Vendée Globe 2012.
The French bank Banque Populaire has just announced that it will be taking part in the 2012 Vendée Globe and that it has chosen Armel Le Cléac'h as skipper.
This will be his second Vendée Globe and he is determined to do even better than last time in the solo non-stop round the world race. Here are the first reactions of the new sponsor, who has just joined the IMOCA Class and of Armel Le Cléac'h, a skipper, who is clearly pleased.
'The Vendée Globe is the only major offshore race that Banque Populaire has not yet taken part in. It was only normal that we attempt this new challenge which bears the very same human values that Banque Populaire has always been attached to: courage, pushing back the limits, the conquering spirit and adventure.
For this new project we have chosen Armel Le Cléac’h, whose talent is well known and who has had a lot of experience on this type of boat. Second in the last Vendée Globe and the Route du Rhum, he has had an exemplary career and always shown his determination,' declared Chantal Petrachi, Head of Communications for Banque Populaire.
As for Armel Le Cléac’h, the skipper of the Banque Populaire VI monohull could hardly hide his joy: 'I’m very pleased. It’s a surprise for me to be joining Team Banque Populaire. They are one of the sailing world’s top sponsors. I have just finished with one sponsor who had been with me for five years and I’m proud to have been chosen. With all the skills you find in this team and around this fleet of boats, I believe this is an ideal situation.'
Armel Le Cléac'h: 'My goals are clear. I will be taking part in a full programme leading up to the ultimate goal of the Vendée Globe 2012-2013. For the 2011 season, I shall be training to begin with from the start of June, before taking part in the Artemis Challenge and the Fastnet in August. In November, I shall be lining up at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre for which I haven’t yet chosen my co-skipper, even if I do have a good idea.
In May 2012, I’ll do the transatlantic race from Plymouth, which will be the final big race before the Vendée Globe. As for the boat, I don’t yet know the Foncia monohull, but she was built by Michel Desjoyeaux, and if you can say that, that tells you everything...
For the moment she is the most recent IMOCA to be launched, a great boat for me to take part in the Vendée Globe. This will be my second time in the Vendée and I hope to do better than in 2008, which will mean coming first! This is a very ambitious race project and I will have two intense years ahead of me. I am on the same schedule as with my previous sponsor and that suits me fine.' www.vendeeglobe.org