That was then, This is now

Published on November 3rd, 2020

When the Vendée Globe was last held four years ago, the question in the eighth edition was about the IMOCA: to foil or not to foil? The motivation came from the 2013 America’s Cup, but how would foiling work on the 60-foot monohull in a solo, non-stop, round the world race?

What was known at the time was how these appendages would help to lift the hull increase top speed with a bonus of 10-15% when the wind was on the beam. But these foils were also viewed as less efficient when sailing upwind, and with the wind astern, they need more than 12 knots of real wind to overcome the foil’s additional drag.

For the 2016-17 race, of the 29 boats, six new prototypes had been fitted with these new appendages and one older boat modified to include them. So the question to be answered was whether it would be better to sail a boat that is as light as possible or to fly over the seas using foils?

When the race was over, there was no longer a question. Foils were the future for the IMOCA, so when the 2020-21 race starts on November 8, foils are on eight of the latest generation boats, five boats from the previous race, and five boats that had been converted to foils. In all, 18 of the 33 skippers are now on foils.

For a list of the boats, François Chevalier and Jacques Taglang have divided them into five categories:

On board the eight latest generation boats:
Jérémie BEYOU, Charal, VPLP, 2018
Charlie DALIN, Apivia, Verdier, 2019
Thomas RUYANT, LinkedOut, Verdier, 2019
Sébastien SIMON, Arkea-Paprec, Juan Kouyoumdjian, 2019
Alex THOMSON (GB), Hugo Boss, VPLP, 2019
Kojiro SHIRAISHI (JAP), DMG Mori, VPLP, 2019
Armel TRIPON, L’Occitane en Provence, Sam Manuard, 2020
Nicolas TROUSSEL, Corum savings, Juan Kouyoumdjian, 2020

On board the five boats of the previous edition, with foils:
Fabrice AMEDEO, Newrest-Art & Fenêtres, ex- No Way Back, VPLP-Verdier, 2015
Yannick BESTAVEN, Maître Coq IV, ex -Safran 2, VPLP-Verdier, 2015
Louis BURTON, Bureau Vallée 2, formerly Banque Populaire VIII, VPLP-Verdier, 2015
Giancarlo PEDOTE (ITA), Prysmian Group, ex -St Michel-Virbac, VPLP-Verdier, 2015
Boris HERRMANN (ALL), Sea Explorer-Yacht Club de Monaco, ex -Gitana 16, VPLP-Verdier, 2015

On board the five modified boats with foils:
Kevin ESCOFFIER, PRB (5), VPLP-Verdier, 2009
Samantha DAVIES (GB), Initiatives-Cœur, ex -Foncia, VPLP-Verdier, 2010
Isabelle JOSCHKE (FRA-ALL), MACSF, ex- Safran, VPLP-Verdier, 2007
Arnaud BOISSIÈRES, La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle, ex- Ecover III, Owen-Clarke, 2007
Alan ROURA (SUI), La Fabrique, ex- BritAir, Your Name Around the World, Macif, Finot-Conq, 2007

On board the seven recent boats with straight daggerboards:
Clarisse CREMER, Banque Populaire X, ex- Macif, SMA, VPLP-Verdier, 2011
Damien SEGUIN, Apicil Group, ex- DCNS, Finot-Conq, 2008
Jean LE CAM, Yes we Cam!, ex- Foncia, Farr, 2007
Maxime SOREL, V and B-Mayenne, ex- Groupe Bel, VPLP-Verdier, 2007
Manuel COUSIN, Setin Group, ex- Paprec-Virbac, Farr, 2007
Romain ATTANASIO, Pure-Best Western, ex- Gitana Eighty, Farr, 2007
Stéphane LE DIRAISON, Time for Oceans

On board the eight “old” boats:
Alexia BARRIER, TSE-4Myplanet, ex- Le Pingouin, Famille Mary, Lombard, 1997
Didac COSTA (ESP), One Planet One Ocean, ex- Kingfisher, Humphreys-Owen, 1999
Sébastien DESTREMAU, Merci, ex- Galileo, Lavranos, 2005
Benjamin DUTREUX, Omia-Water Family, ex- Estrella Damm, Farr, 2007
Clément GIRAUD, La Compagnie du Lit-JiTILI, ex- PRB (4), Farr, 2006
Pip HARE (GB), Medallia, ex- Superbigou, Roland, 2000
Ari HUUSELA (FINL), Stark, ex- Aviva, Owen-Clarke, 2007
Miranda MERRON (GB), Campagne de France, ex- Temenos 2, Owen-Clarke, 2006


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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