Josse announces Vendee campaignFollowing from companies like Sodebo and PRB, another manufacturer from the Vendee region of France is to sponsor a boat for the next Vendee Globe non-stop singlehanded round the world race in 2004.
VMI, who make baking machinery, have bought the Sodebo Open 60 sailed in the last Vendee Globe to sixth place by Thomas Coville. VMI have signed up 27 year old Figaro sailor Sebastien Josse, who has recently returned from sailing Bruno Peyron's maxi catamaran Orange round the world. In the highly competitive Figaro class he finished second in last year's event.
Josse will race the Open 60 in November's Route du Rhum but first will be returning to the Figaro circuit to complete in the Solitaire du Figaro and the Generali event in the Med.
Sodebo has had a slightly checkered history. She was originally built for Raphael Dinelli, the Frenchman rescued by Pete Goss in the 1996/7 Vendee Globe. She is a Groupe Finot design, originally fitted with a canting mast. When Dinelli was fired as her skipper, she was then passed over to Thomas Coville.
With her canting mast Coville and Herve Jan won the monohull division of the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre in 1999. Canting masts were prohibited for the last Vendee Globe and so the rig had to be changed for a non-canting version.