You can follow the race start direct on the official site or in any of the 33 TV stations that will transmit it live. The circumnavigation race takes only place each four years and this is only the 8th edition, being the first the one in 1989/1990.
The Vendee Globe is not only my favorite sail race (since the first edition) as it is the one that had put sailing among the most popular sport events, well not really sailing but the vendee and the vendee is about sailing at is best. Last year the start was covered live by 22 TV stations. This year it will be live on 33 TV stations all over the world!!!!
Cheers to them all, the organizers, the racers and the French because without the enthusiasm of the French for sailing, particularly solo sailing, there would no be a Vendee. Today on the starting line, with 29 racers, we can see sailors from many different nationalities.
If we look at the podium of all editions we will be looking for the ones that dominated monohull solo sailing since the 90's:
1989–90 - Titouan Lamazou, Loïck Peyron, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede; 1992–93 - Alain Gautier, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, Philippe Poupon; 1996–97 - Christophe Auguin, Marc Thiercelin, Hervé Laurent; 2000–01 - Michel Desjoyeaux, Ellen MacArthur, Roland Jourdain ; 2004–05 - Vincent Riou, Jean Le Cam, Mike Golding; 2008–09 - Michel Desjoyeaux, Armel Le Cléac’h, Marc Guillemot; 2012–13 - François Gabart, Armel Le Cléac’h, Alex Thomson.
Maybe this year we will see the first non French winning the race. We have racers from more 8 countries including an American a New Zealander and a Japonese butIt seems to me that the only one that has a decent chance to do that is the British Alex Thomson, 3rd on the last edition.
On past editions the only podiums not integrally French had British on it, the great and only Ellen MacArthur, Mike Golding and Alex Thomson were the ones. Ellen MacArthur made 2th and she become instantly more popular in France than in UK. Sill today the French have a huge respect and admiration for that Lady.
As a tribute to all those incredible sailors and to the race itself let's have a short look at all editions, unfortunately only in French, but the images tell half the story. As a side comment you can see on the 2001-02 edition a boat that went straight to the beach, on the Portuguese shore. It come so fast that broke the keel and only stopped near the cliffs. It was on Baleal beach, the place were I lived at the time and I was one of the first on the scene. Nothing happened to the sailor, Patrick de Radiguès, a Belgian, that was asleep and only awake when the boat hit the sand.
Please feel free to use the comments section of this post (and the others I will post about the race) as if this was a boat forum. I will be glad to have the participation of all of you on the following of this race. You can select the option to be notified when comments are posted. The race will be even more enjoyable to follow if there is a wide participation through the comments section.