Solo round the world race becomes the property of a Vendée consortium for Euro 2 million

The Vendée region of France has formally become the owners of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race, it was announced yesterday. Following proceedings for tax evasion against the race’s founder, Philippe Jeantot, the race was put up for sale and a consortium headed by the Vendée Conseil Général has succeeded in winning the bid.

The new organising company, called SEM Vendée also comprises the town of Les des Sables d’Olonne, from which the next race will start on 7 November, and 28 local businesses.

The consortium is said to have paid Euro 2 million for the race, a price Philippe Jeantot believes is too low. However, in a statement on the official Vendée council website, Philippe de Villiers, who headed the bid, said the race was not just a brand, but the engine of a great deal of business for the area and it was appropriate that it was now in public hands.

The French Sailing Federation and the skipper-driven IMOCA class that governs Open 60 rules and regulations are being asked for their help to shape the principles of the race.