Vendée Globe 2016 – Jérémie Beyou, Vincent Riou and Kito de Pavant, three skippers pre-registered for the next 2016 event, will be at the helm of a Diam 24 in the Tour de France Sailing Race, which starts in Dunkirk on Friday 3rd July.
Another leading player from previous solo round the world voyages (Bernard Stamm) and some others hoping to compete in the next race (Christopher Pratt, Sébastien Audigane, Eric Péron) are also taking part.
“The more time I spend on the water, the more progress I make.” Jérémie Beyou summed up neatly the spirit that reigns among the Vendée Globe skippers, who are leaving the helm of their 60-foot IMOCAs to sail on a Diam 24.
For the first time, the Tour de France Sailing Race is being raced on multihulls. Jérémie Beyou (Maître Coq), Vincent Riou (PRB) and Kito de Pavant (Made in Midi) didn’t want to miss out on this revolution. “We were able to take part thanks to the change in the date and format for the Tour de France,” explained Beyou. “Races take place each day and the boat is less demanding from a physical perspective, with a crew of three, which makes it easier to set up a project. The Tour is also more affordable and importantly closer to the general public.” It is nevertheless a busy schedule, as the crew taking part will race over a three week period in no fewer than nine towns: Dunkirk, Fécamp, Pornichet, Roscoff, Les Sables-d’Olonne, Roses (Spain), Gruissan, Marseille and Nice.
Different backgrounds, a top class sporting level
Like many sailors and those following the event, Bernard Stamm – who unfortunately won’t be competing in the next Vendée Globe – is surprised by the quality of the line-up for this 2015 edition of the Tour de France Sailing Race.
‘We can see competitors from various backgrounds,” he told us. “There are people from Olympic racing; ocean racing, and match racing… We can also see some experts in multihull racing and some from the Tour de France. All of these people will be sailing together. It’s a very strong line-up and in my opinion, there is no batter way to progress.”
None of the 60-foot IMOCA experts are competing just to be in the race. Vincent Riou: “It’s true that the Tour de France Sailing Race is not our main goal this season. It’s a break in our 60-foot programme, but it’s obvious we are not here to watch the others race. We are serious competitors, and we want to get a good result, even if we don’t have any real pressure on us.”
We can also see some sailors, who are hoping to take part in the next Vendée Globe, but who don’t yet have the necessary funding. Sébastien Audigane (30 Corsaires), Eric Péron (lafrancedunordausud.com), Chritopher Pratt (Maître Coq).
by Vendée Globe