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Vendee Globe - Skippers' Day in Sables d’Olonne

by Vendee Globe on 28 Oct 2012
Skippers’ Day in Sables d’Olonne Vincent Curutchet / DPPI
The 2012-2013 Vendée Globe has not even begun yet, but SAEM Vendée already has its eyes set on the future. On Friday, skippers contemplating launching a 2016-2017 Vendée Globe participation project gathered at the Sables d’Olonne Race Village where they met with Bruno Retailleau to attend the 2016 Skippers’ Day. Immersing in the atmosphere of the race and networking were the main goals for the day.

Fourteen skippers of nine different nationalities got together on Friday at the Race Village in Les Sables d’Olonne for the 2016 Skippers’ Day. These sailors dreaming of the Vendée Globe had been invited by SAEM Vendée and were greeted by Vendée General Council President Bruno Retailleau himself. The potential 2016 Vendée Globe skippers had an exclusive tour of the Race Village and the pontoons as well as the restricted areas such as the Media Centre, the race HQ and the technical area, which all contribute to the success of the organisation. The sailors had the opportunity to witness the outstanding dimension of the event!

The tour was guided by Race Director Denis Horeau and allowed them to find out more about the various fields of competence needed to organise such a competition, as well as the tools made available to them so they can work on their sponsor search for the 2016 edition.

‘This is the first time we invite skippers preparing the next edition of the Vendée Globe, explained Bruno Retailleau. We realised organising this unique race just was not enough, we also had to assist skippers way before the race to give them a better chance to eventually be at the start. Many of the potential participants are not French, which matches our plans to give the Vendée Globe the international dimension it deserves.’

Attending skippers

Thomas Ruyant (FRA)
Raphaël Dinelli (FRA)
Morgan Lagravière (FRA)
Guillaume Lebrec (FRA)
Cecilia Carreri (ITA)
Steve White (ENG)
Christophe Bullens (BEL)
John Mac Kay (SCO)

Skippers represented or expected at the Race Village before the November 10 start :

Norbert Sedlacek (AUT)
Jeff Lebesch (USA)
Yannick Bestaven (FRA)
Ross Hobson (ENG)
Boris Hermann (GER)
Alex Pella (ESP)

Steve White (England): 'I’m sure being here today will help my project become even more real and my vision clearer. The Vendée Globe means the world to me, it makes anything else irrelevant, except my family of course. In the world of offshore sailing, nothing can compare, it is also the ultimate individual test, which is great for me. For some reason, I love pushing my limits and I also love being at sea.'

Cecilia Carreri (Italy): 'The Vendée Globe is the ultimate dream, it’s the dream of my life. Being in such close contact with the organisation team throughout the day is going to make my project more solid and more attractive to sponsors. It’s really amazing!'

Thomas Ruyant (France): 'I think this is a very good initiative. I had never been in Les Sables d’Olonne for a Vendée Globe start and I’m impressed. This has become a huge event with a huge organisation team.'

Lionel Pariset (France) representing Norbert Sedlacek (Austria): 'Norbert has already competed in the Vendée Globe twice and he wants to be back in the race in 2016, after designing and building a new Open 60’ yacht made of a new balsa wood and basalt composite, which is as resistant and efficient as carbon.'

Christophe Bullens (Belgium): 'I haven’t been really lucky in the last Velux 5 Oceans so I really want to compete in the Vendée Globe. I’ll do my very best to be here in 2016.'

Raphaël Dinelli (France): 'I’m currently working on the development of my foundation and I can’t be at the start this year. Days like this make me realise how much I’m going to miss this race… I’ll do everything I can to participate in the 2016 edition on a yacht designed to use only renewable sources of energy.'

Morgan Lagravière (France): 'The Vendée Globe is the next logical step in my career. I’d really love to be at the start of this epic race. I know I can count on the Vendée General Council to help me in my search for Vendee Globe website
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