Around the World. Solo. Non-stop.
The ultimate adventure
The Vendée Globe Challenge
On Sunday, November 6th, 2020, more than 350,000 spectators lined the channel and the beaches of Les Sables d’Olonne, France, for the start of the Eighth Edition of the Vendée Globe. Twenty-nine intrepid skippers set out on this nonstop, solo race around the world, assisted by 42 Highfield RIBS, ensuring a safe kick-off to the event.
This epic race has been hailed as the world’s greatest sailing challenge, since the skippers must complete the approximately 28,000-mile circumnavigation single-handed and without assistance. This climate-busting voyage will take the racers through the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, then back to the Atlantic, experiencing both summer and winter weather, wind and waves, storms and possibly doldrums, as they transit the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.
The Vendée Globe has its roots in the 1969 Golden Globe race, which required the participants to circumnavigate via Capes Leeuwin, Good Hope and Horn. That race was won by British sailor Robin after 313 days at sea. In 1989, Philippe Jeantot introduced the idea of a new race around the world that not only would be solo but also nonstop, and the Vendée Globe was born.
In the eight editions of the race so far, 167 sailors have crossed the starting line, but only 89 have finished, demonstrating its extreme degree of difficulty. The last edition of the Vendee Globe, held in 2017, was won by French sailor Armel LeCléac’h, who set a new record of 74 days. That is the time to beat for the 29 participants in the current race – if they make it back to Les Sables d’Olonne at all. For those who do, our Highfield RIBS be on hand to welcome them!