From Mini to Class 40 to Vendee Globe

Tanguy De Lamotte tells us of his latest campaign
While stealing the limelight in this winter’s Vendee Globe will be the high profile campaigns, another contingent is approaching the singlehanded non-stop round the world race from the opposite end of the budgetry spectrum, their skippers setting out into the unknown on their first lap of the planet. Among those making their Vendee Globe debut will be Tanguy De Lamotte, who competed in the 2005 Mini Transat finishing 7th aboard a boat he designed himself, but who has since been one of the most successful skippers in the Class 40 - winner of the 2008 World Championship and the Solidaire du Chocolat transatlantic race in 2010. For De Lamotte the Vendee Globe will be personally poignant in many ways. His first proper exposure to the French shorthanded offshore racing world was while he was still at university in Southampton, working on the shore team of Ellen MacArthur’s high successful Kingfisher campaign prior to the 2000 Vendee Globe. De Lamotte admits that competing in the Vendee Globe had always been in the back of his mind, but it is a very considerable leap up to it actually happening. Last year he had been planning to build a new Class40, but at the Salon Nautique in December his sponsor had other ideas. “He heard there were only 14 boats in the Vendee and said ‘why don’t we try and do a Vendee Globe campaign?’ Throughout December I was preparing three different projects to propose to my sponsor, but he kept talking to me about the Vendee and I understood the others weren’t of as much interest to him...” At the beginning of January he started looking at secondhand boats, but at this point he still hadn’t convinced himself that taking part in solo offshore racing’s ultimate event was a possibility. The eureka moment