France’s favorite offshore race can attract millions for the sendoff, but with Covid casting doubt over large gatherings this year, changes had to be made. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone can enjoy this event while respecting the measures to protect everyone’s health,” says Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée. “The village will be accessible free of charge to the general public and that is a key element for the Vendée Globe and part of its history.”
To enter the race village visitors will need to have tickets, which are available now at vendeeglobe.org. The reservation system will ensure that a maximum of 5,000 people will be in attendance at any given time, compliant with the French government’s limit for outdoor events. Spectators will be asked to keep their visits to under three hours. Masks will be required and hand sanitizer available, as well as a one-way traffic flow to prevent excessive intermingling.
For spectators looking to watch from the banks of the Sables d’Olonne Channel ticketing is also required, however, 9,000 spots will be available (5,000 on the Chaume side and 4,000 on the Les Sables d’Olonne side) as well as an additional 5,000 sports on chartered passenger vessels.
Despite the new limitations, race organizers have arranged a variety of displays and exhibits to keep the experience as immersive and exciting as ever, including fifty short films on the skippers, race, history and life aboard an IMOCA 60. Understanding that many fans will not be able to travel to the send-off this year, there will be a robust online experience to complement the in-person exhibits.
For more information on the Vendée Globe or to reserve your tickets, visit vendeeglobe.org/en