Please select your home edition
Edition
Flagstaff 2021AUG - Oceanis 40.1 - LEADERBOARD

14 IMOCA 60s ready to set sail for New York – Vendée Race

by Marion Cardon on 24 May 2016
14 IMOCA 60s ready to set sail - New York – Vendée Race Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co / Ocean Masters
Fourteen IMOCA 60s will set sail from New York this Sunday in the last major singlehanded race before November’s singlehanded non-stop round the world marathon, the Vendée Globe.

More than half of the Vendée Globe fleet is taking part in the New York – Vendée (Les Sables d’Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode. This, the fourth event in the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship 2015-2016, will see the solo skippers and their boats leaving set sail from New York on a 3100 mile course across the North Atlantic, bound for the Vendée Globe start-finish port of Les Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast.

The fleet, currently berthed in Manhattan’s North Cove Marina close to ‘Ground Zero’, includes the six latest generation IMOCA 60s. These futuristic-looking machines represent the cutting edge of offshore yacht racing technology, fitted with retracting J-shaped foils that enable the boats at times literally to fly.

Among the six are Armel le Cleac’h and Banque Populaire, recent winners of the Transat bakerly. Runner-up in the last two Vendée Globes, Le Cleac’h is favourite for the race to the Vendée. He will be up against Hugo Boss skipper, Britain’s Alex Thomson, who finished the last Vendée Globe in third and who now also has a new generation design and Sébastien Josse on Edmond de Rothschild, stand-out winner of December’s Transat St-Barth - Port-la-Forêt.



Other leading French entrants include Barcelona World Race two time winner, Jean-Pierre Dick on his new St Michel-Virbac, while leading the charge on ‘conventionally’ foiled older generation boats will be PRB’s Vincent Riou, winner of the 2004 Vendée Globe, and Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir’s Yann Eliès, a three time winner of the ultra-competitive solo offshore race, the Solitaire du Figaro. Another triple Solitaire winner racing is Jérémie Beyou, skipper of Maître CoQ, unique in the fleet for being an older generation boat, retrofitted with new generation foils.

Beyond Alex Thomson, there are three other non-French skippers competing.
The US home crowd will be rooting for Conrad Colman, the half US/half New Zealand skipper of 100% Natural Energy. Colman has spent the last eight years serving his apprenticeship to compete in the Vendée Globe, which has already included two round the world races.

Colman is proud to have his own campaign: 'I'm proud to flag the flag for the United States and New Zealand. I went to high school not far away from NYC, so it’s great to return to my old stomping grounds. I hope to give local fans a friendly face to cheer for. I think these races have universal appeal and can attract a new American audience.'



Coming from furthest away is Japan’s Kojiro Shiraishi for whom competing in the Vendée Globe is a 30 year old dream. Of his ability to compete, there is no doubt: the Vendée Globe will be his fourth solo circumnavigation.

The New York – Vendée (Les Sables d’Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode will be Shiraishi’s first race in his new boat (ex-Hugo Boss) and the first solo: “It is fantastic. I really love it. It is the newest boat I’ve ever had - very stable and more powerful,” says Shiraishi.

Approaching his campaign from yet another angle is Pieter Heerema. The Dutch businessman is an highly experienced yachtsman who’s sailed all his life, in dinghies and keelboats, where he is best known for his successes in the RC44 and Dragon classes.



However his new No Way Back, a powerful, new generation design IMOCA 60, is very different to the one designs he has previously raced. And sailing it solo is even more challenging: All Heerema’s previous boats he has raced with crew.
“It is a piece of the puzzle of sailing that I haven’t done yet and one of the boxes that I have to tick,” says Heerema.

The New York – Vendée (Les Sables d’Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode sets sail at 1100 local time on Sunday May 29th, from a line immediately off Manhattan’s North Cove marina. This will be preceded on Friday, May 27th by the Currency House Charity Race.

Pantaenius 2022 - SAIL FOOTER AUSRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERSail Racing 2021 FOOTER

Related Articles

Steering the Course 2022 kicks off
A week-long festival of women's sailing Hundreds of sailors across the world will take to the water over the next 10 days as World Sailing's Steering the Course global women's sailing festival gets under way.
Posted today at 8:28 am
Finn Gold Cup at Malcesine day 4
Postma dominates to retake the lead Pieter-Jan Postma, from The Netherlands, found second gear today to dominate the 110 boat fleet from 17 nations on the fourth day of the Finn Gold Cup at Fraglia Vela Malcesine on Lake Garda, Italy.
Posted today at 5:15 am
Australians at the iQFOiL Europeans day 4
Will McMillan and Grae Morris produced their best performance so far Australians Will McMillan and Grae Morris produced their best on Day 4 of the iQFOiL European Championships overnight, as Lake Garda, Italy continued to offer up conditions to appeal to the masses.
Posted today at 3:31 am
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 12
Hatteras to Kill Devil Hills The expansive beach at ORV Ramp 49 in Frisco was filled with spectators; Most, here for the spectacle that is the Worrell 1000. Not because they're sailors or that they know anything about racing these F18 beasts... they just know that this is exciting.
Posted on 20 May
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 11
Atlantic Beach to Cape Hatteras With just three legs to go before the finish in VA Beach, all 13 boats that started in Hollywood were lined up now in Atlantic Beach, ready for a sleigh ride to Hatteras in breezes of 16-18 knots with gusts in the low 20's.
Posted on 20 May
One short, countless activities
Say hello to the Henri-Lloyd Explorer Shorts Designed and built to get you out there. The Explorer shorts are high performing and feature a recycled, 4-way stretch fabric that is lightweight, water resistant and perfect for summer adventures.
Posted on 20 May
25 skippers for Vendée Arctic-Les Sables d'Olonne
A race of discovery to the northern waters of the Arctic Circle Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and the Department of Vendée has just presented the skippers of the second edition of the Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne, more than 2 years from the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe.
Posted on 20 May
GUYOT environnement - Team Europe enters TOR
Confirmed as fourth IMOCA entry for The Ocean Race The campaign sees French offshore sailor Benjamin Dutreux joining forces with Offshore Team Germany Olympian Robert Stanjek, the same combination that raced to victory in the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe last summer.
Posted on 20 May
America's Cup: Grant Dalton uncut
Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton levels with The Platform's Martin Devlin in a very honest interview Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton levels with The Platform's Martin Devlin, in a 30 minute interview that Dalton consented to give, only on the basis that it was broadcast uncut and unedited.
Posted on 20 May
Cup Critiqued: Moving to the Med - but when?
As we saw in the last America's Cup, base and venue setup decisions can have unintended consequences Now that Barcelona has been named as the venue and the approximate dates for the 2024 America's Cup Regattas named, teams have to devise a strategy around where their home base will be, when they will move to Barcelona and how long they will stay and more
Posted on 20 May