This week the organisers of the Vendee Globe confirmed that the race will go ahead in November from Les Sables d’Olonne. As many as 35 competitors have registered to compete in the legendary race starting at 1202 UTC on the 8th of November just a few hundred meters off the beach of this usually sleepy fishing town. Of the 35 registered 17 have completes all their qualifying requirements with the remaining sailors required to either compete in a solo race starting and finishing in France in July or completing their own solo passage of over 2000 miles.
The race, which is regarded as one of the hardest sporting events in the world, will see the solo sailors race in excess of 28’000 miles around the planet by first heading south down the Atlantic then turning left and entering the Southern Ocean. The fleet will pass the Cape of Good Hope at the bottom of Africa before skirting the ice perimeter set by the race organisers to keep the competitors clear of icebergs. After the gruelling the Southern Ocean, the end of which is marked by rounding the iconic Cape Horn, the boats will do the final sprint back up the Atlantic to the finish at Les Sables d’Olonne in the end of January.
At Racetec Rigging we have a personal connection with this race, as Will has been involved with preparing Alex Thomson Racing’s HUGO BOSS boats for the last 3 editions, and this edition is no different. Will is currently working as the Boat Captain for Alex Thomson Racing, preparing the new HUGO BOSS for the Vendée Globe. After launching the boat in 2019, the team went on to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre in October. However, after hitting an unknown object submerged under the water and having to cut the keel away from the yacht, Alex and his co-skipper were forced to retire from the race. Since then the team have repaired the boat, returned her to the water and are now preparing for the Vendée Globe.
As well as Alex Thomson we have also been working with Pip Hare over the last year to help her prepare for the Vendee Globe. We are pleased to see Pip is nearing the end of her refit to her boat and will be back out sailing in the next month or so to continue her plan to compete in the Vendee Globe.
We wish all the competitors the best of luck in their preparations for the race and look forward to seeing them on the start line in November.