All about Vendee Globe 2020-21

Published on November 1st, 2020

Held every fourth year, Paulo Pernão of Interesting Sailboats provides the program of players for the most notable single-handed, non-stop, and unassisted sailing race.


In these pandemic sad times, it is very satisfying to see that nothing will stop the Vendée Globe, that contrary to other recent yacht races, will have the biggest number of racers ever. There will be 33 IMOCA and 33 sailors at the starting line and among them six women a vast improvement over the last edition that did not count any.

Sadly and for understandable reasons the crowd that used to salute the sailors when they leave Sables-d’Ollone will not be there and the Vendée Globe Village was closed and the crowds cannot visit the race boats and talk with the skippers but I bet that this edition will be, by far, the one most audience.

Never so many competitive boats were racing on a Vendée: 13 were built in the last 5 years and 16 boats are between 9 and 13 years old, among them 10 redesigned with foils and only 3 boats with 20 years or more. The victory should come from one of the new boats all sailed by very experienced sailors with the exception of Kojiro Shiraishi who sails a 2019 VPLP.

Also designed by VPLP, Charal (2018) sailed by Jérémie Beyou, Hugo Boss (2019) sailed by Alex Thompson. Verdier designed two, Apivia (2019) sailed by Charlie Dalin and Linkedout (2019) sailed by Thomas Ruyant. JK designed also two, Arkea-Paprec (2019) sailed by Sébastien Simon and Corum (2020) sailed by Nicolas Troussel and finally, Sam Manuard designed the last of the new boats, L’Occitane (2020), sailed by Armel Tripon.

On the last race (Vendée-Arctique) Samantha Davis showed that she and Initiatives Coeur (2010-VPLP-Verdier), one of the boats that were redesigned with foils could be almost as fast as the new boats, in fact, she was way faster than Kojiro Shiraishi on a new boat as well as Kevin Escoffier PRB (2009 -VPLP-Verdier) that arrived close to Samantha showing that they can fight, probably not for the victory but for a podium place.

L’Ocittane designed by Sam Manuard and sailed by Armel Tripon, the last to be launched and the most radical of all Imocas, did not prove well, not being very fast at the beginning and soon damaged and forced to retire. The boat was repaired and we will see if it goes faster on the Vendée, even if I have some doubts.

It is said that the two best solo offshore sailors, Armel Le Cléac’h and Francois Gabart will not be racing, having chosen to race multihulls instead of monohulls. In this race the new generation will try to beat the “old-timers”, the most experienced and legendary ones, Alex Thompson, Jérémie Beyou and Samantha Davies and the best between the young guns seem to be Thomas Ruyant and Charlie Dalin.

Charlie comes from the Figaro where he was a champion and learned the ropes on the IMOCA class with Yann Eliès one of the best ever on the Figaro, but not very lucky on the bigger boats. Thomas Ruyant has a different formation, first a top mini-racer sailor, then a top 40 class racer and then making the last Vendée on an old boat, sailing fast and refusing to abandon his boat even when it was almost broken in two, managing to bring it to NZ.

You can recall that incredible story here: December 19, 2016December 22, 2016

Now, the public attention he got allowed him to have more sponsorship and a new boat. On this Vendée, he is there not only to show what he is capable to do, but to try to win the race.

The Vendée will start at 1.02PM, November 8th and as usual, will be transmitted live on many television channels, on Facebook and Twiter. There’s also an App that you can download to follow the race.

As usual, I will follow the race here. After the Ocean Race unexpected postponement, this will be the biggest offshore sailing event of 2020/2021 and I say unexpected because these races are mostly followed on the internet, the crews spend most of the time at sea and in the case of the Ocean Race only minor adaptations and precautions would be needed for the race to take place.

I hope many of you choose to follow it with me enriching the blog with your comments, making it better and more fun.


Race detailsSkippersFacebook

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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