Clarisse Crémer: Happy ending and beginning

Published on April 19th, 2023

There has been a happy ending and beginning for Clarisse Crémer (FRA) in her effort to compete in the 2024-25 Vendée Globe – the legendary solo, non-stop, unassisted round the world race in the 60-foot IMOCA boat.

After she set a new Around the World Eastabout women’s record in the 2020-21 edition, she was unexpectedly dropped by her sponsor for the upcoming race. The issue had to do with her planned pregnancy and the necessary mileage to qualify as an entrant, though she found neither hurdle to warrant the action.

The incident got significant publicity and prompted dialogue by The Magenta Project and the World Sailing Trust, and got the attention of L’Occitane en Provence, a French luxury retailer of beauty products. So with their support, Crémer is back in the race… here is the announcement:

At 33, French sailor Clarisse Crémer is embarking on one of the most exciting challenges of her career: competing in the next Vendée Globe, in November 2024.

After her sponsorship was dropped in January 2023 – which left Crémer without a team or a boat and put her Vendée Globe dreams on hold – she will now be joined by new title sponsor L’Occitane en Provence for a return to sailing following the birth of her baby daughter last November.

Crémer started her sailing career whilst at university and went on to finish second in her first solo race, the 2017 Mini Transat. She moved onto the Figaro class before joining her previous sailing team in 2019 to take on her first Vendée Globe in 2020 – where she achieved the best performance by a female skipper in the history of the race.

“I am particularly happy and proud to be able to start this new adventure with L’Occitane en Provence,” said Crémer. “I have had the Vendée Globe 2024 in mind since I last rounded the Cape of Good Hope and it is a privilege to have them by my side to pursue this challenge!

“These last few months have been intense, sometimes hard, but I will always be grateful to all those who have believed in me and who have enabled me, year after year, to progress and take part in the major events in ocean racing.

“Today I’m focused on the future: it’s a great joy to have an extraordinary boat and a great team to accompany me in this adventure, and I can’t wait to get back to sailing.

“The Vendée Globe starting line is still a long way off and there are still many challenges to be faced, but I am putting all my energy into the success of this project to prove that with desire, determination and the right partners, we can make society, companies and sport more equitable.”

With less than 20 months to go before the next Vendée Globe, Crémer will be able to count on the support, investment, and motivation of L’Occitane en Provence. This partnership is based on the shared values for women’s empowerment, team spirit and authenticity. The commitment to reconnect people with Nature and themselves has also motivated L’Occitane en Provence to accompany Crémer in this adventure.

She will also be joined by a reference in ocean racing – Alex Thomson. The 49-year-old British skipper, who has taken part in five Vendée Globe races and twice finished on the podium, is committed to supporting and bringing together all the skills needed to build a successful campaign.

Alex Thomson and Clarisse Crémer

Crémer will have one of the best performing boats of her generation, the former Apivia. On board, Charlie Dalin won the Transat Jacques Vabre (2019) and finished 2nd in the Vendée Globe (2020-21) and the Route du Rhum (2022).

“We are very proud to support Clarisse Crémer, a true role model for the new generations, and to help her accomplish her sporting and human adventure,” said Adrien Geiger, Managing Director of L’Occitane en Provence.

“We have decided to join forces to promote women’s leadership in sailing, a competitive world that is still largely male. Indeed, we make it a point of honors to support all women in their personal and professional projects.

“From 2020, we have decided to take a strong position on the key issue of parenthood. L’Occitane has become the first international cosmetics group to implement a parental leave policy on such a broad international scale. This policy applies to L’Occitane employees worldwide, including company-owned offices, factories and shops.

“Clarisse’s struggle to combine her role as a mother with her career aspirations is that of many women.”

Team Principal Alex Thomson adds, “Clarisse is one of the most talented sailors in ocean racing and she deserves to be at the start of the Vendée Globe next year.

“My team and I are delighted that L’Occitane en Provence will support Clarisse for the Vendée Globe. We want to prove to the world that becoming a mother doesn’t change who you are as an athlete. We intend to provide Clarisse with all the tools that will enable her to compete with equity.”

A time trial has now begun in order to shape the technical team, take charge of the boat, confirm the competition calendar and start the mileage race, to qualify for the next Vendée Globe which starts November 10, 2024.

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