by Vendee Globe
The start of the next Vendée Globe will commence in exactly 1000 days from now on 4th November 2016. A thousand days to find a sponsor, build or buy a boat, get ready and train to be in the best of shape on the big day. The countdown has begun.
Vendee Globe Finish For Francois Gabart (Fra) / Macif After 78d 02h 16mn 40sec / Winner
The sound of the starting gun for the eighth Vendée Globe will echo around the bay off Les Sables d'Olonne in exactly 1000 days from now on 4th November 2016, but what will this race be like? It is rather too soon to say for sure, but the sailors know that time slips by and that 33 months is a long time, but in fact relatively short. This worry about the clock ticking will depend on how far advanced each project is. One thing for certain is that the next Vendée Globe is already the focus of attention and you can feel the excitement building. The Vendée Globe still makes sailors dream. Some stated their intentions early on and at the start of the year have already been sending out their messages about their respective campaigns. In 2016, we can bet on there being a lot of top class, well prepared candidates. Let’s take a closer look.
With the recent publication of the IMOCA class rules, projects have started to develop. Now that everything is clear about the design rules, some sponsors like Safran and Banque Populaire have already announced they will be using the same mould to build their new monohulls. We also found out that Morgan Lagravière (after successfully representing Vendée in the Figaro class) will be the next skipper of the Safran monohull. At least, two other new boats are said to be planned...
As for the racers, while it is taken for granted that Jérémie Beyou (Maître Coq), Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) and Morgan Lagravière (Safran) will be there at the start of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe, we were also pleased to see that Sébastien Josse will be returning flying the colours of Gitana. Apart from those already competing in the IMOCA circuit, such as Vincent Riou, Louis Burton, Alessandro Di Benedetto and Tanguy de Lamotte, other big names have also announced their intentions… and they are not all newcomers: Roland Jourdain would like to set off for a fourth attempt, for example. Pascal Bidégorry, Charles Caudrelier, Yann Eliès, Alex Thomson and Fabien Delahaye, also intend to take part in the adventure. In short, we can say that the line-up for the eighth Vendée Globe is likely to be excellent in terms of quality and quantity. Particularly as other racers from France and abroad are currently busy looking for partners to be able to line up in 1000 days from now. As is always the case, the news will start to trickle out over the coming weeks and months. They do not all intend to build a new boat. Many of them are keeping a close eye on any boats that are up for sale… including Macif aboard which François Gabart achieved such an incredible result last time around.
From a technical perspective what we can already say with certainty is that with two years and nine months to go to the start, we can look forward for the first time to a Vendée Globe where the new generation of boats will all have identical keels and masts, designed to be more robust than previous prototypes. In other words, the proportion of boats forced to retire should be greatly reduced. That is a good thing for everyone concerned: the sailors, partners and the general public. So, note down the date for the eighth Vendée Globe: 4th November 2016, and the place: Les Sables d'Olonne in Vendée.