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Presentation of the IMOCA Class


Founded in 1991 and recognised by ISAF (International Sailing Federation) since 1998, IMOCA (International Monohull Ocean Racing Association) is the class association, which takes care of 60-foot Open monohulls (18.28 metres). With more than thirty skippers signed up, its championship is the Globe Series and includes two round the world races and several ocean races.

The IMOCA class aims to make ocean racing more international and it brings together ideas about competitions, innovation, human adventure and safety.


The goals of the IMOCA class are to develop the fleet of 60-foot monohulls and to offer skippers an attractive and coherent programme.
IMOCA defines the rules ensuring fairness, while encouraging innovation and developing the safety of the boats.
Most of the races are solo and double-handed and its world championship rewards exceptional sailors, who race on the most difficult seas in the world.
As it has developed, IMOCA has always paid particular attention to encouraging greater respect for the environment, with renewable energy not merely seen as a resource, but also an important element in terms of performance.

IMOCA Globe Series

IMOCA Globe Series

  • Officially launched in June 2018, the IMOCA Globe Series consists of a four-year solo and double-handed race program (2018-2021).
  • At the end of this program is awarded the title of IMOCA World Champion to the skipper with the highest number of points over the period.
  • IMOCA Globe Series 2018-2021 program is as follows:
    • Monaco Globe Series (1-8 June 2018) : double-handed, coefficient 2
    • Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe (start 4 November 2018) : solo-handed, coefficient 4
    • Race announced in June 2018 (start spring 2019): double-handed, coefficient 2
    • Transat Jacques-Vabre (start October/November 2019) : double-handed, coefficient 3
    • The Transat (start May 10, 2020): solo-handed, coefficient 4
    • New York-Vendée (start June 2020): solo-handed, coefficient 4
    • Vendée Globe (start 8 November 2020) : solo-handed, coefficient 10

The Vendée Globe

  • The Vendée Globe is the flagship race of IMOCA program: a single-handed, non-stop and unsupported world tour.
  • Since 1989, It takes place every 4 years, starting from Les Sables d'Olonne.
  • The next edition will see 30 skippers leaving on November 8, 2020.
  • The IMOCA Globe Series races are qualifying for the Vendée Globe.



The IMOCA gathers between 60 and 80 members according to the years:

  • Full members: skippers with a project running.
  • Associated members: skippers with no current project, team managers, technical directors, partners, boat owners, designers, race organizers

The roles of the IMOCA Class


  • Management of the IMOCA 60 boats rules
  • Management of standardized elements of the boats
  • Definition of a racing program, the IMOCA Globe Series.
  • Promotion of the boats, the class and its program.
  • Defending the interests of the class with race organizers, national and international bodies, insurers and joint service providers.
  • Organization of the New York-Vendée (2020) transatlantic, which its owns

An International Organisation that is a reference

The IMOCA class was set up under the impulse of 50 and 60 foot monohull racers and more precisely, Isabelle Autissier, Alain Gautier, Christophe Auguin and Jean-Luc Van den Heede, who after a testing 1996-1997 Vendée Globe, felt the need to create a common platform and rules bringing together racers, which would allow them to make progress, both in terms of racing and in the area of safety.
To make things perfectly clear, IMOCA focused on the leading class, in other words the Open 60 monohulls. The IMOCA class then organised itself so that today it is the reference partner for the organisers of major ocean racing events. With the support of the French Sailing Federation, IMOCA is now recognised by ISAF, the international organisation, which coordinates sailing activities around the world.

Innovation and responsible development

The racers within IMOCA play an ongoing role in these technological laboratories that the IMOCA monohulls represent. Modifications to class rules mean that remarkable progress has been made in the area of boat safety (righting and stability tests, the development of passive safety, emergency hatches,…) contributing to improvements in living conditions and safety on board. But the Class is also involved in research and the development of sustainable and responsible solutions. The first to witness the effects of climate change and committed to the need to respect the environment, IMOCA skippers contribute to this each day with the development and research into solutions to find alternative energy sources (hydrogenerators, wind turbines, solar energy, fuel cells), leading to the development of hybrid solutions and the construction of boats that are designed to last.

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