The aim of the first Vendée Globe Speed Dating event on Wednesday 1st April at the Naval Museum in Paris was to bring together skippers looking for sponsors with companies potentially interested in the Vendée Globe.
This is a first in ocean racing circles and was a huge success as sixteen famous sailors attended in order to present their projects.
The line-up for the next Vendée Globe is already extremely promising, but the Saem Vendée, the company organising the Vendée Globe aims to go one step further. That is why they set up this totally new operation in the world of ocean racing. A speed dating event enabling potential future sponsors to get to know the skippers looking for funding for their 2016-2017 Vendée Globe. For once, the sailors didn’t have to out looking for potential investors, as they were sitting in front of them. Twelve sailors took it in turns to explain their motivations and explain how far advanced their projects are (see below). Four others took part via video links. They each had five minutes, and not a second more to convince the dozen or so business leaders present in the hall.
Some fantastic opportunities
After this speed dating event was over, it is clear that firms still have the possibility of having a great story to tell and be up there in the front around the world. The race that gets the most coverage in the world, the Vendée Globe is France’s leading sporting event coming in ahead of the French Open and the Tour de France cycle race. The top sailors guarantee good coverage. There are plenty of arguments to win over firms…
Jean Le Cam: “I have just won the Barcelona World Race aboard a boat that is a safe bet and that I know very well now (Michel Desjoyeaux’s ex-Foncia the winner of the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe – editor’s note). I really would like to set out in the next Vendée Globe on this monohull… If I compete again, it is to establish good contact to make people dream. The event isn’t far off now, so we have to get the project going now.”
Yannick Bestaven: “My partner in Class40, Le Conservateur is ready to back me in an IMOCA project in the Vendée Globe. But I don’t yet have the joint partners necessary to complete the budget and ensure I get my hands on a boat.”
Fabrice Amedeo: “Thanks to my good result in the Route du Rhum on a Class40, I feel I’m ready for the Vendée Globe. The Newrest company is staying with me and for several weeks now I have been the proud owner of a 2007 Farr designed boat (The former Synerciel sailed by Jean Le Cam in the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe). If I manage to get my budget together, I shall take advantage of being a journalist and sailor to tell the story of the race from the inside.”
Arnaud Boissières: “I have completed the Vendée Globe twice and I can say there is no better race. I dreamt of this when small and I’m still dreaming now? That is why I want to do it again. I have some funding. I have a boat that is currently racing in the Barcelona World Race, which I’ll shortly be getting back. So I’m looking for some additional funding.”
Armel Tripon: “A year ago I began a great adventure with some business leaders. Unfortunately, I was forced to take a difficult decision and jumped ship after a difference of opinion. I no longer have a boat, but stakeholders who back me. Thanks to my 2014 season in the IMOCA circuit, I am ready. I want to bounce back and I’m doing my utmost to be there at the start of the next Vendée Globe.”
Christopher Pratt: “The Vendée Globe didn’t make me dream when I was small, but I got to know the race, in particular when I was replacement skipper for Armel Le Cléac’h in the last race. I now have the Vendée Globe eating away at me and think about it every day. To become the first sailor from Marseille to compete, I’m doing all I can to convince local businessmen.”
Pascal Bidégorry (by video): “I am currently competing in the Volvo Ocean Race with Dongfeng. But in a few months from now, I’ll be fully available for the Vendée Globe. I feel I’m ready for 80 days alone at sea with a competitive project. I’m not the sort that just sets off to complete the race.”
Gildas Morvan: “It’s only logical now after my years in the Figaro circuit to move up to the Vendée Globe. This is the Holy Grail for solo sailors. My Figaro partner who has been with me for 15 years, Cercle Vert, unfortunately cannot fund a project as big as required for the Vendée Globe. So, I’m looking for sponsors. I have made a few contacts, but nothing concrete.”
Alessandro di Benedetto: “The last Vendée Globe was a fantastic adventure for me and I want to get back there again in 2016. I have a boat (Dee Caffari’s ex-Aviva) thanks to a fan of the Vendée Globe who bought her for me. The boat is there waiting, but I have to reimburse the cost. The project is ready, but so far I don’t have any partners.”
Eric Defert: “I am offering a four-year-long adventure and two races. The first with an older boat to gain some experience and then a second to get a good result. I have set up a team and have four secondary partners, but I’m missing a headline partner.”
Roland Jourdain (by video): “It’s never easy finding a sponsor. I was unable to set sail in the last Route du Rhum, and felt like a boxer without gloves getting into the ring. It was very frustrating. I don’t want to go through that again in the next Vendée Globe. So I’m here for anyone who wants me.”
Corentin Douguet: “I have a lot of experience thanks to my years in the Mini and Figaro circuits. I also ran a semi-pro project in the Tour de France sailing race. I learned how to manage a team, which is important before signing up to the Vendée Globe. Today, in my life, everything is in place for me to spend three months sailing around the world. The project just awaits a headline partner.”
Nicolas Boidevézi: “After six years in the Mini circuit, I have sailed 30,000 miles (the equivalent of the round the world voyage), without ever being forced to retire, in spite of some difficult moments. Born in Alsace, it is no easy matter becoming an ocean racer, but I was determined to do it. I have just signed the purchase agreement for a 60-foot IMOCA. I just have to complete the budget and the name of the boat is still available.”
Kito de Pavant: “I have 80 % of my budget and I have got a nice boat. I can’t say which. I shall be revealing all in a few days from now. I am aiming high in the Vendée Globe: Loïck Peyron and Jean Le Cam proved that you could still do great things once past fifty.”
Eric Péron (by video): “I’m currently the navigator on Dongfeng in the Volvo Ocean Race. For my next goal, the Vendée Globe, I set up a business partners’ club, Be one Team. I am doing all I can to make sure I’m there at the start in 2016. My best advertisement is that I’m sailing.”
by admin and vendeeglobe.org