Vendée Globe 2020 Departure Confirmed

Rib support boat

2020 has sadly seen cancellation of major sailing regattas including Round the Island Race, America’s Cup, SailGP and Cowes Week… however the Board of Directors of SAEM Vendée has issued some fantastic news this week, confirming the departure of the ninth edition Vendée Globe!

The race, which takes place every four years, begins and finishes in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, and will depart at 13.02pm on the 8th November 2020.

‘The 24,000 nautical mile solo, non-stop, unassisted round the world race is a true showcase of design, technology, and on-water aptitude, one which has only ever been won by a French Sailor.’ (Alex Thomson).


The first Vendée Globe set off on the 26th November 1989. Founded by French yachtsman Philippe Jeantot, who, after his double victory in the BOC Challenge (around the world solo with stopovers), decided to set up a new round the world, non-stop race, which he felt would be the ultimate challenge for single-handed sailors.

Over the past eight editions of the Vendée Globe, 167 competitors have started the race, which only 89 of them have managed to cross the finish line.

The Course

The course is a circumnavigation starting from Les Sables d’Olonne, down the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope; then clockwise around Antarctica, keeping Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port; then back to Les Sables d’Olonne.


Only 50% of sailors who begin the race are expected to reach the finish line.

Since 2012, Solent Rib Charter have been supporting Alex Thomson on his quest to win the iconic Vendée Globe! In 2013, Alex Thomson finished the race in third place, four years later Alex set a new British record and reached the finish line in second.

We’re looking forward to heading back to France in November to support the Alex Thomson Racing team at the start of the ninth edition Vendée Globe.