Retour à La Base


Start date


FormatCrew racing in 2021 and solo in 2023
Race trackAntilles-Lorient
Race directorNC
OrganizerLorient Grand Large & IMOCA
IMOCA reference timePrysmian Group, Giancarlo Pedote : 9 jours 23 heures et 43 minutes


The idea is to turn the ‘Retour à La Base’ into a singlehanded event that forms part of the IMOCA Globe Series Championship in November 2023, where it will serve as a qualifier for the Vendée Globe 2024-25.

A proposal for a ‘return rally’ between Martinique and Lorient from November 2021

This November, with the majority of IMOCAs docking in at Fort de France in Martinique, the finish venue for the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, Lorient Grand Large is organising a return rally via the sea in double-handed or crewed configuration, the premise of an even more ambitious project in two years’ time.

The principle is simple. A start line set to the north of the island will be open for a few days from 27 November so that each participant can set sail whenever they like. The stopwatch will be activated as the boat crosses the start line and stop upon their passage of the finish line at the entrance to the port of Lorient. The crews who make the fastest passage times will be rewarded. Over the course of their Atlantic passage, the progress of the boats will be able to be directly tracked on a cartography with a rich seam of information being sent from on-board by each crew. The proposal is intended to be nice and easy for the sailors to implement, with the aim of stretching out this fine 2021 sailing season a little further.

“The Retour à La Base 2021 is essentially a ‘warm up’ for the singlehanded race in 2023, which will be a key step in a sailor qualifying for the Vendée Globe the following year. Lorient Agglomération has asserted its wish to include Lorient as a venue for hosting major offshore races. As such, creating its own singlehanded transatlantic race for IMOCAs with long-term aims to repeat it again and again is something we’re very keen to pull off. In 2021, it will be a friendly ‘rally’, enabling us to lay down the foundations of our future ambitions. Naturally, we’re delighted that several teams have already confirmed their participation,” explains Jean-Philippe CAU, President of Lorient Grand Large.