The IMOCA 60, famous for being the elite class for the Vendée Globe solo, non-stop round the world race, and soon to be famous as a new class for the fully crewed The Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race), is an infrequent sight in North America.
But after the inaugural Transat New York – Vendée attracted 14 boats, 20 to 25 skippers are anticipated for the start of the second edition on June 16, 2020. The 3100 nm test will offer a good view of these offshore machines as they start off Manhattan and exit under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge toward the French finish line.
More so, the Transat New York – Vendée now has a fixed slot in the four-year IMOCA Globe Series, a circuit of shorthanded races that next year culminates with the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe, at the end of which the IMOCA Globe Series world championship title will be awarded.
Following on from Jérémie Beyou’s (Maître CoQ) win in 2016 in 9 days, 16 hours, 57 minutes and 49 seconds, the 2020 race promises to be a top-flight match gathering together the majority of the skippers signed up for the 9th edition of the Vendée Globe.
“Crossing the North Atlantic in June generally offers up ideal conditions,” explains Antoine Mermod, President of the IMOCA Class: “This transatlantic will serve as a genuine ‘warm-up’ prior to the singlehanded round the world race. Having just participated in The Transat, the competitors will have attained a fairly high level of preparation, which bodes well for a top-rate competition.
“A lot of transatlantic races set sail from France, but the Transat New York – Vendée is unique in that it’s the only one to finish in France, in the Vendée region. The finish in the famous channel into Les Sables is sure to be a very emotional moment once again.”
The challenge of the course begins immediately as was seen in 2016 when a number of competitors collided with unidentified floating objects (UFOs). Five skippers (Yann Eliès, Armel Le Cléac’h, Morgan Lagravière, Jean-Pierre Dick and Pieter Heerema), had to divert to Newport (USA) to effect repairs. One of the favourites, Armel Le Cléac’h would be forced to retire from the race.
At the end of this Atlantic sprint, it was Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) who took the win in the Vendée, ahead of Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) who completed the podium.
The list of potential participants in 2020 are: Fabrice Amedeo, Romain Attanasio, Alexia Barrier, Yannick Bestaven, Jeremy Beyou, Conrad Colman, Manuel Cousin, Clarisse Cremer, Charlie Dalin, Samantha Davis, Benjamin Dutreux, Kevin Escoffier, Clément Giroud, Pip Hare, Boris Herrmann, Ari Hussela, Isabelle Joschke, Stéphane Le Diraison, Erik Nigon, Giancarlo Pedote, Yoann Richomme, Alan Roura, Thomas Ruyant, Damien Seguin, Kojiro Shiraishi, Sébastien Simon, Maxime Sorel, Alex Thomson, Armel Tripon, Nicolas Troussel, Denis Van Weynbergh.
Published on July 22nd, 2019