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Clarisse Crémer fulfills the requirements for the 2024/25 Vendée Globe

by L'Occitane Sailing Team 19 Jun 10:30 BST
Clarisse Crémer - L'Occitane Sailing Team © PKC Media / L'Occitane Sailing Team

Last Thursday evening, after 14 days of intense and sometimes frustrating sailing across the Atlantic, Clarisse Crémer crossed the finish line of the New York Vendée, the final transatlantic race required for her to be in the 'safe zone' for final selection for the 2024 Vendée Globe.

For more than a year, Clarisse Crémer has been preparing to qualify for her second Vendee Globe. She has competed in and finished all the races available to her to achieve this - the Rolex Fastnet Race, Défi Azimut, Transat Jacques Vabre, Retour a la Base, The Transat CIC and the New York to Vendee. In such a short time, the sailor and mother has participated in six races, including four transatlantic races with three of them being solo. This represents over 16,000 nautical miles raced - about 10,000 solo - a feat she has accomplished in a compressed timetable.

From the beginning of her new project, Clarisse's goal has always been to be among the 40 boats at the start of the 2024 Vendée Globe. Her project was conceived in early 2023, after the birth of her daughter and in partnership with British navigator Alex Thomson and his team. Together, they set out to show that motherhood should not be a barrier to a sporting or any other career.

"The objective of this last race was to finish and secure selection for the next Vendee Globe, and although this race would have been very frustrating for Clarisse as she was forced to compromise competitiveness for guaranteeing finishing the race - I am very pleased she took the conservative option.It's been a very intense 14 months, but we made it to this point and I am very proud of Clarisse and the team - now we can prepare for the Vendee Globe. What I am looking forward to is really seeing Clarisse and this boat race and not being held back" said Alex Thomson.

Clarisse shared her emotions upon arrival: "I am very happy to have finally finished this race. For me, it's not so much about this race, but the four races that just took place. It's the end of a rather tedious, laborious process that has lasted almost three years for me. To be here today and have earned my place for the Vendée Globe is a real joy, pride, relief, and also a bit of deliverance. It has been a long journey."

Crossing the finish line last week represented the culmination of months of work, preparation, determination, and challenges for the whole team. Her sole objective for this race was clear: to finish and thus meet all the conditions necessary to fully qualify for the Vendée Globe. Clarisse sailed prudently to preserve her boat and ensure she completed the race. A lack of wind towards the end, caused by a high-pressure system, significantly slowed her down, adding a few days to her race time. Although she did not achieve the ranking she and her boat are capable of, the sailor arrived with a smile and her first words were: "I did it!"

The skipper and mother also spoke about the challenges faced over the past two months, feeling proud and relieved at the same time: "I just spent 35 days at sea. We had some mishaps like the bulkhead that broke on The Transat CIC. Then, on the return, the weather was quite unusual and the absolute and visceral need to finish made it difficult to always make strategic choices. But finally, it's done, so I'm happy!"

On the docks, the emotion was clear. The entire team and the skipper's family were present. "I am really happy to have arrived. It is very emotional; it's the end of a long and difficult process, and I am really proud of everything my team has done to get me here. The support from my team, my sponsors, and everyone who followed me online means a lot to me. It was not always an easy transatlantic crossing with the obligation to finish. But we did it, and it's great, it's really incredible."

Clarisse and her team are eagerly awaiting the official announcement of the selected skippers on July 2nd. In the meantime, she plans to take a well-deserved rest: "Now, we have a few partner navigation days on the boat. I am quite tired after four transatlantic races in eight months, plus the events of last winter. I had very little time to rest between the two races, so I'll then take a few weeks off, it will be a well deserved rest! In the meantime, the boat will go to the shipyard for the summer. And in September we will all be back in the water ready for the final stretch for the Vendée Globe!"

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