Vendée Globe: starts on November 8, but without an audience
The Vendée Globe Regatta Village will be closed to the public from Friday, October 30, following the latest blocking measures announced by the President of the French Republic as part of the fight against Covid-19.
The Vendée Globe start will take place, as scheduled, on Sunday 8 November at 1:02 pm (local time), but it will be “behind closed doors” without spectators.
The sailing trip around the world begins and ends in Les Sables-d’Olonne, in the French department of Vendée. The period chosen for the competition, generally from November to February, is designed so that participants can face the southern seas during the austral summer. 21 thousand nautical miles is the length of the route, which corresponds to just under 40 thousand kilometers, during about three months of navigation.
However, it will be possible to follow the start live on vendeeglobe.org and on television.
It starts from Les Sables-d’Olonne, descends into the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, after which it proceeds east around Antarctica, leaving Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn on the left. The last part involves going up the Atlantic to reach the finish line at Les Sables-d’Olonne.
Additional mandatory navigation points may be imposed in addition to the regulations in each edition, in order to guarantee the safety of the participants, for example taking into account the changing conditions and the movements of the ice. In the 2016 edition, for example, the Antarctic Exclusion Zone (EAZ) was introduced, virtually marked by 72 GPS points, and which represents an imaginary line beyond which it is not possible to descend due to the danger of icebergs present below. 45 ° South.
Competitors can remain anchored, but not approach a dock or other boat; they cannot receive external assistance, including personalized weather forecasts (there is a meteorological service provided by the organization) or route information. They can consult with their team on how to solve technical problems, but they still have to complete the repair operations with only the material available on the boat. Even in case of illness or injury, they can receive assistance from the race doctor only remotely by radio or satellite.
A competitor who has an initial problem, an exception to the rules, may return to the start for repairs, provided he can resume the race within 10 days after the date the competition officially started.
In this edition of the Vendée Globe 2020, among the 33 participants, the Italian Giancarlo Pedote, skipper of the IMOCA 60 in foil Prysmian Group will be present.