Giant turn out

Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendee Globe
More than 30 skippers gunning for the 2016 Vendee Globe
Skippers, both fully signed up and ‘pre-inscrits’ (ie those not fully there yet) were present at the Pavilion Gabriel in Paris for the traditional standing-room only Vendée Globe press conference. Eight months out from the start (Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday, 6 November), the Paris presser always provides a good indication of the competition in next winter's singlehanded non-stop round the world race. For this, the eighth Vendée Globe, there once again seems to be a record turn-out with 28 skippers signed up and an extra three ‘pre-inscrits’. This list also currently doesn’t include a number of other skippers such as Britis hope Phil Sharp and American Ryan Breymaier, nor Irish telecoms mogul Enda O’Coineen, who did so well in the St Barts-Concarneau race last autumn, still hopeful of making it to the start line. This could present a problem, with Race Director Denis Horeau adamant that the maximum of number of entries this year will remain at 27. According to Horeau, the limit is due to the number of available berths alongside at the famous Vendée Globe dock in Les Sables d’Olonne’s Port Olona. This was the same number as in 2012 (when it was reduced from its previous limit of 30 in 2008). Jeremie Beyou FRA Maitre CoQ VPLP-Verdier 2011 ex Foncia, Banque Populaire