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The Vendée Globe, Vendée Tourism and Destination Les Sables d'Olonne gather in London

by Vendée Globe 23 Jan 23:38 PST 8 November 2020
From left to right: Samantha Davies (skipper), Karen Alletru (Vendée Tourism Director), Pip Hare (skipper), Laura Le Goff (Vendée Globe MD), Jimmy Bertrand (Les Sables d'Olonne Tourism Vice Director) © Vendée Globe

With four skippers intending to compete in the next Vendée Globe, Great Britain appears set to be well represented in 2020. With high quality programmes and experience under their belts, there is a good chance that Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) and Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur) could make it on to the podium. Thomson in particular has said many times that he is out to win, but both the top Brits hold hopes of victory.

A press conference was held today in London as part of a joint initiative between Vendée Tourism, Vendée Globe and Destination Les Sables d'Olonne, in order to present the race and also highlight the importance of the British skippers who are expected in the line up for this 2020 edition. Two skippers, Pip Hare and Samantha Davies, were present during the London press conference, at the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in London. Although they were not present today, Alex Thomson and Miranda Merron also fully support this initiative.

The presence of the Vendée Globe in London, just as at the Dusseldorf BOOT show last week, underlines how the organizers of the race, the SAEM Vendée, wish to strengthen the international dimension of this solo round the world race. Today, amongst the 36 declared candidates, 13 are from outside France. Eight nations should be represented.

A quick recap of the British candidates who intend to participate:

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), on his fifth participation: 3rd in 2012, second in 2016, which means there is one step left for Thomson to become the first British sailor to win the Vendée Globe. He has a new, innovative boat, and is extremely well prepared. He has given himself the means and the opportunity to win.

Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur), on her third participation: after an excellent fourth place in 2008-2009, Sam returns with a Verdier - VPLP plan from 2012 that is at its optimal level. She has proven herself as a very serious outsider to win.

Pip Hare (Pip Hare Ocean Racing), on her first participation: Poole-based Hare can count on a huge number of ocean miles in offshore racing, even if this will be her first Vendée Globe.

Miranda Merron (Campagne de France), on her first participation: after having raced all over the globe and on all types of boats, the British sailor is set to take on the Vendée Globe, one of the few ocean races she has not yet tackled.

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