Vendee Globe Yacht Race 2012 Start Date Announced.

2012 Vendee Globe Ocean Yacht Race

Premier Ocean race for Open 60 yachts launched at the Paris Boat Show.

The Vendée Globe 2012/2013 will set sail from les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday 11th November 2012 at 1400hrs GMT, and after a year or two of mixed fortunes for the Open 60 class, the iconic yacht race is shaping up to be one of the best. The Vendee Globe has already received interest from twelve solo sailors and the target is for a fleet of 28 and 35 boats to start the race.

The Vendee Globe is of course a challenging sporting competiton, but it is also a platform for the Vendee region of France to promote itself and the area’s history and culture. The event is a partnership between local interests and the Open 60 class to generate revenue and media interest around the world. Bruno Retailleau, President of the Vendée Council, Louis Guédon, MP and Mayor of les Sables d’Olonne, Luc Talbourdet, President of the IMOCA class and Patricia Brochard, CEO of Sodebo officially launched the seventh Vendée Globe on Wednesday at the Nautic, the Paris Boat Show.

An estimated 1.7 million people attended the start and the finish of the last edition of the ocean race, generating revenues valued at more than 39 million euros. Part of the commercial success of the race is an understanding of the sailing public – the fans have been considered – not just the B2B partners and the sailors. In order to encourage the public to participate in the start of the next Vendee Globe, the date chosen for the start coincides with the middle of the half-term holidays in France and is in fact a bank holiday.

Those who compete in the Vendee Globe promote it as an adventure, a challenge akin to climbing Mt Everest. There is great milage to be made from competing in the race, but of course this is a sport and as well as returning to a heroes welcome in France, the winner of the race will bank 160,000 euros. The winner’s purse is part of a total prize fund of 600,000 euros.

Bruno Retailleau – President of the Vendée Council commented:

“I wish to remind everyone and stress once again how attached we are to the Vendée Globe, which is a sort of marker for us, a real DNA breakdown of what Vendée is. This race is extremely important because of its philosophy, the purity of the sporting spirit of the race and its huge popular success with the general public and the media. The Vendée Globe fits in with Vendée, which is a French department closely linked to the sea and we know its dangers and pleasures. Apart from safety, which is an ongoing concern, we are working on the next race to develop it as an international event, while opening up its educational aspects. In fact, we intend that after the start of the race on the 11th November in les Sables d’Olonne, the Vendée Globe Village will move to Paris so that even more people can enjoy its educational features. I would like to thank the race partners, the town of les Sables, the Vendée Chamber of Commerce, the IMOCA class, but also our headline partner Sodebo, a businesss that is anchored in Vendée and which has never forgotten its basic values in spite of its huge success. Involved in sailing for twelve years Sodebo will be alongside us for the third consecutive race and I would like to thank their President Patricia Brochard”.

Louis Guédon – Mayor of les Sables d’Olonne added:

“A few years back, we wondered whether we weren’t assassins to allow sailors to set off non stop around the world alone and without outside help. Today, even if there is still a risk, the Vendée Globe has become an event where safety remains paramount”.

Patricia Brochard – CEO of Sodebo, race sponsor said:

” Thanks to sailing and the Vendée Globe, the reputation of our company has made giant leaps forward and I invite those companies, who still hesitate to become involved in sailing, which is a remarkable means of communication. The Vendée Globe is a living legend and a race in which, as in our business, a human remains at the heart of the event”. will create a new dedicated Vendee Globe page in coming days, but until then you can read about Open 60 news including the Barcelona World Race here