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The Vendée Globe switches to American time

Vendee Globe

Yacht Racing Podcast

With 6 months to go before the start of its tenth edition, the Vendée Globe is making an American aside. The last qualifying and selection race for the solo round the world race, the New York Vendée Les Sables d’Olonne, will set sail in 15 days time, on 29 May, at 20h00 French time.

Last confrontation before the Vendée Globe

While some of the skippers have already reached Uncle Sam’s country, the excitement is at its peak: the last transatlantic race is generating a lot of sporting interest. The sailors are embarking on this final test before the Vendée Globe to put their boats through their paces, while seeking to assert their superiority over their rivals. It is also the last chance for some to qualify and be among the 40 selected for the 10th edition of the Everest of the Seas.

30 sailors in search of records

On 29 May at 8 p.m. French time (2 p.m. local time), off the coast of New York, 30 sailors will set sail in the New York Vendée, twice as many as in the first edition in 2016. This transatlantic regatta, which includes the favourites for the Vendée Globe, is likely to be extremely fast: the downwind conditions should propel the first competitors towards Vendée very quickly. Given the technological advances in the IMOCAs, the record time of 9d 16h 57min 52s set by Jérémie Beyou in 2016 should be beaten.

Vendée shines on the other side of the Atlantic

Beyond the sporting aspects, this adventure represents a fantastic opportunity for the Vendée to shine on the international stage and to promote economic exchanges with the United States.
Indeed, the race partners and boat sponsors are taking advantage of the event to consolidate their presence on the other side of the Atlantic. Alongside the race, an exceptional show has been organised to meet this objective: the Vendée Liberty. This speed race against the clock will take place on 24 May in Manhattan Bay. For the partners, gathered on Governors Island for the occasion, this high point is a unique opportunity to forge new business relationships.

The ocean: the common thread

The New York Vendée is part of the Vendée Globe and its environmental roadmap, which focuses in particular on protecting the oceans. In order to minimise the risk of collision between the IMOCA boats and marine megafauna, Biodiversity Protection Zones (BPZs) have been set up along the course. These zones, identified as key breeding and feeding grounds for cetaceans, have been determined by the organisation following studies carried out with the Share The Ocean consortium, supported by the Vendée Globe Foundation. Their delimitation is based on scientific criteria, statistical analyses and documented collision incidents.

For the same reasons and for safety reasons linked to the dense maritime traffic around New York, the start of the race will be given 80 miles from the coast. The skippers will be travelling to the start area at reduced speed.

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