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Les Sables d’Olonne ready to entertain spectators for the Golden Globe Race start

by Event Media 14 Jun 19:04 BST 16-30 June 2018
Vendée (France), a world center for solo sailing © The Sables d'Olonne Agglomération

The Sables d'Olonne agglomeration is preparing for the start of the Golden Globe Race. Fifty years on from the last edition, the first non-stop single-handed round-the-world race makes its comeback in the world of competitive sailing.

It is in the Sables d'Olonne, a land of sailors and big events, that the starting point will be located on Sunday 1stof July for the eighteen skippers. Whilst a varied entertainment programme will be put on for the spectators, the skippers will prepare to write a new and exciting page in the history of solo sailing.

The Golden Globe Race boats will set sail on Sunday 1st of July. Sir Robin Knox- Jonhston's Suhaili, the historic GGR fleet and Bernard Moitessier's Joshua will be on the water to see them off. The race start will attract 100,000 people who will assemble along the famous fairway and in bay of the Sables d'Olonne. Numerous vessels and sailboats will be in attendance to cheer the skippers on in typical French style.

Les Sables d'Olonne, a destination par-excellence

The Sables d'Olonne boasts all the assets of a beautiful seaside resort: a convention centre, a seaside resort, a golf course, casinos, museums, a zoo, a hippodrome and horseback riding schools.

Les Sables d'Olonne has one of Europe's most beautiful beaches, with its bay and its famous embankment, a rich nineteenth century architectural heritage, linked to the history of sea-bathing. Small and unusual alleys, a thriving cultural scene, bars, restaurants and shops all invite visitors to unwind in a friendly environment.

Les Sables d'Olonne is also an exceptional nature reserve. A national forest comprising more than 1100 hectares, sprawling with pedestrian paths, horseback riding routes and a cycling path, makes it a peaceful location to relax, whilst being at one with nature. In close proximity, there is also the Sables d'Olonne marshes which is a nature reserve dedicated to preservation of biodiversity. The Parc Naturel Pédagogique of the Loirs marshes, which was developed by monks during the tenth century, invites visitors to explore and gain insight into these natural surroundings.

The "unspoilt and natural" beaches attract families and athletes searching for more authentic landscapes.

Between land and sea, the Sables d'Olonne agglomeration offers a gourmet adventure with the exploration of its AOC wines, salts, local brioche and various other regional delicacies.

"Leaving the Sables d'Olonne, but always returning"

Located in the Place du Vendée Globe, the Golden Globe Race village will open its doors, free of charge, to the general public from the 16th until the 30th of June. The village will occupy 7 000m", 1 900m" of which will be covered.

Entertainment and activities will set the tempo for the spectators' visit - children and adults alike - throughout these two weeks. Games and entertainment will also be available for young children.

Every day, at 12h05 and 17h30, on the outside stage of the village, the host will gather stories and testimonies from the skippers, the skippers' families and friends, and various other actors in this solo race.

Sailing lovers will not be forgotten as they will be offered initiations on the sailboats of the Yacht Club Classique. They will also have the opportunity to visit the boat Bernard Moitessier sailed on in 1968 during the first edition of the Golden Globe Challenge.

Ask for the programme!

16th of June at 9h30: official inauguration of the GGR village, followed by the broadcast of the football World Cup match France vs Australia at 12h00, followed by sea shanty songs by the Olonnois (locals) at 15h00
17th of June at 16h00: official presentation of the skippers on the Main Stage?
18th of June in the late afternoon: arrival of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on his 1968 boat
21st of June at 17h00: broadcast of football World Cup match France vs Peru, followed by the "Fête de la Musique" with the group Léonie, at 21h00
22nd of June at 21h00: concert with Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and his group "Globalement Vôtre"
23rd of June at 16h00: skippers' parade, followed by sailing up the channel at 18h00. Fireworks display at 23h00
25th of June from 17h30: visits to the boats Pen Duick III and Pen Duick VI
26th of June: visit to the boats Pen Duick III and Pen Duick VI and broadcast of the football World Cup match France vs Denmark at 16h00
27th of June at 16h00: show for young children titled "Joshua or the sea of stories"

Les Sables d'Olonne, a land of sailors and big events

The Sables d'Olonne agglomeration disposes of a formidable playing field, the sea, conducive to sailing and water-sports.

The sailing capital Les Sables d'Olonne hosts numerous events: the Vendée Globe every 4 years, the Solo Maitre CoQ, the Tour de France à la Voile, Les Sables-Les Açores-Les Sables, Les Sables Horta, etc.

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