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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

Transat Jacques Vabre, what's the stake for the Vendée Globe?

by Vendee Globe 23 Oct 2023 11:11 BST
Transat Jacques Vabre © Jean-Marie Liot / Alea

Four years after the very first edition of the Vendée Globe in 1989, the first Transat Jacques Vabre set off from Le Havre. While the solo, non-stop, non-assisted round the world race is preparing to celebrate its 10th edition in 2024, the transatlantic race is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. 40 IMOCA boats will be at the start, representing 80 skippers, all dreaming of the Vendée Globe in the more or less distant future...

Defending winners Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière are back aboard the brand new IMOCA For People for this major event on the IMOCA Globe Series calendar. Among the Vendée Globe 2024 contenders lining up at the start are a number of former winners of the Transat Jacques Vabre, starting with Yannick Bestaven, winner of the 2020 Vendée Globe, who has won this transatlantic race twice in a Class40. Maxime Sorel has also added his name to the list of Class40 winners, while Giancarlo Pedote has won the race in the 50-foot Ocean Fifty trimarans. In the IMOCA class, Jérémie Beyou took the title in 2011, Jean Le Cam in 2013 and Charlie Dalin in 2019.

This year, 40 duos will set off from Le Havre on 29 October bound for Martinique. But their rest in the West Indies will be short-lived: as soon as they arrive, they'll have to get back into 'race mode', this time solo. They will be lining up at the start of the Retour à la Base, the final qualifying race for the 2022-2023 period, on 26 November in Fort-de-France. As a reminder, the candidates for the 2024 Vendée Globe must take the start of two qualifying races (on the boat on which they will be racing around the world), one in the 2022-2023 period and one in 2024. They must finish at least one of them in a time no more than one and a half times faster than the winner's time.

Who should take the start of the Retour à la Base ?

The Return to Base is particularly important for those who have not raced in either the Vendée Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne or the Route du Rhum in 2022. Among them are the skippers of the new IMOCA boats due to be launched in 2023, namely Charlie Dalin on MACIF - Santé Prévoyance, Thomas Ruyant on For People, Yoann Richomme on Paprec Arkéa and Éric Bellion on Stand as One. The same goes for Sébastien Simon, who is taking part in his very first race on his Groupe Dubreuil boat in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Clarisse Crémer (L'Occitane en Provence), Violette Dorange (DeVenir) Sam Goodchild (For the Planet) will also begin their qualification process during the Return to Base.

Bien qu'ayant validé la Vendée Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne, les skippers Nicolas Lunven (Holcim - PRB) et Fabrice Amédéo (Nexans - Arts & Fenêtres) doivent eux aussi nécessairement prendre le départ de cette course, car ils ont tous deux changé de bateau en 2023.

Jean Le Cam (Tout Commence en Finistère - Armor Lux) and Phil Sharp (OceansLab - Cleantech Accelerator) will not be lining up at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, but will instead make a delivery trip to Martinique to take the start of the Retour à la Base on their new IMOCA boats.

Beyond the stakes of qualifying for the Vendée Globe, all the skippers will be keen to shine in this great transatlantic race, the longest two-handed race. They will be logging precious miles on this race, with a view to a possible selection. As this is a two-handed race, each skipper will log half the miles of the course, a total of 2700 precious miles.

See the selection table here.

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