Sailors face deadline

After the First of July, the First of September was going to be the next important date for the few skippers, who have not yet completed their qualifier for the forthcoming Vendee Globe.

In order to take part in an adventure like the Vendee Globe, each competitor must supply the organisers with guarantees about their own skills and about the suitability of their boat. That is why before each edition, qualifying rules have been put in place: they concern safety rules, of course, with the obligation for each skipper to take part in training sessions (survival techniques, etc.) and an obligatory qualifying run.

The various cases concerning qualification

1. A competitor plans to set sail again on the same boat as on which he was ranked in the Vendee Globe in 2000 or 2004: That is the case for example of Jean Le Cam and Norbert Sedlacek. They do not have to complete any qualifier, except for a 1500-mile qualifier if major changes have been made to the mast or keel.

2. A competitor, who has been sucessful in a single-handed transatlantic race on the boat, aboard which he plans to sail in the Vendee Globe. The competitor qualifies, as long as he carries out the 1500-mile qualifier, as in the previous example: that is the case for all the competitors, who were ranked in the Transat B to B in 2007 or the Artemis Transat in 2008 (Loick Peyron, Yann Elies, Kito de Pavant, Marc Guillemot, Derek Hatfield, Dee Caffari and Rich Wilson, among others)

3. A competitor was ranked in the 2000 Vendee Globe, the 2004 Vendee Globe or a non-stop two-handed race. He will have to complete on board the boat he intends to sail, a 2500-mile qualifier without mooring in a harbour. That was the case this year for yachtsmen like Michel Desjoyeaux and Roland Jourdain (Vendee Globe 2000), Jean-Pierre Dick and Alex Thomson (Barcelona World Race) and Dominique Wavre, Vincent Riou and Sebastien Josse (Vendee Globe 2004).

4. For a competitor, who has not fulfilled these criteria: they have to complete a compulsory qualifier set by the race directors. In the Northern Hemisphere, the course means they have to sail to the north of 52 N (latitude of Shannon in Ireland or North of Newfoundland) for at least twelve hours and pass through the longitude on the way out and back of 5 W (longitude of the tip of Brittany) and 50 W (slightly east of Newfoundland).