Start approved

The 2020 Vendée Globe remains on schedule, with a confirmed start date approved for 8 November.

Photography by Vendée Globe

10 June 2020


With five months to go to the start of the Vendée Globe, almost all of the competitors have relaunched their boats and restarted their preparations for the ninth edition.

The start of the 9th Vendée Globe will take place on 8 November, off Sables d’Olonne.

This was confirmed by the Board of Directors of SAEM Vendée, the organising company of the Vendée Globe, this Monday 8 June in celebration of World Ocean Day.

As it stands, 35 candidates have set themselves up to be on the starting line and 18 skippers are officially registered.

Race organisers SAEM Vendée also took the decision to set up a Start Village, which will open on Saturday 17 October. It will turn into the Race Village on 8 November then the Finish Village to welcome the skippers home from their round-the-world race. The arrangements for the general public will be adapted to public health requirements that may affect sporting events and they will have to be approved by the relevant authorities.


“We promised to clarify the situation for the Vendée Globe fleet, partners and other bodies before 15 June and that has now been done,” stated Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée.

We are proud to have been able to maintain this sporting event and the start of the ninth edition on 8 November.

“The race will take place and it looks highly likely that it will be one of the most breathtaking in the history of solo round-the-world racing,” continued Auvinet.

“Our teams are working flat out to be able to give the best welcome possible to the general public.”


Dates for your diary

On 8 November, the ninth Vendée Globe will begin with its entrants setting off on this non-stop solo race around the world without assistance.


Saturday 4 July: Vendée – Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne

The lockdown led to the cancellation of The Transat CIC and the New York – Vendée Les Sables d’Olonne, and the IMOCA class has set up a brand-new race, supported by its headline partner, the Vendée department and the town of Les Sables d’Olonne: the Vendée – Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne.

A 3600-mile race with the start and finish line in place off Les Sables d’Olonne, with waypoints to the West of Iceland and the North of the Azores. The planned start date is 4 July.


Tuesday 1 September: registrations close and date by which they have to complete any additional qualifiers

Seven skippers and their boats have to complete an additional 2,000-mile solo qualifier approved by the Race Directors. Initially planned for 1 July, the period during which they have to complete this additional qualifying distance has been pushed back to 1 September. This is also the date on which registrations close.


Thursday 17 September: press conference

The Vendée Globe press conference will take place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris. This is a useful and symbolic date coming exactly one month before the start village opens.


Friday 16 October: arrival at the measurement pontoon

All of the boats registered for the ninth Vendée Globe have to be present to be measured on the Vendée Globe pontoon in Port Olona on Friday 16 October.


Saturday 17 October: official opening of the Start Village


Sunday 8 November: start of the ninth Vendée Globe

While the start will be from the South Nouch buoy off Les Sables d’Olonne, the event will already be in full swing from the early hours that day with the boats leaving the pontoons and making their way out of the legendary harbour entrance in Les Sables d’Olonne.

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