With a year to go, the Vendée Globe is hanging out the 'No Vacancies' sign


_uacct = “UA-2741544-1”;
Oddly, it wasn’t until I was on the way to Paris today that I finally thought ‘Wait a minute. What are we all doing going to a press conference for an event that doesn’t start for another 13 months?’

To be honest, I still don’t have an answer to that. I really have no idea why the organisers of the 2008 Vendée Globe chose to set out their stall so incredibly early, except perhaps to lever the profound importance of the event in France. The proof of that was a huge hall packed full of people, standing room only.

So it’s a long way off, but the Vendée Globe is almost at max capacity on the water as well. While other races struggle to garner the promised number of competitors, this one is teetering on the edge of over-supply.

The organisers want to cap it at 27 entries and there are already 25, 16 of them new boats. One more new build is under way for Marc Thiercelin; another sponsor is on the verge of committing. That takes it right to the limit, and still they keep coming.

An unprecedented eight entries are English-speaking: Mike Golding, Dee Caffari, Alex Thomson Jonny Malbon, Sam Davies, Steve White, American Rich Wilson and Canadian Derek Hatfield. Brian Thompson is rumoured to be another potential candidate. It’s going to be epic.

And in the even longer term? The organisers want to see a larger and more international field still. Two plans under discussion are a race to New York and to Sydney to drum up business, a sort of Vendée Globe road show if you like.