Entrants announced for prestigious singlehanded race
The final list of entrants in the sailing world’s premiere singlehanded event were announced last week at a conference in La Roche sur Yon in France. There are 30 entrants for the 2008 Vendée Globe, the non-stop race in Open 60’s that begins and ends in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.
An exceptional line-up this year means the Vendée Globe has never been so popular. There were 13 sailors that took part in the 1989 edition, 14 in 1992, 16 in 1996, 24 in 2000 and 20 in 2004.
There will be 28 men and 2 women (Dee Caffari and Samantha Davies), seven nationalities, which is another record for the race: 17 French skippers will be lining up, followed by 6 British skippers and 2 from Switzerland. Canada, the United States, Spain and Austria are each represented by one skipper.
Twenty new boats, or in other words two thirds of the fleet, have been specially built for this race, while the other ten from the 2004 generation have been completely refitted. Never has a fleet of solo yachtsmen brought together so much experience in one race: the skippers taking part in the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe have completed 32 circumnavigations and 21 Vendée Globe races, which represents a total of 1.5 million miles raced around the world’s oceans. Added to that, there is the presence of two previous winners, Michel Desjoyeaux (2000-2001) and Vincent Riou 2004-2005), so there will be a record-breaking champion line-up at the start in Les Sables d’Olonne.
26 of the competitors have completed their registration and only four have not yet fulfilled all the requirements. Jonny Malbon is still waiting for his new mast and is due to qualify in August. Steve White is busy working on the administrative details to complete the forms. Vincent Riou, victim of a collision in June during the Artemis Transat is having to replace the keel on his PRB, currently in Halifax in Canada. He will be officially registered in August, once he returns to Europe. Finally, Norbert Sedlacek is going to have to check that his boat, which already took part in 2004, satisfies the 2008 safety requirements.
Full list of entries:
JOURDAIN Roland France VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT
BEYOU Jérémie France DELTA DORE
DICK Jean-Pierre France PAPREC-VIRBAC
Le CAM Jean France VM MATERIAUX
DAVIES Samantha Great Britain ROXY
ELIES Yann France GENERALI
DE PAVANT Kito France GROUPE BEL
BOISSIERES Arnaud France AKENA
GUILLEMOT Marc France SAFRAN
DESJOYEAUX Michel France FONCIA
PEYRON Loïc France GITANA EIGHTY
WILSON Rich USA TO BE ANNOUNCED
STAMM Bernard Switzerland CHEMINEES POUJOULAT
WAVRE Dominique Switzerland TEMENOS
HATFIELD Derek Canada SPIRIT OF CANADA
GOLDING Mike Great Britain ECOVER
DEJEANTY Jean Baptiste France MAISONNEUVE
BESTAVEN Yannick France CERVIN EnR
DINELLI Raphaël France FONDATION OCEAN VITAL
BASURKO Unai Spain PAKEA BIZKAIA
LE CLEAC´H Armel France BRIT AIR
THOMSON Alex Great Britain HUGO BOSS
JOSSE Sébastien France BT
CAFFARI Dee Great Britain AVIVA
THIERCELIN Marc France DCNS
THOMPSON Brian Great Britain PINDAR
MALBON Jonny Great Britain ARTEMIS
RIOU Vincent France PRB
SEDLACEK Norbert Austria NAUTICSPORT KAPSCH
WHITE Steve Great Britain TO BE ANNOUNCED
Keep up with the race preparations on the Vendée Globe website
Image: Jacques Vapillon/DPPI/Vendée Globe