Every four years in November, thousands of visitors flock to the marina at the Sables d'Olonne to attend the departures of the famous Vendée Globe. Founded in 1989, this solo sailing race is known for being one of the toughest challenges in the world. Of the twenty to thirty participants, only two-thirds cross the finish line.
In just under three months, the navigators aboard their powerful monohull sailboats must travel around 45,000 km and pass the three Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn. The route has many difficulties, with dangerous passages due to violent winds, glacial cold and icebergs.
For the entire duration of the race, the skippers are not allowed any assistance except in a medical emergency. They have to deal with unforeseen circumstances themselves and adjust their sail or perform technical operations on their own boat. The winner is the first to cross the finish line at the Sables d'Olonne.