Record interest in Vendée Globe

Published on October 12th, 2023

Held every four years, the 2024-25 Vendée Globe non-stop, non-assisted, single-handed round the world race has a record 44 skippers seeking to qualify for one of the 40 entry slots that will start the 10th edition on November 10 from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France. Using the 60-foot IMOCA boat, this is the most famous shorthanded race in the sport.

There are a number of newcomers, the 18 ‘rookies’. The youngest skipper, Violette Dorange, is now just 22 and is due to compete in her first round-the-world race aboard the boat on which Jean Le Cam completed the 2020 Vendée Globe. King Jean, the emblematic face and oldest skipper in the race, should be lining up at the start for the 6th time, on his brand new IMOCA with straight daggerboards, which has just been launched.

Among the six female candidates – as many as the 2020 record – Sam Davies, Justine Mettraux, and Clarisse Crémer have high ambitions at the helm of high-performance boats and are looking forward to taking part in the battle for the podium.

Damien Seguin, the first disabled skipper to complete a Vendée Globe in 2020-21, should be back alongside Jingkun Xu, a young Chinese skipper with an arm amputation. Their candidacy highlights that Vendée Globe is also an inspiring demonstration of inclusion.

The internationalism of the Vendée Globe is reaching new levels as applications have come in from the four corners of the globe. If 2020 was a record year in this respect, 2024 is once again, proof that the trend is set to continue.

Beyond the French contingent, the candidates include 16 international skippers, representing more than a third of the entries, compared with 12 in 2020. In addition, the 11 nationalities represented are spread across four of the five continents.

As there is qualifying to gain entry, and other obstacles to overcome, attrition will occur. For the 2020 edition, 37 skippers applied. In the end, 33 took part in the race. The final qualifying and selection race is the New York Vendée – Les Sables d’Olonne, which will start from the United States on May 29, 2024.

A record time of 74 days and 3 hours completed the 24,300 mile course during the eighth edition in 2016-17.

Race details:

Key figures:
• 10th edition
• 6 women (vs 6 in 2020)
• 16 international skippers (vs 12 in 2020)
• 11 nationalities represented: France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, China, USA, New Zealand (vs 9 in 2020)
• 18 rookies (vs 20 in 2020)
• 30 causes supported
• 14 new IMOCAs (vs 9 in 2020)
• 2 handisport skippers

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