The Vendée Arctique is a non-stop, solo offshore race with no outside assistance allowed following in the tradition of the Vendée Globe.
Now approaching its second edition, it is a very unique and demanding event, an extreme adventure very much in keeping with the ethos of the Vendée Globe and the IMOCA class. The solo racers set off northwards the direction of the Arctic Circle, circumnavigating Iceland, before returning to Les Sables d’Olonne, following a demanding 3,500-mile course.
As organisers the primary duty of SAEM Vendée, is to ensure the safety of sailors, to provide fair racing and to optimise conditions so that as many starters can finish the race and advance their knowledge, experience and their qualification requirements for the 2024 Vendée Globe.
To ensure the skippers are best prepared to face the hostile, icy northern waters Race Direction of the organisation, led by Francis Le Goff, has defined the rules for participation in the Vendée Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne.
Each skipper must qualify solo on the boat that will do the Vendée Arctique, finishing before May 14, 2022 choosing between:
- The Guyader – Bermudes 1000 Race (1,200 nautical miles)
- A qualification course of at least 800 nautical miles
- Two qualifying courses, the sum of which will be greater than 1,000 nautical miles
In the event that the skipper elects to do a qualifying course rather than the race, at least one of the two must enable them to sail at least 100 miles in wind and sea conditions of at least force five on the Beaufort scale.
Many skippers already set to sign up
The race is clearly appealing for sailors in the IMOCA class who are looking for new adventures but more particularly building precious qualifying nautical miles designed to be decisive for ensuring their selection in the Vendée Globe.
Many skippers have already announced their objective to participate in the Vendée Arctique, well in advance of the official opening of registrations on March 30.
Among those pencilled in as entrants are Fabrice Amedeo, Romain Attanasio, Eric Bellion, Clarisse Cremer, Charlie Dalin, Benjamin Dutreux , Benjamin Ferré, Pip Hare, Sébastien Marsset, Thomas Ruyant, Kojiro Shiraishi, Guirrec Soudée, Nicolas Troussel and Denis Van Weynbergh.
They will also be keen to validate this first stage of sporting qualification for the Everest of the Seas and to test their boats and themselves against fierce competition.
“I am but delighted with the skippers and their sponsors tremendous enthusiasm for the Vendée Arctic – Les Sables d’Olonne, the first stage of qualification towards the Vendée Globe 2024. We had to provide them with visibility in the rules of participation, which we have done today with the publication of the Notice of Race.
“Our primary duty, as organiser, is to ensure their safety, which is why we have devised qualification rules that meet the requirements of the course that awaits them in the far North,” Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and President of the Department of Vendée, said.
Reminder of key dates:
March 30, 2022: Opening of registrations
May 14, 2022: Closing of registrations
May 19, 2022: Press conference to announce the stage (la Roche-sur-Yon)
June 3, 2022: Parade of Vendée Globe 2020 skippers & Fireworks
June 4, 2022:
– Inauguration of the Start of the Arctic Vendée village
– Speed runs in the Baie des Sables
– Presentation of the Skippers on the village stage
June 12, 2022: Start of the Vendée Arctique
June 26, 2022: Prize Giving Ceremony