Photos: DPPI / Vendee Globe

Vendee Globe fleet up to 30

Three additional berths for this year's solo non-stop round the world race

Wednesday June 29th 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

At a meeting held today in Les Sables d'Olonne between the organisers and skippers competing in the eighth Vendée Globe, Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée, made an unexpected announcement: Three extra places will be made available in addition to the 27 initially planned in the Notice of Race.

If all of the sailors complete their sailing and administrative obligations on time, 30 skippers will be able to line up at the start of the non-stop solo round the world race on 6 November. This is good news for several reasons, including the internationalisation of the Vendée Globe, as ten nations may be represented - a record in the history of the event.
Due to the number of berths available on the pontoons in Les Sables d'Olonne's Port Olona, the Vendée Globe's Race Directors decided to limit the number of skippers and boats taking part to 27. The French department, which owns the Vendée Globe, wished to open up this limitation. At the moment, 30 skippers are officially registered for the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe.

Japan's Kojiro Shiraishi, Jean-François Pellet, Conrad Colman and Enda O'Coineen from Ireland are the first to be affected by the announcement.

Yves Auvinet, Président de la SAEM Vendée said: “If sailing requirements are met by one or all of the skippers on time, it would seem inconceivable to me not to allow them to line up at the start. When you see the investment made in preparing for this race, I believe that if all the conditions are met, everyone should have their chance to compete in the Vendée Globe.”

As for the logistical problem limiting the number of places on the pontoon in Port Olona, Yves Auvinet confirmed that a solution has been found. “We have consulted with the Race Directors to ensure that they can be accommodated within the harbour. The Notice of Race simply needs to be modified to take this into account with the addition of another amendment (amendment n°2).”

Four continents and ten nations

These additional places should allow the next Vendée Globe to become even more international. If all the candidates manage to find their budget and fulfil the administrative and sailing requirements on time, four continents and ten nationalities will be represented among the skippers: France, Spain, Hungary, the USA, Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Japan and Ireland.

Also, nine foreign skippers will be taking part in race, representing almost a third of the fleet.

On Wednesday in Les Sables d'Olonne, Yves Auvinet also confirmed that the official press conference presenting the line-up for the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe will be held on Wednesday 14th September at the French Stock Exchange in Paris.

The 30 skippers officially registered for the moment:
Jérémie Beyou (France), Tanguy de Lamotte (France), Vincent Riou (France), Morgan Lagravière (France), Armel Le Cléac'h (France), Paul Meilhat (France), Sébastien Destremau (France), Eric Bellion (France), Jean-Pierre Dick (France), Fabrice Amedeo (France), Sébastien Josse (France), Yann Eliès (France), Thomas Ruyant (France), Didac Costa (Spain), Kito de Pavant (France), Jean Le Cam (France), Bertrand de Broc (France), Louis Burton (France), Nandor Fa (Hungary), Rich Wilson (USA), Alex Thomson (GB), Arnaud Boissières (France), Alan Roura (Switzerland), Stéphane Le Diraison (France), Pieter Heerema (Netherlands), Romain Attanasio (France), Kojiro Shiraishi (Japan), Conrad Colman (New Zealand), Enda O'Coineen (Ireland) and Jean-François Pellet (France).

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