Vendée Globe dress rehearsal: the Imoca 60s at the start of the Artique


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If the Big South is the allure of the round-the-world, solo Vendée Globe with no stopovers and assistance, the Big North is the suggestion of a new Imoca class regatta. We are talking about the Vendée-Arctique-les Sables d’Olonne, starting on Saturday, July 4, a 3600-mile solo race, with a start from Les Sables, a virtual buoy northwest of Iceland, the Azores to be left behind, and a finish still in Les Sables d’Olonne. There will be 20 skippers at the start, including our own Giancarlo Pedote, for what is a true official test before the round-the-world race.

The route

In fact, the Imoca 60 Class has needed to rethink its schedule of approach races ahead of the Vendée Globe, which starts on November 8, since the Coronavirus emergency has caused the transatlantics scheduled for the Spring to be skipped.

Giancarlo Pedote’s Imoca 60 Prysmian Ocean Racing.

The Vendée-Arctique-les Sables d’Olonne thus becomes a crucial regatta for so many reasons: a technical test for boats and skippers, as well as important miles for those who have yet to hit the round-the-world qualification. And then there is the allure of a regatta that will be run all in the waters of the North Atlantic, with routes never before seen for the Imoca, with the latest generation of foiler boats that will be fine-tuning the latest modifications made in the yard over the winter in preparation for the Vendée. All the latest generation Imoca, apart from Hugo Boss, will be on the start. The eve favorites are Jérémie Beyou’s Charal and Charles Dalin’s Apivia. Also on the starting line will be Giancarlo Pedote on his Prysmian Ocean Racing, now launched toward realizing the Vendée Globe dream. The Tuscan skipper commented to the Giornale della Vela on the route of the regatta as follows: “In my opinion, this regatta, its route and organization, is a very good idea. It will be the only long regatta of the year before the Vendée Globe and will allow the exploration of different geographical and therefore meteorological areas. Pushing this far north means not only being able to test the big cold, but also to cover miles in an area with a good depression regime that will allow new boats to be broken in and boats already launched to confirm good winter yard preparation, a point for all to validate. I am motlo contentodo to take the start of this regatta, which will be a good test before the Vendée Globe“.

Mauro Giuffrè


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