In a fortnight’s time, on Saturday 15 October, the official Vendée Globe race village will open its doors in Les Sables d’Olonne. For three weeks, in the run-up to start day on 6 November, Port Olona will echo to the rhythm of the Vendée Globe as it welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors. With some 37 days until the start of the eighth solo round the world race without stopovers, the first three competitors are already alongside the legendary Vendée Globe pontoon. They comprise Rich Wilson (Great American IV), Nandor Fa (Spirit of Hungary) and Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline). From the South of France, Kito de Pavant, is currently delivering his boat to Les Sables, where he’s set to arrive next week.
From then on there will be a steady stream of arrivals as the 29 sailors entered in the race are obliged to tie up their boats to the Port Olona pontoon by 14 October at the latest. The die is cast then after a long phase of preparation. Right now, every minute counts for the solo sailors and their teams. The schedules are tight and it’s imperative to find a balance between the final preparations and the need to conserve oneself before taking the plunge.