The route takes the fleet from the east coast of France, round the southern tip of Africa, passing underneath Australia and then up the east coast of South America and back to France. Taking place every four years, the race is nicknamed the ‘Everest of sailing.’
One of the brave sailors is Sebastien Destremau on a boat named Merci. The 56-year-old previously took part in the 2016 race, finishing last and encountering many problems in his 124-day trial. He eventually finished 50 days after the winner crossed the line, 9,000 miles behind.
“In the Vendée Globe you have to sail solo, you cannot stop, you cannot step off the boat or go on land, nobody is allowed to come on board, no assistance,” explains Destremau, who represented France at the 1992 Olympics and has competed in four America’s Cups. “You must deal with everything nature can throw at you. But the difficulty of the event is the beauty of it.”
On November 8 this year, just before setting sail in his 18-metre Imoca Monohull craft, he said, “There will be some great stories and we’re going to experience it in a super intense way.”
Destremau looked back on his race debut in 2016 with EDGAR and recalled the moment that set him on his nautical quest. He also spoke about what happens when you break your ribs alone on a boat, and the crucial piece of kit he forgot to take on board.