Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90
Product Feature
Barton Marine Removable Mainsheet Track System
Barton Marine Removable Mainsheet Track System
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

A record 37 sailors enter the Vendée Globe 2020

by Vendée Globe 3 Nov 2019 20:39 GMT 8 November 2020
Sam Davies - Vendée Globe © Eloi Stichelbaut

November 1st, at midnight, was the closing date for applications to enter the next Vendée Globe.To date, a record 37 sailors have applied to start of the ninth edition of this solo non-stop round the world sailing race without assistance. Several records are expected to be beaten by the strong fleet.

The 2020 vintage is likely to be outstanding, veterans, podium candidates, rookies, foreigners, more women than ever and still as many adventurers. Here are the highlights of the Vendée Globe 2020 fleet.

Nine new boats, four architects

There should have been only eight, but a last-minute guest has just been added to the list of candidates in the person of Yann Eliès. For his third Vendée Globe Yann should also have a new boat, but he has not yet revealed who his partner will be and the architect chosen to design his new machine. Yann Eliès, Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Sébastien Simon (Arkéa - Paprec), Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), Thomas Ruyant (Advens for Cybersecurity), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori), Armel Tripon (L'Occitane) and Nicolas Troussel (Corum L'Epargne): that is the list of sailors who will have a new boat designed according to the new IMOCA measurement rules. The foils have now become essential and these new units are built around this new fatal weapon. The first speed tests have shown that the newborns of the IMOCA class could reach speeds of nearly 35 knots.

In contrast with previous editions where, often, an architectural firm dominated, the Vendée Globe 2020 will see the designs of four architectural firms compete: VPLP (Charal / Hugo Boss / DMG Mori) and Guillaume Verdier (Apivia / Advens for Cybersecurity) who had previously worked hand in hand, decided to go their own way, Argentian architect Juan Kouyoumdjian (Arkéa Paprec / Corum L'Epargne) is back with two boats while Armel Tripon (L'Occitane) decided to call on Samuel Manuard, author of promising designs in both Class40 and Mini. The monotype that prevailed during the last editions has given way to very diverse architectural choices that promise a real suspense.

Nineteen foilers at the start

In addition to the nine boats built for the Vendée Globe 2020, ten other competitors will be equipped with the famous foils. To the 2016 generation boats, Newrest - Art et Fenêtres (Fabrice Amédéo), Maître CoQ (Yannick Bestaven), Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton), Prysmian Group (Giancarlo Pedote), Malizia (Boris Herrmann), must be added some units which have undergone a complete overhaul and could play on an even field thanks to their low weight - PRB (Kevin Escoffier), Initiatives Coeur (Sam Davies) or even MACSF (Isabelle Joschke). Other competitors have also added foils, La Mie Câline Artipole Artisans (Arnaud Boissières), La Fabrique (Alan Roura).

Foilers vs classic drifts: an almost perfect balance

The rest of the fleet will consist of classic IMOCAs. Within this contingent, some particularly powerful units can do well, such as Banque Populaire X (Clarisse Crémer), winner of the Vendée Globe 2012, Groupe Apicil (Damien Seguin) or the monohull Finistère Mer Vent (Jean Le Cam). Maxime Sorel (Mayenne V & B), Manu Cousin (Setin Group), Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans) or Romain Attanasio (Pure) can also hope to join the fight. For the others, the Vendée Globe has mostly the scent of adventure: finishing a non-stop-round-the-world without assistance is not trivial. Sébastien Destremau (Face Ocean) who arrived 124 days after the start or even Conrad Colmanwho managed to reach the finish line despite dismasting off Portugal both really know what it means. Many skippers are sending out a strong message through their candidacy, and Erik Nigon (Towards a World Without Aids) is one of the most earnest of them. Whether sailing in Class40, Multi50 or IMOCA now, it is the same cause that drives it with remarkable consistency.

Women back on the Vendée Globe

Never will have women been so well represented at the start of the Vendée Globe. They are six to apply with, Sam Davies who is counting on her crewed round-the-world and acquired experience to mingle with the frontrunners for the podium. Isabelle Joschke should have some arguments at the helm of her Verdier-VPLP plan, completely redesigned under the leadership of Alain Gautier. Pip Hare (Pip Hare Ocean Racing) and Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) will strengthen the British colony, when Alexia Barrier (4myplanet) will blow a little Southern air on the fleet of contenders. Finally, Clarisse Crémer will bring her freshness and eagerness to learn: the girl has talent and may well surprise us again as she had done in 2017 on the Mini-Transat.

Old-timers vs Rookies

Here's the proof that the Vendée Globe attracts more and more: seventeen sailors want another taste of it, with a special mention to Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson who will enter here their fifth participation. Two other competitors will start their fourth campaign: Arnaud Boissières and Jérémie Beyou. Finally, Sam Davies, Louis Burton and Yann Eliès will be making their third appearance.

Nine competitors have decided to come back after taking part in the 2016 edition, Alan Roura, Fabrice Amedeo, Stéphane Le Diraison, Romain Attanasio, Sébastien Destremau, Thomas Ruyant, Kojiro Shiraishi, Didac Costa and Conrad Colman. Finally, Yannick Bestaven will try again, leaving behind his 2008 experience which had ended when dismasting in the Bay of Biscay.

Facing them, the team of rookies still has a large majority since they will be twenty to embark on this adventure. Some are sailors from the Figaro circuit who are lucky to have a new boat or an updated foiler; others want to prove their value even without years of experience: Clément Giraud (Fortil) will be eager to overshadow the accidental fire that struck him before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Benjamin Dutreux (Water Family) will strive to show that you can go after your dreams. Damien Seguin will be keen to prove that his disability is by no means a disadvantage to conduct a great round-the-world. Finally, although the Belgian Denis Van Weynberg, does not intend to join the fight for the podium will revive the scent of adventure indispensable to each edition of the Vendée Globe.

A race that attracts beyond French borders

Once again, the Vendée Globe attracts beyond French borders. More than one third (exactly 35% - 13 candidates) of competitors come from abroad. The record of 2008 is equaled (They were 13 foreigners in 2008). Nevertheless, the record of the nationalities represented is beaten with 11different nations on this first set (10 nations were represented in 2016).

The British are the largest contingent with four candidates (Alex Thomson, Pip Hare, Miranda Merron and Sam Davies) Europe is heavily represented: Belgium (Denis Van Weynberg), Spain (Didac Costa), Italy (Giancarlo Pedote), Switzerland (Alan Roura) and for the first time, a Finnish competitor (Ari Huusela) and Germans (Boris Herrmann and the Franco-German Isabelle Joschke). On the other side of the Globe, Conrad Colman will represent both New Zealand and the United States and the Japanese Kojiro Shiraishi will represent the Far East, completing a picture of great diversity.

Will this ninth edition be the first to see a foreigner win the Everest of the Seas?

This 2020 edition is therefore particularly attractive. An record number of competitors at the start, a wide diversity of profiles, candidates for adventure that will rub shoulders with ultimate racers and already some twists... Looking forward to November 2020!

The definitive line-up for the Vendée Globe will be known after the close of the registrations on July 1st, 2020.

Facts and Figures:

Boats:

  • Most recent boat: Yann Eliès boat
  • The oldest boat: 4myplanet (Alexia Barrier)
  • New boats: 9
  • Foilers: 19
  • Right drift: 18
  • Number of different architects: 4
Skippers:
  • Candidates: 37
  • Women candidates: 6 (16%)
  • Foreigners candidates: 13 (35%)
  • Number of nationalities represented: 11
  • Countries represented: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great-Britain, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, United-States.
  • Number of Old-timers: 17
  • Number of Rookies: 20
  • The most experienced: Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson - 5th Vendée Globe in 2020
  • The oldest skipper: Jean Le Cam, 60 years old
  • The youngest skipper: Alan Roura, 26
The race:
  • 21 638 miles (circumference of the Earth)
  • Youngest winner: François Gabart - 29 years old (2013)
  • The oldest winner: Michel Desjoyeaux - 43 years old (2009)
  • Time record: Armel Le Cleac'h - 74 days, 3 hours and 35 min 46s

Related Articles

Vendee Arctic race launched for IMOCA60
Vendee Globe qualifying event launched to go to the edge of the Arctic Circle and return The horizon is starting to look clearer for those aiming to compete in the 2020 Vendée Globe, on 4th July, they are due to start the Vendée-Arctic-les Sables d'Olonne, a 3600-mile solo ocean race to the Arctic Circle. Posted on 18 May
2020 Vendée Globe will start on 8th November
Preparations for next race are going ahead Preparations for the start of the next Vendée Globe are going ahead in an uncertain context in terms of public health and the economy. The Vendée Council and the SAEM Vendée are doing their utmost in conjunction with all the partners Posted on 13 May
Sea you Episode 6: Rise from the storm
The Vendée Globe 2020 webseries with Ulysse Nardin The colliding hues of conflicting blues, we're surprised to see our mission though. Engulfed in a maze we fight for the cause. The bold, the brave, we rise from the storm. Posted on 3 May
Sea you Episode 5: Brothers above all
The Vendée Globe 2020 webseries with Ulysse Nardin What makes us sail? Navigate, explore? The root, the seed, the why, the cause? Posted on 2 May
Sea you Episode 4: Never surrender
The Vendée Globe 2020 webseries with Ulysse Nardin Here's to the broken, tormented and tossed. The drifters still hoping to win what's been lost. Dreams shattered. Vessel in tow. Posted on 1 May
Sea you Episode 3: Unchained elements
The Vendée Globe 2020 webseries with Ulysse Nardin When the tide arrives to test your skill and your only strength is strength of will. Bellowing roars and the turbulence talks to a part of a man that we tend to ignore. Posted on 30 Apr
Sea you Episode 2: Alone Aboard
The Vendée Globe 2020 webseries with Ulysse Nardin Sometimes it's further than it feels and often closer than it looks. Battered nerves and thoughts of steel. There's no quiver in these voices. Posted on 29 Apr
Sea you Episode 1: The Vendée Globe webseries
Made with Ulysse Nardin, the official timekeeper of the Vendée Globe 2020 It's all quiet now and beautiful. These days have felt so long. To wake, to work, to train, the burn it's draining but we're strong. Posted on 28 Apr
Vendée Globe due to start from Les Sables-d'Olonne
Vendée Globe organisers are keeping a close eye on the health crisis The health crisis that has shaken society for the last month is forcing those who are involved in the worlds of sports and business to adapt amidst this period of uncertainty. Posted on 16 Apr
Vendée Globe 2020: An inclusive spirit
Giancarlo Pedote's Vendée Globe project is based on the #4PEOPLE concept Giancarlo Pedote's Vendée Globe project is based on the #4PEOPLE concept, a value shared with the sponsors Prysmian Group and Electriciens sans frontières. Posted on 28 Mar