Mild Weather and Heavy Crowds Mark Start of the Vendée Globe

The 20 solo sailors preparing for the 28,050-mile Vendée Globe race around the world that begins tomorrow can breathe a momentary sigh of relief tonight, as the weather forecast for the start of their journey looks mild. Weather forecasts predict 15-18 knots of west-northwest wind, which will allow the solo skippers to sail upwind with ease as they make their way out of Les Sables d’Olonne to Cape Finisterre.

“You always try to get a maximum amount of sleep on that last night but you never really do,” British Vendee Globe contestant Mike Golding says.  “Your mind is always racing with different things, mulling over what is going to happen the next day, the start.”

The 20 skippers met for their final briefing today with an eye toward mastering all the small details that will ensure a good start. The group will leave the dock at 09.30 hours tomorrow morning, and dedicated crowds of supporters and spectators are expected to show up and claim spots starting at 0500 hours.

The seventh edition of the Vendée Globe Race has attracted record- breaking crowds, despite an unexpected closure for extreme weather on November 1st.  More than 1 million supporters and spectators have visited the Race Village over the past three weeks, suggesting the popularity of the event is growing. The race will be broadcast on television channels in over 190 countries.

Race fans can get information on how to best follow the start at

Photo by Mark Lloyd/ DPPI and Vendee Globe

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