25 solo sailors at the start of the Arctic Vendée

25 solo sailors at the start of the Arctic Vendée

Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and of the Department of Vendée has just presented the very rich sports line-up of the 2nd edition of the Vendée Arctic – Les Sables d'Olonne, more than 2 years from the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. The sporting and media successes of the 2020-2021 edition stimulated project leaders and their sponsors, so much so that the transition phase was particularly short. The Arctic Vendée being the first of the five qualifying races* for the Vendée Globe 2024, it naturally attracts skippers committed to this deadline.

The start will be given on Sunday June 12 at 5:00 p.m. The 25 skippers will then face 3,500 miles of a committed and unprecedented course , which will take them on a discovery racing navigation on the Arctic Circle.

The Vendée, a Department where tourism is the main economic activity, is strengthening its position as an organizer of offshore races with the desire to lengthen the tourist seasons. In the  tradition of the Vendée Globe, the race embraces a large village open for 3 weeks, from June 4 to 26.

The festivities will begin with the grand parade of skippers on Friday June 3 at 9.30 p.m.

17 of the 25 skippers entered competed in the Vendée Globe; 15 took the start on November 8, 2020. 8 sailors are therefore in their first Vendée Globe race.

The "seasoned" Vendée Globe (17 skippers):

15 skippers took part in the 9th edition in 2020:

Fabrice Amedeo (Nexans - Art & Windows), Romain Attanasio (Fortinet - Best Western), Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline), Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée), Manuel Cousin (Sétin Group), Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Benjamin Dutreux (Guyot Environnement - Water Family), Pip Hare (Medallia), Isabelle Joschke (MACSF), Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group), Alan Roura (Hublot) , Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut), Damien Seguin (Apicil Group), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One).

Among them are two female skippers: Pip Hare (Medallia), Isabelle Joschke (MACSF)  Aditionally In 2016 there were 2 skippers): Éric Bellion (As One Man powered by Altavia) and Conrad Colman (Imagine).

8 "Rookies" are dreaming of their 1st Vendée Globe in 2024 

Antoine Cornic (Ebac Literie), Louis Duc (Fives – Lantana Environnement), Benjamin Ferré (Benjamin sends the Pépin), Nicolas Lunven (Banque Populaire), Sébastien Marsset (Cap Agir Ensemble), Guirec Soudée (Freelance.com), Szabolcs Weöres (Hungarian, Szabi Racing), Denis Van Weynbergh (Belgian, Laboratoires de Biarritz).

In numbers:

25 participants including 2 female skippers (Pip Hare and Isabelle Joschke)

8 international skippers : Szabolcs Weöres (Hungarian), Denis Van Weynbergh (Belgian), Pip Hare (British), Isabelle Joschke (French-German), Giancarlo Pedote (Italian), Alan Roura (Swiss), Kojiro Shiraishi (Japanese), Conrad Colman (American and New Zealander).

10 nationalities are represented France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, United States.

The fleet is made up of 14 IMOCA with foils , and 11 IMOCA with straight daggerboards .



In line with the Vendée Globe, the Arctic Vendée embraces its popular festivities which will begin with the great parade of Vendée Globe skippers, taking place on Friday June 3, from 9.30 p.m. The SAEM Vendée really wanted to thank and celebrate its skippers for the 2020-2021 edition, which could not be done last year, due to health restrictions. This festive parade on the embankment of Les Sables d'Olonne will conclude with a pyro-musical show by Jacques Couturier, around 11 p.m., visible from the Grande Plage.

The departure village , accessible to all, will be open from Saturday June 4 at 10 a.m. to Sunday June 12 with the 25 boats moored at the pontoon.

From June 15, it will reopen, transformed into a race village . It will be the anchor point for the public and the reception area for skippers on their arrival. Entertainment and information throughout the day.

Discover : the spaces of the Department of Vendée, Vendée Tourism and other actors of the village will accompany the discovery of the race, sports projects and territories.

The Arctic theme will be at the heart of the event with a photo exhibition on the Arctic by Florian Ledoux, the presence of Under the Pole and Pure Ocean with their awareness stands.

Have fun : a 200 m2 synthetic ice rink, Virtual Regatta Inshore challenges open to the public, daily quizzes and, from June 15, remote-controlled sailboat races and a waterball challenge will give the village its playful dimension. V concerts, as well as the music festival on June 21, will help to highlight the festive spirit of the village.

Get informed : 'The Lives' will also be in the heart of the village with daily round tables at 3 p.m. and the Live pontoon with the skippers at 7 p.m. which will keep its schedule during the race with daily 'Lives' from the village stage with the skippers at sea.

Dates to note:
- June 3
9:30 p.m.: the big parade of Vendée Globe 2020-2022 skippers.

- June 4,
10 a.m.: Opening of the start village to the public.
5 p.m.: Runs in the Baie des Sables.
9.30 p.m.: Presentation of the skippers on the village stage.

June 12, 
5:00 p.m.: Start of the Arctic Vendée – Les Sables d'Olonne.

Around June 22: First arrivals expected
June 26, 5:00 p.m.: Presentation of trophies

* Note: These five qualifying races are the Arctic Vendée on June 12, the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in November 2022, the Return to Base in November 2023, the Transat CIC in May 2024 and the New York Vendée in July 2024 .

In addition to the sporting qualification, there is also that of selection: because to be one of the 40 starters in the Vendée Globe 2024, you will have to have run the most miles in the races of the IMOCA GLOBE SERIES Championship.