The Vendée Globe, a journey around the world on the open sea

Les Sables-d'Olonne
The Vendée Globe, a j ...


What an incredible performance is that of the Vendée Globe skippers who, every 4 years, embark on a perilous adventure around the world. Brave ? Yes, they are for leaving alone on a boat for a non-stop crossing without assistance. Meeting the athletes, admiring the boats, following the exploits of these extraordinary sailors and applauding the winner when he arrives, what emotions to experience in the Vendée Globe! The next departure from Les Sables-d'Olonne will be in 2024 and rest assured, we will be there.


Opening photo: kevin-jiner--unsplash

Poster for the Vendée Globe 2024 edition
Poster for the Vendée Globe 2024 edition

The Vendée Globe, a story of brilliantly met challenge

The year 2024 will be the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe, this extraordinary race which brings together the best skippers in search of adrenaline. Boat events have existed for years, since before the Vendée Globe, it was the Golden Globe Challenge which was contested. The first solo, non-stop race, it gave ideas to sailor Philippe Jeantot who, after a second victory in the BOC Challenge (solo round the world with stopovers), launched the concept of the Vendée Globe in 1989. The competitive spirit is there since to date, 200 skippers have taken the start with only 114 arrivals. That shows the difficulty of this race!

Escale en Côte de Lumière

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The Vendée Globe, an extreme race with simple rules

Also called the Everest of the sea, the Vendée Globe is a real battle for skippers who can only count on their courage, their experience and their endurance. Indeed, the Vendée Globe brings together only 3 rules which are:

  • Race alone,
  • Complete the journey non-stop,
  • Complete the crossing without assistance.

Of course, there may be some exceptions depending on the situation. A sailor has the right to rescue a sidekick who is sailing, for example, which happened in 2020 when Jean Le Cam came to the aid of Kevin Escoffier. Likewise, stopover and assistance are authorized on condition of making a U-turn and mooring at the starting point in Les Sables-d'Olonne before resuming the race.

The Vendée Globe itinerary Photo: AdobeStock_-Thomas-Pajot


The Vendée Globe village, a visit not to be missed

The madness of the Vendée Globe does not begin on the day of departure, but a few weeks before on the Port Olona esplanade in Les Sables-d'Olonne. In a few hours, an entire village is set up to welcome the boats, skippers and visitors. Book your ticket quickly on the official website or that of the tourist office, it is free and allows you a 3-hour visit. Different pavilions welcome you, presenting the profile of the skippers, the sponsors and the tourism associated with the Vendée Globe. A true place of exchange and meeting, the village is also an entertainment area where chefs cook live, and young reporters aged 5 to 10 interview the skippers. It’s up to you, book!


The Vendée Globe, being in the front row at each stage

You do n't want to miss a thing ? That’s good, neither do we. This is why we have put together a list of the essentials to plan for so you don't miss anything:



  • Quickly book your hotel, campsite, lodge or guest room as close as possible to the port of Olona to be at the heart of the event,
  • Park in the Indigo car park 5 minutes from the village if your accommodation is not accessible on foot,
  • Take advantage of the free shuttles to travel between the city center, the fishing port and the seaport,
  • Project yourself into the race with Virtual Regatta , a free online boat game that simulates a sailing boat race,
  • Follow the exit from the port and the ascent of the skippers' channel in the heart of the village, on your computer, on TV or on your phone,
  • Live every moment of the crossing at the PC race village the day after departure, or download the Vendée Globe application so you don't miss anything,
  • Come congratulate the winner after a long month alone at sea, a moving moment.

Take advantage of your presence in Vendée to visit the region , autumn is the ideal season.

Boat Photo: AdobeStock_João-Freitas-boat

The winners of the Vendée Globe, exploits to remember

Going down towards the Atlantic Ocean, crossing the Indian Ocean and the Pacific then going up towards the Atlantic to finish its race in Les Sables-d'Olonne, many skippers have done it, but few have won it. It must be said that 45,000 km (or 24,300 miles), or even more depending on the weather conditions, must be crossed. But every year, a big winner pops the champagne and brandishes his trophy:

  • Titouan Lamazou in 1990,
  • Alain Gautier in 1993,
  • Christophe Auguin in 1997,
  • Michel Desjoyeaux in 2001,
  • Vincent Riou in 2005,
  • Michel Desjoyeaux in 2009 again, one of the most successful sailors,
  • François Gabart in 2013,
  • Armel Le Cléac'h in 2017,
  • Yannick Bestave, in 2021

What an emotion to see every 4 years an experienced skipper complete the world tour alone on his boat.


The Vendée Globe 2024, a new adventure in anticipation

And yes, it's already been a few years since the last trophy was won, it's time to reset the counters to start a new frantic race around the world. In 2024, 40 skippers will set off from Les Sables-d'Olonne to try to beat the record for a crossing in 74 days and 3 hours, a feat achieved between 2016 and 2017 by Armel Le Cléac'h. To register, a few rules to follow:


  • Have a boat that meets the measurement rules, such as a length of 18.28 meters and a draft of 4.5 meters.
  • Have started at least two races with your sailboat alone, one between 2022-2023 and the second in 2024.
  • Finish ranked in at least one of the races entered.

Prepare to experience an incredible sporting moment which begins on Sunday November 10, 2024 and ends, according to forecasts, on Friday March 7, 2025.

You are now knowledgeable about the Vendée Globe and ready to follow all its news for the next edition. The Vendée also has magnificent beaches, numerous museums, castles, churches to visit and gastronomy to discover. Take advantage of the Vendée Globe to escape to Vendée.


Did you like our article? Find others on the Guide de la Vendée Blog ! Find us also on the Guide de la Vendée Facebook Page and on our Instagram account @guidedelavendee



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