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Preparing for the longest sporting event in the world

  • A New Course: 4 compulsory film drop points to share their incredible adventure.
  • 11 adventurers are preparing for the longest sporting event in the world, the Golden Globe Race, in Les Sables d’Olonne on March 9 and 10.
  • Les Sables d’Olonne becomes the training base for the world’s longest sporting event
  • The Bay of Les Sables d’Olonne, one of the most beautiful bays in the world

The Golden Globe Race is a single-handed, non-stop round-the-world race, with no assistance, no GPS and no modern electronics on board. The adventure will start on 4 September 2022.

23 sailors from all over the world will embark on an adventure of a lifetime for more than 200 days – away from the rest of the world, navigating with a sextant only.

Les Sables d’Olonne, home of the Vendée Globe and the Spirit of Adventure, is the training base for the longest sporting event in the world.

This retro round-the-world challenge will have many surprises in store for us. It will be a unique experience with highly motivated competitors who will take part in this legendary event to succeed Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Les Sables d’Olonne welcomes all friends of the sea and maritime adventure to one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne and President of the Agglomeration

A new course: 4 compulsory film drop points to share their incredible adventure

In the last edition, the competitors had to go around two compulsory rounding marks: Lanzarote and Hobart.

This year, the course has been modified with two additional marks: Cape Town in South Africa and Punta del Este in Uruguay.

The skippers will be able to drop their recorded videos and photos at these four gates without getting in contact with anyone and without docking, allowing them to share their incredible adventure and us to hear their latest stories.

23 competitors from all over the world ready to fight and become part of the legend

In 1968-1969, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first solo, non-stop, round-the-world race in history, sailing for 312 days.

In 2018, 50 years later, this legendary adventure was reborn in Les Sables d’Olonne for a second edition with the same navigation aids as available in 1968. Famous French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede won the race in 211 days.

Who will succeed these legends who have inspired generations of sailors? 23 sailors of 13 different nationalities are ready to take up the challenge!

Some returnees from the last edition will take up the challenge again, like Turkish sailor Ertan Beskardes or Finnish sailor Tapio Lehtinen, who finished 5th in the 2018-2019 edition after 322 days at sea.

Australian Mark Sinclair, who was forced to stop in 2018, is currently sailing from Australia to France – finishing his one-stop circumnavigation in April this year just to embark again on a new round the world tour with the GGR 2022 in September.

The other entrants will experience the GGR for the first time, but are no less competitive. Most of them have already sailed around the world several times or have participated in the biggest offshore races: Mini Transat, Figaro, Open 60, Clipper 70.

Amongst them, Frenchman Damien Guillou will be racing under the banner of PRB, sponsor of two Vendée Globe winning campaigns.

Seven participants must cross at least one ocean to reach Les Sables d’Olonne: An adventure within the adventure. Preparing the boat for a round-the-world competition is already a challenge, but now they have to bring their boats to the right side of the Atlantic to make the start in Les Sables d’Olonne.

This is the case for Elliott Smith (USA), Gaurav Shinde (Canada), Guy deBoer (USA), Jeremy Bagshaw (South Africa), Matthew Wright (Australia), Kirsten Neuschäfer (South Africa) and Mark Sinclair (Australia).

Les Sables d’Olonne becomes the training base for the world’s longest sporting event

11 of the 23 skippers have arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne for briefings and work sessions organised by Don McIntyre to get prepared for this extraordinary adventure.

Boat preparations, rules, safety, mental and physical preparation – nothing is left to chance. The countdown is on in Port Olona.

From now on, it will not be unusual for the people of Les Sables d’Olonne to come across the international adventurers and admire their yachts sailing up the channel.

The Bay of Les Sables d’Olonne, one of the most beautiful bays in the world

Many were convinced about it already, but it is now official: Les Sables d’Olonne is one of the ‘Most Beautiful Bays in the World‘. Alongside Halong BaySan Francisco Bay and Mont Saint-Michel, the Bay of Les Sables d’Olonne is joining a club of cities committed to preserving and enhancing the beauty of nature.

It is a prestigious label obtained after several stages of rigorous selection by the international association of ‘The Most Beautiful Bays in the World’ which brings together some of the most exceptional coastal sites on the planet.

A legendary bay, symbol of the spirit of adventure, with water sports in its DNA. This is where the big events take place: Vendée ArctiqueVendée GlobeVendée Va’aFrench Surfing ChampionshipsIron Man, Mini Transat.

Other royalty-free visuals available here (©Ville des Sables d’Olonne)


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