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Tuesday October 21st, 2008
The countdown has begun for what has to be the most exciting sailing challenge on the yachtsman’s calendar. Described as ‘the Everest of the sea’ the 2008/2009 Vendee Globe gets under starters orders on Sunday 9th November at its spiritual home Le Sable d’Olonne, France and Harbourguides will be following it closely. For those unfamiliar with this incredible ocean going event the Vendee Globe rules are quite simple, sail your yacht around the southern oceans, around the world single-handed as fast as you can with no stopovers.
Founded in 1989, by two times BOC Challenge winner (now VELUX 5 Oceans Race), Philippe Jeantot, this four yearly event will take its 20 entrants to the three great Capes - Cape of Good Hope,Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn, a journey that Canadian Joshua Slocum first completed in 1895 after three years at sea. The contestants in the Vendee Globe are expected to cover the 2,500miles a little quicker – in about three months, for prize money of 150,000 Euros.
The entrants have begun to assemble at Le Sable d’Olonne for three weeks of checks and sea trials in the run up to the competition and UK participant, Alex Thompson has already run into trouble, or rather trouble has run into him. It would appear that his boat Hugo Boss has been rammed by a fishing boat just outside Les Sables d’Olonne resulting in a broken mast and a hole in the side. Needless to say work is going on virtually round the clock to try to repair the damage and ensure the vessel is completely sound by the 9th November.
For more news, updates and information about the ultimate in ocean racing watch this space!
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