Vendée-Arctique Les Sables d’Olonne skippers celebrate their success

Les Sables d’Olonne put together all of the key ingredients to honour the solo skippers of the second edition of the Vendée Arctique Les Sables. The public turned out in significant numbers to greet the skippers and mark their endeavours. They shouted and cheered for all 20 of the sailors who turned out in Les Sables d’Olonne. and the skippers clearly enjoyed getting back together, sharing their experiences of an eventful, tough race and to greet the Vendée public.

The overall winner Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) was crowned and, equally, there were cheers for local skippers Manuel Cousin (SÉTIN Group) and Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline), who were forced to retire. Although Britain’s Pip Hare had dropped her IMOCA Medallia back at her base in Poole, England (it would have made no sense to ‘pass her house’ and then have to sail back again to England) she and her team travelled to Les Sables d’Olonne and the English solo skipper was accorded a big welcome.

A short and intense 2nd edition
On Friday June 17, shortly after Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) passed through the Iceland gate (the virtual mark in the South East of the island), the race organisation decided to make this gate, located at latitude 64° North, the finish line of the Vendée Arctic because of a big, active depression which was spread over a substantial part of the course. And so as part of the fleet finds itself in the middle of a brutal storm with gusts to 55 and 60kts, Charlie Dalin was confirmed as winner, his second consecutive solo victory of the 2022 IMOCA season. Jérémie Beyou (Charal), winner of the first edition in July 2020 took second place. The podium was completed by Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut).

The passion of the Les Sablais spectators is immediately rekindled
After a 2020/2021 Vendée Globe starts and finish behind closed doors the sense of loyalty and anticipation were high among Vendée fans. Rewarded with this new midsummer race it was not really a surprise that thousands of these ocean and adventure lovers and fans of ocean racing turned out to applaud their favorite skippers, be they past Vendée Globe competitors or indeed newcomers to IMOCA. Nearly 70,000 people made the trip to enjoy the race village, the entertainment or to watch the start and the return of boats from the Port Olona pontoon.

Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and of the Department of Vendée: “The Vendée is proud to have organised such an exceptional race, an extraordinary race, a preparation race for the Everest of the seas, the Vendée Globe which will take place in two years. We would like to thank the public, on behalf of all the fellow departmental advisers, on behalf of the Vendée in general. This was our first organisation open to the public and we wanted to make it a popular festival for the people of Vendée but also for the tourists who come in large numbers to our area.

“More than 70,000 visitors have come to the village since the village opened and the event has been broadcast in 190 countries around the world, as in the Vendée Globe. The Vendée will continue to be this great organizing department for single-handed and ocean races. It is now part of the reputation of our department and we will cultivate it. The Vendée is therefore world famous!”

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