In an exclusive interview with Philippe de Villiers announces new singlehanded transatlantic race

In an exclusive interview with Philippe de Villiers – President Conseil General de Vendee (President of the Vendee Globe) has announced a new Open 60 singlehanded transatlantic race that will take place in two year’s time.

According to de Villiers, whose initial idea it was, the race will take place every two years, in between the start of the Vendee Globe. “The plan,” said Villiers, “is that the race would be almost like a training event for the Vendee. It wouldn’t be a qualification to the Vendee but it would be part of build up to the race.”

“At the moment we have the Vendee Globe and then there’s nothing. By introducing and funding this race we are going to build a specially-designed permanent village, including a training base and workshops making it an important place for international sailing events.

“I want to make it a pull for international yachting events to encourage more people to come to Sables d’Olonne not only to visit but to live.”

Still in its early stages the race has yet to be named. According to de Villiers he wants to decide where the finish port in America will be before he announces the race title.

In the meantime de Villiers is looking forward to firing the start gun for Vendee Globe on Sunday commenting: “This race has never been so well organised. The boats have never been this prepared and we’ve never had so much media attention as we’ve had this time. Sunday will be a memorable occasion.”