Charging ahead amid uncertain times
Published on May 12th, 2020
With nearly every major 2020 event either cancelled or teetering, the most noteworthy of shorthanded races continues on with the steadfast perseverance much like the people who intend to participate.
Preparations for the start of the Vendée Globe 2020-21, the ultimate solo non-stop round the world race in the IMOCA 60, continues on course for November 8, with full focus for this 9th edition to go smoothly.
In terms of racing, nothing prevents the race starting as long as the national authorities allow that to be the case. However for the Vendée Globe, an immensely popular French event which belongs to the local people, the presence of the public is an important feature.
The organizers are therefore studying every possible situation to be able to welcome the public at an event like this in the economic and public health context, the evolution of which is hard to predict. The decision to keep Race HQ in Les Sables d’Olonne throughout the whole race will in fact help to ensure a maximum number of people can fully enjoy the Vendée Globe adventure.
At the same time, the Vendée Globe organizers are working in conjunction with the IMOCA class towards the goal of adapting some of the deadlines for the skippers, in particular, the final date for registrations which has been pushed back until September 1st and the organization of a preparatory solo race this summer.
Held every four years, 35 skippers have applied to compete, though only 17 have completed the registration process. In 2016-17, 29 skippers representing four continents and ten nations started the 8th edition with 18 competitors completing the course.