The final list of entrants is unveiled in Paris

20 yachtsmen will be at the start of the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe on 10 November in Les Sables d’Olonne. The final entrants list was unveiled today at Paris’ Maison de la Mutualité by Vendée General Council President Bruno Retailleau. The list includes Zbigniew Gutkowski, the last entrant and the first Polish skipper to take up the single-handed non-stop round-the-world challenge without any assistance.

With less than 50 days to go until the world’s greatest solo yachting race starts, the names of the twenty candidates who will be crossing the start line are:

Jérémie BEYOU (FRA/Maître CoQ)
Louis BURTON (FRA/Bureau Vallée)
Samantha DAVIES (GBR/Savéol)
Bertrand DE BROC (FRA/Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projets)
Tanguy DE LAMOTTE (FRA/Initiatives-coeur)
Kito DE PAVANT (FRA/Groupe Bel)
Alessandro DI BENEDETTO (FRA-ITA, Team Plastique)
Jean-Pierre DICK (FRA/Virbac-Paprec 3)
Mike GOLDING (GBR/Gamesa)
Jean LE CAM (FRA/SynerCiel)
Armel LE CLEAC’H (FRA/Banque Populaire)
Vincent RIOU (FRA/PRB)
Javier SANSO (ESP/ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered)
Bernard STAMM (SUI/Cheminées Poujoulat)
Dominique WAVRE (SUI/Mirabaud)

The organisers are happy with the final number, claiming it exceptional given the current economic climate, and consistent with the average number of Vendée Globe competitors in the previous six editions.

“This year, the Vendée is bringing a truly exceptional crew on board,” explained Bruno Retailleau. “Up-and-coming sailors of the new generation will do their best to vie with older master mariners in a sea battle between traditional and modern yachtsmen that promises epic fights.”

It is an exceptionally international fleet, featuring sailors from six different nationalities, strengthened significantly by Poland’s Zbigniew Gutkowski.

As the last skipper to register, Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski (39), supported by electricity producer and operator ENERGA, has become the first Pole to compete in the Vendée Globe. He had also been the first Polish skipper to single-handedly sail around the world and finished second of last year’s Velux 5 Oceans race. His peers voted him Polish Yachtsman of the year. “I’m very proud to be part of this adventure and finishing under 100 days would make me really happy,” he said.

The Village in Les Sables d’Olonne opens on 20 October. Until then you can find out more about the skippers by visiting the Vendee Globe website.