While many sailors have decided to entrust their boat’s return passage to their teams or have opted to have them shipped home, others have begun the return delivery trip with shorthanded or alone.


NB: the boats are not racing, they are on a delivery trip. You can track their positions here but they haven’t all left at the same time so the cartography is for information purposes only to show you where they are.
This eastbound Atlantic crossing is far from insignificant for the sailors who have to improve their singlehanded skills and rack up miles in order to qualify for the 2020 Vendée Globe.
After only a few days’ rest, some skippers are headed back to France while others are making for the Cape Verde Islands. This return delivery is a whole new experience for some skippers, who will be sailing solo on their boat for the first time. This is the case for Clarisse Cremer sailing Banque Populaire X, "I've only done ‘fake solo’ so far in IMOCA. I am a little apprehensive about the physical exertion required. When you make a mistake singlehanded, it's much harder to make up for it. The goal is to learn how to be all alone on the boat.

This return delivery trip has some very precise objectives. Indeed, the passage is also a good opportunity to size up your performance, to find your own pace in solo format and to pinpoint the improvements required on your boat before starting the winter refit. For Thomas Ruyant, skipper of Advens for Cybersecurity, "this passage will allow the team and I to gain a better understanding of one other this winter when we discuss this or that modification on site. The wishlist is long and focuses on foils, ergonomics, reliability and electronics... We have to validate all these points before winter, give the boat a good refit and get off to a solid start when we attack 2020..."

Charlie Dalin, winner of the 14thedition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, has also decided not to wait until the next transatlantic race to get a grasp of how his boat handles alone, but this return transatlantic passage is also an opportunity for the sailors to validate their qualification for the 2020 Vendée Globe (2000 miles to be covered alone). 

Meantime, the objective on 11th Hour Racing is very different. Indeed, the team is not preparing for the Vendée Globe but for The Ocean Race, which will start in 2021. As such, Amaury Ross, a media man who has competed in The Ocean Race three times, has joined Mark Towill and Charlie Enright in delivering the boat back to Brittany.