French lockdown for Vendée Globe

Published on October 29th, 2020

The French adore their offshore sailors, and the village atmosphere in advance of the Vendée Globe race is normally electric. Massive crowds come in advance to celebrate their sailors, but the atmosphere prior to the 9th edition has been different for the only sailing race round the world that’s solo, non-stop, and without assistance.

And it just got more different.

While the atmosphere in Les Sables-d’Olonne prior to the November 8 start has been tempered with limited capacity and health regulations due to COVID-19 precautions, now a national lockdown will close the Vendée Globe Race Village to the public from October 30.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on October 28 the second lockdown would remain until at least the end of November. Macron said that under the new measures, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.

Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open. With COVID-19 daily deaths in France at the highest level since April, Macron said the country risked being “overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first”.

The health of the 33 skippers is now the focus as the Vendée Globe 2020-2021 seeks to remain a symbol of strong will to carry on, despite the difficulties France and the world.


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The Vendée Globe is the only sailing race round the world that’s solo, non-stop, and without assistance, and it is all systems go for the 9th edition on November 8, 2020. Beginning in 1989 with 13 entries, the start line on November 8th has 33 skippers set to take off from Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

The development of the IMOCA Class toward foiling will see these boats hurl themselves around the world, teetering on carbon skates through inhospitable regions, chasing the record set in 2016-17 by Armel le Cléac’h of 74:03:35:46.

Participation history:
1989-90: 13 boats at the start
1992-93: 15 boats
1996-97: 15 boats
2000-01: 24 boats
2004-05: 20 boats
2008-2009: 30 boats
2012-2013: 20 boats
2016-2017: 29 boats
2020-2021: 33 boats

2020-21 Entries
Fabrice AMEDEO (FRA): NEWREST – ART & FENÊTRES
Romain ATTANASIO (FRA): PURE – BEST WESTERN
Alexia BARRIER (FRA): TSE – 4MYPLANET
Yannick BESTAVEN (FRA): MAÎTRE COQ IV
Jérémie BEYOU (FRA): CHARAL
Arnaud BOISSIÈRES (FRA): LA MIE CÂLINE – ARTISANS ARTIPÔLE
Louis BURTON (FRA): BUREAU VALLÉE 2
Didac COSTA (ESP): ONE PLANET ONE OCEAN
Manuel COUSIN (FRA): GROUPE SÉTIN
Clarisse CREMER (FRA): BANQUE POPULAIRE X
Charlie DALIN (FRA): APIVIA
Samantha DAVIES (GBR): INITIATIVES-CŒUR
Sébastien DESTREMAU (AUS/FRA): MERCI
Benjamin DUTREUX (FRA): OMIA – WATER FAMILY
Kevin ESCOFFIER (FRA): PRB
Clément GIRAUD (FRA): COMPAGNIE DU LIT / JILITI
Pip HARE (GBR): MEDALLIA
Boris HERRMANN (GER): SEA EXPLORER – YACHT CLUB DE MONACO
Ari HUUSELA (FIN): STARK
Isabelle JOSCHKE (FRA/FRA): MACSF
Jean LE CAM (FRA): YES WE CAM !
Stéphane LE DIRAISON (FRA): TIME FOR OCEANS
Miranda MERRON (GBR): CAMPAGNE DE FRANCE
Giancarlo PEDOTE (ITA): PRYSMIAN GROUP
Alan ROURA (SUI): LA FABRIQUE
Thomas RUYANT (FRA): LINKEDOUT
Damien SEGUIN (FRA): GROUPE APICIL
Kojiro SHIRAISHI (JPN): DMG MORI
Sébastien SIMON (FRA): ARKEA – PAPREC
Maxime SOREL (FRA): V AND B – MAYENNE
Alex THOMSON (GBR): HUGO BOSS
Armel TRIPON (FRA): L’OCCITANE EN PROVENCE
Nicolas TROUSSEL (FRA): CORUM L’ÉPARGNE

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