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Super Anarchist


huey 2

Super Anarchist

Francis Le Goff, Race Director of the Arctic Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne 2022

Vendee Globe. ARCTIC VENDÉE Les Sables-d'Olonne 2022: details from the Race Director

May 20, 2022Last updated: May 20, 2022

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ARCTIC VENDÉE Les Sables-d'Olonne 2022: details from the Race Director

Francis Le Goff, the Vendée Arctic Race Director, provided many details on the skippers who will take the start of the Vendée Arctic.
But he also brought interesting revelations and details on the weather part of the Race, on the two passage gates, on plan B in the event of strong sea and weather conditions (see video below).

Previously, Alain Leboeuf, president of the Vendée Departmental Council, recalled “how the department was likely to organize the most beautiful offshore races.
We want to be a real national and international reference,” he added.

He indicated that among the five qualifying races for the Vendée Globe, two were organized by the SAEM Vendée Globe (Editor’s note: below in bold):
– the Vendée  Arctic  on June 12,
– the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe in November 2022,
– the Return to Base in November 2023,
– the Transat CIC in May 2024
– and the New York Vendée  in July 2024.

With the principle of ocean racing, solo and without assistance, as its DNA.


The choice of the end of June makes it possible to attract tourists to the Vendée during periods which are less busy than July-August (Note of the Review: the "wings" of the season: May-June / September-October).

Alain Leboeuf also indicated that more and more skippers were now settling in Vendée: Arnaud Boissières for a long time, but also Benjamin Dutreux, Manuel Cousin, Denis Van Weynbergh (Belgium), Rodolphe Sepho (Guadeloupe).
These are strong encouragements for the Vendée and Les Sables d'Olonne for the launch of offshore races.

Arctic Vendée, an alternation with the Vendée Globe
The Arctic Vendée, first launched by the Imoca class, has since been taken over by the Saem Vendée Globe, in collaboration with the Imoca.
The Vendée Arctique will take place every four years, alternating with the Vendée Globe, and with the same principles: solo, non-stop, without assistance.
In training form before embarking on the deep end of the Vendée Globe. It is of course qualifying and allows skippers to add 3500 miles to the courses required to be selected for the Vendée Globe.
Remember that the maximum number of competitors for the Vendée Globe 2024 has been set at 40!
It will be a tough, sporty, demanding race in generally strong seas.

An innovative route
The route is innovative, leaving from Les Sables d'Olonne, passing off Brittany then a tour of Iceland, and returning to Les Sables.
The outline of Iceland with the crossing of the line of the "Arctic Polar Circle" is a first!
(during Arctic 2020, skippers were unable to circumnavigate Iceland due to very bad weather conditions and the presence of icebergs).

Revelations and icebergs
For the revelations and the weather, just watch the Clerk of the Course video which gives all the details (video below).
We know that for the Vendée Globe, a moving safety line has been put in place so as not to enter very dangerous areas of icebergs in the South Seas.

But for this Arctic Vendée, both the Race Director, Francis Le Goff and Alain Leboeuf spoke of a certain freedom to be left to the skippers.
Here is what Alain Leboeuf says: “It's about breaking the boundaries of the possible, there will be beautiful images and no doubt cold sweats for the skippers. The plateau will be raised with experienced sailors and for others the means to develop it. »

“There will be no new boats: most are being built for the 2024 Vendée Globe and the few that are built are not yet ready to face such an event. We should also point
out that there will be a certain balance between foilers and without foils: the fleet is made up of 14 IMOCAs with foils , and  11 IMOCAs with straight daggerboards .
This will be an opportunity in a particular race to see if the foilers will really take advantage of their technical advantage??!!

Video of Francis Le Goff, Director of the Vendée Arctic Race


The departure will be given on Sunday June 12 at 5:00 p.m. The 25 skippers will then face 3,500 miles of a committed and unprecedented course, which will take them on a discovery of racing navigation on the Arctic Circle .
The presentation of the Trophies will take place on June 26, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.


17 of the 25 skippers entered competed in the  Vendée  Globe; 15 took the start on November 8, 2020. 8 sailors are therefore launched in the race for their first  Vendée  Globe.

The skippers of the 2022 Arctic Vendée

The "seasoned"  Vendée  Globe (17 skippers):

They raced the 9th edition in 2020 (15 skippers): Fabrice Amedeo (Nexans – Art & Windows), Romain Attanasio (Fortinet – Best Western), Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline), Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée), Manuel Cousin (Sétin Group), Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Benjamin Dutreux (Guyot Environnement – Water Family), Pip Hare (Medallia), Isabelle Joschke (MACSF), Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group), Alan Roura (Hublot) , Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut), Damien Seguin (Apicil Group), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One).
Among them, two female skippers: Pip Hare (Medallia), Isabelle Joschke (MACSF)

They raced the 8th edition in 2016 (2 skippers):
Éric Bellion (Comme un homme powered by Altavia), Conrad Colman (Imagine).

The “Rookies” who dream of their 1st  Vendée  Globe in 2024 (8 skippers):
Antoine Cornic (Ebac Literie), Louis Duc (Fives – Lantana Environnement), Benjamin Ferré (Benjamin sends Pépin), Nicolas Lunven (Banque Populaire), Sébastien Marsset (Cap Agir Ensemble), Guirec Soudée (, Szabolcs Weöres (Hungarian, Szabi Racing), Denis Van Weynbergh (Belgian, Laboratoires de Biarritz).

The Plateau Sportif in figures:
– 25 participants  including 2 female skippers (Pip Hare and Isabelle Joschke)
– 8 international skippers  : Szabolcs Weöres (Hungarian), Denis Van Weynbergh (Belgian), Pip Hare (British), Isabelle Joschke (French-German ), Giancarlo Pedote (Italian), Alan Roura (Swiss), Kojiro Shiraishi (Japanese), Conrad Colman (American and New Zealander).
– 10 nationalities represented , through the game of binationalities: France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, United States.
– The fleet is made up of 14 IMOCAs with foils , and  11 IMOCAs with straight daggerboards .

In line with the Vendée  Globe, the  Arctic Vendée  embraces its popular vocation. The festivities will begin with the great parade of  Vendée  Globe skippers, which will take place on  Friday June 3, from 9.30 p.m. The SAEM  Vendée  really wanted to thank and celebrate its skippers for the 2020-2021 edition, which could not be done last year, due to health restrictions. This festive parade on the embankment of Les Sables d'Olonne will conclude with a pyro-musical show by Jacques Couturier, around 11 p.m., visible from the Grande Plage. 

Village of the Arctic Vendée 2022

– The  departure village , accessible to all, will be open from  Saturday June 4, 2022 at 10 a.m.  to Sunday June 12 with the 25 boats moored at the pontoon.

From June 15, it will reopen, transformed into a  race village . It will be the anchor point for the public and the place to welcome skippers on their arrival. Entertainment and information throughout the day.

–  Discover  : the spaces of the Department of  Vendée ,  Vendée  Tourism and other actors of the village will accompany the discovery of the race, sports projects and territories.

The Arctic theme  will be at the  heart of the event  with a photo exhibition on the Arctic  by Florian Ledoux, the presence of Under the Pole and Pure Ocean with their awareness stands.

–  Entertainment  : a 200 m2 synthetic ice rink, Virtual Regatta Inshore challenges open to the public, daily quizzes and, from June 15, remote-controlled sailboat races and a waterball challenge will give the village its playful dimension. V concerts, as well as the music festival on June 21, will help to highlight the festive spirit of the village.

–  Get informed  : The Lives will also be in the heart of the village with daily round tables at 3 p.m. and the Live pontoon with the skippers at 7 p.m. which will keep its schedule during the race with daily Lives from the village stage with the skippers at sea.

5 dates to note:
– June 3, 9:30 p.m.: the big parade of  Vendée  Globe 2020-2022 skippers.
– June 4:
* 10:00 a.m.: Opening of the departure village to the public.
* 5:00 p.m.: Runs in the Baie des Sables.
* 9.30 p.m.: Presentation of the skippers on the village stage.

– Around June 22: First expected arrivals
– June 12, 5:00 p.m.: Departure from the  Vendée  Arctique  – Les Sables d'Olonne.
– June 26, 5:00 p.m.: Presentation of trophies

In addition to the imperative of sporting qualification, there is also that of selection: because to be one of the 40 starters in the  Vendée  Globe 2024, you will have to have run the most miles in the races of the IMOCA GLOBE SERIES Championship.

Previous post

The SAEM Vendée has just formalized the choice of Francis Le Goff as Race Director of the "Vendée Arctic - Les Sables-d'Olonne", 1st qualifying  stage for the Vendée Globe 2024 

  • The event village will last 3 weeks: from Saturday June 4 to Sunday June 26 
  • The 2020 Vendée Globe Skippers Parade will take place on Friday June 3, 2022 from 10 p.m.

Headline photo:
The President of SAEM Vendée Alain LEBOEUF, the Mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne Yannick MOREAU.
In the 2nd row: Laura LE GOFF, General Manager of the SAEM Vendée and Francis LE GOFF, Course Director of the Vendée Arctic – Les Sables d'Olonne.

An experienced Race Direction for a race with an extreme and innovative course

With the support of the Department of Vendée and the city of Les Sables d'Olonne, SAEM Vendée, the organizing company of the Vendée Globe, will organize the "Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne" which will leave from Port Olona on June 12, 2022.

This first qualifying leg of 3,500 miles will be an opportunity for the skippers of the Vendée Globe 2024 to navigate the stormy seas of the Far North. This is the first time they will cross the Arctic Circle and circumnavigate Iceland.

Vendée Arctic Les Sables-d'Olonne

In order to ensure the sporting follow-up of this demanding event, the SAEM Vendée has chosen Francis Le Goff to act as Race Director.

Involved in race management teams for more than 20 years, Francis Le Goff now has solid experience of major ocean racing events. From semaphore shift manager to coach, from League Director to Race Director, he has acquired nautical skills over the years by having a multi-faceted approach to the sea.

On the Solitaire du Figaro from 2017 to 2021, the Transat en Double Concarneau-Saint-Barthélemy in 2019 and 2021, on the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe 2018 or even more recently on the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre 2021, he has accumulated the high-level experiences.

He will also be able to rely on a seasoned team to carry out his mission:

  • Yann CHATEAU:  Sailor still in activity having won several titles of champion of France and Europe in Match-Racing, he is also a navigator and a router. His technical skill has been supplemented over the years by a good mastery of the different facets of Offshore Racing. True right arm of Francis Le Goff for several years, they have collaborated on many races: Solitaire du Figaro from 2017 to 2021, Tour Voile 2021, Transat Jacques Vabre 2021.

  • Claire RENOU:  After more than 10 years at OC Sport Pen Duick serving sailors, ensuring nautical coordination and integrating the Race Direction teams, Claire became independent to broaden her range of skills. She notably supported Jacques Caraës on the last Vendée Globe, but also participated in many Race Directions: La Solitaire du Figaro 2019 and 2018, Transat AG2R 2018, Route du Rhum 2018.

  • Pierre HAYS:  Passionate about ocean racing from a very young age, helping out during the Transat Jacques Vabre. His thoroughness, his skills in terms of securing the body of water and his knowledge of the IMOCA class make Pierre an asset in the Race Direction team. He also supported Jacques Caraës in the last Vendée Globe, but also took part in various Race Directions: Solitaire du Figaro 2020, Transat Jacques Vabre 2021.


    3 weeks of village and entertainment: from June 4 to 26
     The Vendée Arctic village - Les Sables d'Olonne will open its doors to the public on Saturday June 4 at 10 a.m. with many activities on the program and the IMOCAs moored at the pontoon of Port Olona. The public will be able to come and discover the IMOCAs from June 4 to 12, the Departure date. Animations on the theme of the Arctic will be organized throughout the 3 weeks of the village. Spectators will be able to follow the race live, attend Lives with the skippers and participate in various animations until the arrivals and the ceremony. closing ceremony organized on Sunday 26 June.

Vendée Globe Skippers Parade: Friday 3 June

The opportunity will finally be given to organize a big popular party to commune with the heroes of the Vendée Globe 2020, as planned, but finally postponed due to the health context.

This Skippers Parade will take place on the Remblai des Sables d'Olonne on Friday June 3 from 10 p.m. and will be punctuated by fireworks visible from the main beach.

“We are delighted to be able to count on the professionalism of Francis Le Goff and his team to ensure the Race Direction of the Vendée Arctique – Les Sables-d'Olonne. His experience will be invaluable in setting up this innovative and sportingly committed racing format, while ensuring optimal safety for sailors.
We will be keen to offer a festive and convivial event which will begin with a great Parade of Skippers of the Vendée Globe 2020, on Friday June 3 at 10 p.m. »
Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and President of the Department of Vendée

“With the appointment of this experienced Race Direction, a new step has been taken in the organization of the Arctic Vendée, which we look forward to welcoming to Les Sables d'Olonne. The Department and the City are working hand in hand to make this event a major event and further assert the place of Les Sables d'Olonne as the world capital of single-handed offshore racing. »
Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne and President of the Urban Community of Les Sables d'Olonne

“It is with great pride and great responsibility that I have been entrusted with the Race Direction of the Vendée Arctic – Les Sables d'Olonne. I would like to thank Alain Leboeuf and his teams for their trust. I am very happy to be able to contribute to this race, which is both innovative and demanding, towards the Arctic Circle. »
Francis Le Goff, Race Director of the Arctic Vendée



Benjamin Ferre has secured a sponsor (Monnoyeur, who import Caterpillar in France etc). VPLP 2010, is it Le Cleach's winning hull ?



Found the answer: 

This particular IMOCA monohull has surely won the most accolades of her generation: designed in 2011 for François Gabart, she finished fourth in the Transat Jacques Vabre (with Sébastien Col), then won the BtoB return transatlantic race before taking the win in the Vendée Globe 2012-2013, then the Route du Rhum 2014.

Taken over by Paul Meilhat, the ex-Macif, rechristened SMA, suffered a few troubles, particularly during the Transat Jacques Vabre (with Michel Desjoyeaux) and above all in the return solo passage as the skipper was injured and the boat abandoned. Recovered again after a series of incidents, the monohull was returned to her former glory and finished fourth in The Transat and the New York-Vendée, but during the Vendée Globe 2016-2017, Paul Meilhat was forced to divert to Tahiti after her keel ram broke. After several podiums and victories, the skipper of SMA rounded off his time on the boat with a victorious Route du Rhum 2018, the boat having been sold to Banque Populaire. Following a selection process, Clarisse Crémer skippered her to sixth place in Brazil (with Armel Le Cléac’h) in 2019 and 12th of the Vendée Globe in 2020-21. Retaining her original configuration, Banque Populaire X has no foils…