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The Vendée Globe: The Race Village regulations, events, exhibitions and access areas on start day

by Vendee Globe 7 Oct 02:57 PDT
The Vendée Globe: Press conference © Vendée Globe

On Tuesday, Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée, which organises the Vendée Globe, officially opened the e-ticketing system that will enable visitors to access the Vendée Globe Start Village with health and safety regulations approved by the state and special events being organised in the Start Village. Four concrete measures were announced in the context of the popular success of this ninth edition.

  • E-ticketing is open for visitors to the Race Village
  • Health regulations have been approved by the French authorities
  • The public are permitted to gather around the Sables d'Olonne 'Chenal' on 8 November, the day of the start.
  • The Race Village will offer a wide range of experiences to visitors
1 - Registration is compulsory and available for free

As of 3 pm on Tuesday 6th October, the ticket office for the Vendée Globe Race Village will be open to the general public for those who want to discover the 33 boats that will set sail and the special events in the Race Village. It is necessary to register and reserve your time slot, if you wish to visit the Race Village.

E-ticketing is available online on the official website. The Tourist Office in Les Sables d'Olonne will be on hand to offer assistance to those who want to reserve.

This reservation system will ensure the maximum numbers allowed at events open to the general public is respected. That limit is set at 5000 at any one time in the village.

In order to allow as many enthusiasts and curious people as possible to visit the Village, half-hourly slots from 10 am to 7 pm will be open for booking from 3 pm today. With their e-ticket, visitors will be asked to respect a visit duration of three hours.

2 - Strict health rules approved

The health rules set up by the SAEM Vendée have been approved by the relevant authorities. Alongside e-ticketing and crowd management, the following measures are being put in place: everyone over the age of 11 must wear a mask; distancing rules are to be respected, hand sanitizers will be available, indoor areas will be well aired; a one-way system will be set in the outside areas of the Village, pontoons and indoor areas.

View the health protocol that has been approved by the State here.

3- The main areas on the start day unveiled

The SAEM Vendée, the host town of Les Sables d'Olonne and the state authorities collaborated yesterday to agree the main areas on start day, on November 8.

The public will be allowed to access the legendary Sables d'Olonne Channel by following rules and access conditions similar to those of the Departure Village: online reservations, wearing a mask and respecting barrier gestures.

A first onshore allocation of 9,000 people around the Channel, structured around two bubbles - one of 5,000 people on the Chaume side and one of 4,000 people on the Les Sables d'Olonne side - is being developed with authorities.

A second bubble on the water of 5,000 people will be allocated for passenger vessels chartered to watch the start.

4- The Race Village will be open and even more responsible

Taking into account the public health concerns which have affected the whole world since the start of the year, the good news is that the Race Village will open as planned, thanks to all those involved in the Vendée Globe and the various official bodies.

Open to the public after registration and reservation, the Village will ensure that the link between the race and the local area remains in place and that the Vendée Globe will once again be a popular event.

On the Vendée Globe Esplanade that has been entirely renovated, various places are being set up for visits:

  • The Vendée exhibition area: 1200 m2 to explore the Village, with activites and displays to suit all ages and interests. A special display will be presented around seven topics to explain the race and inform people about the Ocean. A wide range of materials and displays with special videos will be on show, with big screen projections, pictures, a highly original decoration and maritime sound effects...

    With around fifty films presenting the skippers, the race, its history, life aboard an IMOCA... as well as the and websites, the Department wanted to ensure that this race may still be followed by everyone in spite of this very tricky period and in particular by those who cannot attend events in the village in Les Sables d'Olonne.

  • Exhibitor's area: around 2200 m2 with 29 stands set up for partners and sponsors and the official shop.
  • The VOG Bar, a Vendée Globe Institution, perfectly located overlooking the legendary race pontoon.
  • Race HQ, where the organisers will be based throughout the event.
  • The Globe 'Carré' area will be used for business conferences during the start period and will become the radio reports centre from the day after the start, hosting the LIVE broadcast show every day at 1230 hrs CET in French and the International show at 1330hrs. These shows will be open to the public.
Alongside the Quai de la Gravière, apart from the opportunity to visit an Imoca, the public will also be able to discover:
  • The Vendée Cookery area will cover 160 m" and will allow visitors to discover all the local specialities and a wide range of products.

  • The Tourism Office will show on offer the best attractions, leisure activities and sites in the Vendée region in a large open space of 440m2. These include the programme entitled "Des enfants, un skipper" which will be shown at 4pm on weekends and Wednesdays, different culinary challenges orchestrated live by chefs in "La Vendée en cuisine" and daily events to discover the Vendée destinations with the whole family from 11am onwards.
Boulevard Vertime and Allée du Frère Maximin will be home to stands for the events' sponsors, a giant zip-line and food stands.

Alongside the former sailors' winery, Media HQ and the hospitality Village will be set up. Small boxes and meeting rooms, a bar and restaurant - accessible by reservation - will also be set up in this BtoB area.

A more responsible Village

The organisers wanted to highlight the importance of making young people aware of the the need to protect the oceans. That will in particular be the case in the Vendée display area with educational displays in the framework of the Junior Vendée Globe. The general public will also be able to visit a large exhibition on the Allée du Frère Maximin about protecting the oceans in conjunction with UNESCO, the Principality of Monaco and skippers in the IMOCA class.

Various concrete measures will be applied in the Village including the signing and establishment of:

  • A charter confirming the responsible approach taken by exhibitors to enable those involved in the village to join in with these arrangements.
  • A partnership with Trivalis and Ecomégot to underline the importance of waste separation schemes.


Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée: "Maintaining a Village that is open to the public and the start on 8th November is proof that all those involved in this race have shown their ability to adapt to meet the requirements of health and safety measures. We are proud to announce today that our public health protocol has been approved by the relevant authorities. We remain in contact with those authorities in order to make any changes that may become necessary.

If I had to sum up the Vendée Globe, to reach the finish line alone is a huge performance, to land on the podium is a real victory, but to win it is a feat.

Our goal is to ensure that everyone can enjoy this event while respecting the measures to protect everyone's health. The Village will be accessible free of charge to the general public and that is a key element for the Vendée Globe and part of its history.

In order to adapt to the health situation, the organisers of the Vendée Globe have set up an e-ticketing system free of charge online. The general public will have to register and reserve their time slot on the official race website. No one will be allowed to enter the Start Village if they have not registered and reserved the day and time of their visit."

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