean LE CAM : YES WE CAM !
Stéphane LE DIRAISON : TIME FOR OCEANS
Miranda MERRON : CAMPAGNE DE FRANCE
Giancarlo PEDOTE : PRYSMIAN GROUP
Alan ROURA : LA FABRIQUE
Thomas RUYANT : LINKEDOUT
Damien SEGUIN : GROUPE APICIL
Kojiro SHIRAISHI : DMG MORI
Sébastien SIMON : ARKEA – PAPREC
Maxime SOREL : V and B – MAYENNE
Alex THOMSON : HUGO BOSS
Armel TRIPON : L’OCCITANE EN PROVENCE
Nicolas TROUSSEL : CORUM L’EPARGNE
Cover photo © Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendée Globe
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