Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Défi Azimut, term time resumes for the IMOCA Class

by Vendée Globe 15 Sep 2021 04:37 BST 15-19 September 2021
Défi Azimut © Vendée Globe

Fifty three days before the start of the two handed race across the Atlantic, the Transat Jacques Vabre the summer of rest, preparation and maybe a little training is over and it is now time to get down to the serious business of preparing for the upcoming race.

Immediately there is a chance to check in and measure up, and to score points on the IMOCA Globe Series with the Défi Azimut. Fourteen duos will compete in the Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomeration off the port on the bay of Morbihan, a good opportunity to fine-tune the optimisations and changes and to accumulate precious miles before the big one, the double-handed transatlantic race. The Défi Azimut starts next Wednesday and offers a variety of different races.

Ironically for a class which races round the world and in the most inhospitable waters of the planet, most of the skippers will be racing from home and except during the 48 hour offshore, most will stay home and sleep in their own beds. This 11th edition runs between Wednesday and Sunday and while it is a full on regatta it is suffused with good humour.

Jean-Marie Corteville who is manager of the company Azimut which founded the race insists the good humour is all part of the event.

"Before the Transat Jacques Vabre, all the competitors are busy with their preparation. The Défi Azimut allows you to take a minute off to go racing and to breathe, to remind yourself what its all about."

On Wednesday, it's time for speed "runs". Competitors must set the fastest time on a course of one mile, usually reaching. Each boat has four runs. They will all try to beat the record of Armel Tripon, who won him last year aboard L'Occitane en Provence, now the new Bureau Vallée 3 skippered by Louis Burton.

The next day starting from Lorient-La Base, the "48h Azimut" will kick off. Sailors will have to race a loop in the Atlantic. In addition to the two skippers, a mediaman will be on board to bring the race to life from the inside. The race this time is wide open as Jérémie Beyou is absent this year and has won the last two editions. The event ends with a timed sprint round the Groix island, the 'Chrono Tour de Groix', fully crewed looking to beat the record held by Vincent Riou since 2015 (1h08min10 sec).

14 pairs.

Alongside the races, a series of conferences and seminars are run around the buouyancy of the French offshore racing industry. But above all the race is an opportunity to have a last warm-up lap before La Transat Jacques-Vabre.

Among the competing teams, the favourites must be the Charlie Dalin-Paul Meilhat duo, winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

"We will be facing competitors for the first time that we have not even seen yet," says Dalin second overall in the Vendée Globe. "But we will take full advantage of this evet to continue fine-tuning the boat and our settings. "

But the level is already very high including Thomas Ruyant-Morgan Lagravière (LinkedOut), Nicolas Troussel-Sébastien Josse (CORUM L'EPARGNE), Louis Burton-Davy Beaudart (Bureau Vallée 3) and even Sébastien Simon-Yann Eliès (Arkéa Paprec). At the same time, Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux have paired up (APICIL Group), Samantha Davies races with Nicolas Lunven (Initiatives-Cœur) as well as Romain Attanasio and Sébastien Marsset (Fortinet-Best Western).

This year, Jérémie Beyou will not be there, his 60-foot Charal is currently back in the yard for a repair to some damage caused by a collision with an object on the return delivery from the Fastnet. Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV), has other obligations and will not make the trip and neither does Giancarlo Pedote who is occupied in Italy with his his sponsors.

Among the exciting new firsts during the four days, there will be the first racing miles of the new 11th Hour Racing's 11.2 (Verdier design), the first boat to have been designed for The Ocean Race

In addition, four duos will compete in their first official regatta: Clément Giraud-Erik Nigon (Compagnie du lit- Jiliti), Manu Cousin-Alexia Barrier (Groupe Setin-4myPlanet), Arnaud Boissières-Rodolphe Sépho (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Isabelle Joschke-Alain Gautier (MACSF). And now Défi Azimut counts for the first time as an event on the 2021-2025 IMOCA Globe Series championship: at the end of the 48H Azimut, the overall winner gets 14pts.


11th HOUR RACING 1: Justine Mettraux (SUI) - Simon Fisher (GBR)
11th HOUR RACING 2: Charlie Enright (USA) - Pascal Bidégorry (FRA)
APIVIA: Charlie Dalin (FRA) - Paul Meilhat (FRA)
ARKÉA PAPREC: Sébastien Simon (FRA) - Yann Eliès (FRA)
BUREAU VALLÉE: Louis Burton (FRA) - Davy Beaudart (FRA)
COMPAGNIE DU LIT-JILITI: Clément Giraud (FRA) - Erik Nigon (FRA)
CORUM L'ÉPARGNE: Nicolas Troussel (FRA) - Sébastien Josse (FRA)
FORTINET - BEST WESTERN: Romain Attanasio (FRA) - Sébastien Marsset (FRA)
GROUPE APICIL: Damien Seguin (FRA) - Benjamin Dutreux (FRA)
GROUPE SÉTIN - 4MYPLANET: Manu Cousin (FRA) - Alexia Barrier (FRA)
INITIATIVES-CŒUR: Samantha Davies (GBR) - Nicolas Lunven (FRA)
LA MIE CALINE-ARTISANS ARTIPÔLE: Arnaud Boissières (FRA) - Rodolphe Sépho (FRA)
LINKEDOUT: Thomas Ruyant (FRA) - Morgan Lagravière (FRA)
MACSF: Isabelle Joschke (FRA) - Alain Gautier (FRA)

Related Articles

Thousands honour Vendée Globe skippers
Emotions and celebrations suppressed by the pandemic for over a year came bursting to the fore Tens of thousands of partying, passionate Vendée Globe race fans and well-wishers lined Les Sables d'Olonne's Grand Plage, the main sea front promenade, last night (Friday) to honour the heroic 2020-2021 skippers. Posted on 5 Jun
Dalin: "The year couldn't have started better"
With victory in the IMOCA Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Charlie Dalin (Apivia) won the third edition of the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race which in fact is his first solo victory in IMOCA and his fourth overall IMOCA race win since 2019 in all different formats combined. Posted on 22 May
25 skippers for Vendée Arctic-Les Sables d'Olonne
A race of discovery to the northern waters of the Arctic Circle Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and the Department of Vendée has just presented the skippers of the second edition of the Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne, more than 2 years from the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 20 May
2020 Vendée Globe skippers grand parade
Taking place on the Remblai in Les Sables d'Olonne on Friday 3rd June To launch the summer season, the festivities will begin on Friday 3rd June 2022 with the Grand Parade of the 2020 Vendée Globe Skippers, to celebrate these men and women of the sea. Posted on 14 May
The dream makers - Episode 4
Marrying up skippers and sponsors It is a long and mostly difficult path to the start line of the Vendée Globe and not everyone makes it. Here is number four in our series of those team members who work behind the curtain in a while variety of different roles Posted on 21 Apr
Vendée Arctique: Two months to go
Skippers will leave Les Sables d'Olonne and head north towards icy waters of the Arctic Circle At 5:00 pm on Sunday 12th June 2022 will be given the start of the Vendée Arctique, the first chapter of the Vendée Globe 2024 adventure. Posted on 13 Apr
The vanguard of a new generation
Harayda sets his course for the 2024 Vendée Globe In a few days time young British skipper James Harayda will take over his new IMOCA 60, Stéphane Le Diraison's 2007Groupe Finot designed and built A Time For Oceans, and his ambition of taking on the 2024 Vendée Globe takes one enormous step forward. Posted on 3 Apr
Twice as many cellulose fibres as microplastics
Fabrice Amedeo collected 53 samples using the microplastics sensor fitted aboard his sailboat A study by three French institutes: Ifremer, the University of Bordeaux and the IRD (a public research institution), reveals that the surface water of the Atlantic Ocean is twice as polluted by cellulose fibres as it is by microplastics. Posted on 2 Apr
Éric Bellion creating thefirst Vendée Globe “team”
One of the best rookies of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe returns Now, just these past days having turned 46, Eric Bellion - who was one of the best rookies of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe - is is off and running again. Posted on 21 Mar
NOR for Vendée Arctique 2022 is published
IMOCA skippers will leave from Port Olona on June 12th The President of SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Arctique and the Vendée Globe, publish the Notice of Race detailing the rules for participation in the Vendée Arctique - the first qualifying race for the Vendée Globe 2024 Posted on 18 Mar