With only ten days to go before the race start, Les Sables d'Olonne's pontoon is getting busier

There are only ten days left before the start of the Vendée Globe. The skippers are turning up one by one in the harbour, while the shore teams are busy making their final touches.

For Delta Dore, which yesterday saw the return of Jérémie Beyou, the atmosphere was fairly quiet: apart from the food, everything has now been stowed. There will be one final sea trip next week to see how the boat behaves now that she is loaded.

It is similarly calm on the deck of Paprec-Virbac 2 where they are sticking on labels. “A little nit-picking, a little bit of fiddling, as there are always possible improvements, but in fact, the boat has been fully ready since late July,” explained Julien Penven. Skipper Jean Pierre Dick added: “I’m in the middle of re-reading the race instructions, going through all the problems that may arise over the course. I have just come back from a few days in Corsica and inland from Nice. I’m feeling calm, yet being kept busy all the time, and I’m very pleased to be back with my team.”

On Roxy, the instruction manuals and procedures are being written down for British entry Sam Davies and one final climb to inspect the mast is planned. In the cockpit of Cheminées Poujoulat they are taking apart the winches. Joff Brown, Dee Caffari’s project leader on Aviva was happy to be on schedule: “We are pretty much there at the moment. I think we maybe have five things left to do on the jobs list and that will be it, all wrapped up tomorrow. Because next week it is all sponsors and media, so it is busy on the boat. Dee will be back and so it will be trying to help build confidence in her.”

These final days spent preparing the boats are also an opportunity to take care of a few little surprises on board, when team members stow away and hide presents that the skippers will dig out at Christmas. Most of the skippers will be back in Les Sables d’Olonne this weekend to make their final preparations.