Vendée Arctic Race Director announced

Accompanied by the Department of Vendée and the town of Les Sables d’Olonne, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Vendée, which is the organising entity for the Vendée Globe, will this summer take on the organisation for the Vendée Arctic – Les Sables d’Olonne race.

The competitors will commence the race from Port Olona on June 12, 2022.

This 3,500 nautical miles race is the first qualifying race for the next Vendée Globe and so it will be an opportunity for the skippers of the Vendée Globe 2024 to take on the challenging waters of the northern latitudes. For many of the solo skippers this will be the time they will have crossed the Arctic Circle and circumnavigated Iceland.

To underpin the high level sporting aspects of this very demanding race, the  Vendée has appointed Francis Le Goff to act as Race Director.

Course map for the Vendée Arctic.
Course map for the Vendée Arctic.

Francis Le Goff has been involved in race management teams for more than 20 years and has built up a very solid experience of major offshore and ocean racing events. From watch leader to coach, to Regional League Sailing Director to Race Director, Le Goff has built his marine skillsets over the years through a very multi-faceted approach to the sea.

He has been Race Director on the Solitaire du Figaro from 2017 to 2021 on the Transat en Double Concarneau-Saint-Barthélemy in 2019 and 2021, on the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe 2018 and most recently on the double handed Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre 2021. Overall he has accumulated a significant and varied experience.

Francis Le Goff will call on a seasoned team to support him on this race:

  • Yann Chateau: Is a well known French sailor who is still active on various grand prix programmes and has won several French and European championship titles in Match-Racing. Chateau is also a navigator and a router. His technical competence is supplemented by wide experience of the different areas and skills of Offshore Racing.  He has been the right-hand man to Francis Le Goff for several years and they have collaborated on many races including the Solitaire du Figaro from 2017 to 2021, Tour Voile 2021, Transat Jacques Vabre 2021.
  • Claire Renou: Served more than 10 years at OC Sport Pen Duick where she worked with many different races as the interface with the sailors and teams, providing nautical coordination and integrating the Race Direction teams. Renou went freelance to broaden her range of skills. She notably supported Jacques Caraës on the last Vendée Globe, but also participated on many Race Direction teams including La Solitaire du Figaro 2019 and 2018, the Transat AG2R 2018, Route du Rhum 2018.
  • Pierre Hays: Has been passionate about ocean racing from a very young age, helping out during the Transat Jacques Vabre. His thoroughness, his skills in terms of safety and security around the race start and finish areas and his knowledge of the IMOCA class make Pierre Hays an asset in the Race Direction team. He also supported Jacques Caraës on the last Vendée Globe, but also took part in various Race Directions including the Solitaire du Figaro 2020, Transat Jacques Vabre 2021.

For more information on the race, see:

Barton Skydock
Yacht Share Mariner
Nav at Home
West Systems 2
Coursemaster Autopilot
Coral Sea Marina Resort
Lagoon 51