Today there are 30 days left until the Vendée Globe 2020 begins. It will be a great and extremely exciting race, that’s for sure. With 33 boats, the circumnavigation of the world starting on the French Atlantic coast is larger than ever before. Six female solo sailors will ensure the strongest female participation in a Vendée Globe to date. The race is also more diverse than ever before among the nations represented.
And Boris Herrmann is the first German sailor to participate. For float, the race will be accompanied and commented on by a very special female circumnavigator: Dee Caffari. We asked her in advance who her favorites for the Vendée Globe are.
In 2006, the exceptional British sailor Dee Caffari was the first woman to sail around the world alone and non-stop against the wind. In 2009, she successfully participated in the Vendée Globe herself and finished sixth – two positions behind Sam Davies, who took part in the same year. The English woman, who has since been awarded the Order of the British Empire, also set the record for being the first woman to have sailed around the world alone and non-stop against the wind in both directions.
Dee Caffari at the helm of the Turn the Tide on Plastic © Beau Outteridge
As chairperson of the World Sailing Trust, she was involved in the study on the advancement of women in international sailing, which was published in 2019. Dee Caffari participated in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018. As skipper of “Turn the Tide on Plastic” she led the youngest team with the strongest female participation in the Volvo Ocean Race.
„It’s great that so many female sailors are taking part“
float: Dee Caffari, how do you think the large number of women who participate in this Vendée Globe comes about?
Dee Caffari: It is funny how we can go from one year with no females to another year with six females. I am not sure why, but I am delighted.
There has always been one or two female entries since the 1996 race and then we had the bad year, 2016, of no female participants. So I am delighted to see so many female sailors take part. It is great for the event, the sport and as inspirational role models to all sailors everywhere.
Samantha Davies/Initiatives Coeur © float/Vendée
Clarisse Cremer/Banque Populaire X © float/Vendée
Alexia Barrier/TSE 4myPlanet © float/Vendée
Isabelle Joschke/MACFS © float/Vendée
Miranda Merron/Campagne de France © float/Vendée
Pip Hare/Medallia © float/Vendée
We have seen a rise in women’s sport and sponsors are seeing the benefit to partnerships with female athletes in all sports and it is good to see that sailing is no different.
Maybe the better sponsorship is also the reason why so many women participate. How do you rate the participants? Who has the best chances?
Wie immer gibt es hier einen sehr spannenden Mix unterschiedlicher Teilnehmer und Teilnehmerinnen. Alle haben ihre eigenen Gründe, bei diesem phänomenalen Event mitzusegeln.
As always there is an eclectic mix of participants. All doing this phenomenal event for their own reasons. Some are there to win at all costs, some are there to be competitive and put in a good performance and some are there for the adventure of a lifetime. All will share their remarkable journeys and we will be enthralled at the highs and lows and be with these sailors every step of the way.