If you are visiting the Vendee or staying in a Gite, cottage or hotel in the weeks leading up to the 9th of November then take time out to visit les Sables d'Olonne and the Vendee Globe Village.
For many people around the world the word Vendee is associated with single handed ocean racing and not with that facinating part of western France that we all love.
The Vendee globe race takes place every 4 year and starts from Les Sables d'Olonne, the largest port in the Vendee. It is a race for 60ft grand prix racing yatchs by single handered sailors from around the world, with out stopping and without assistance. It is the worlds most prestigious race of its kind and the Vendee Department are truly proud of it. The pubilicity surrounding it is truly amazing with every effort being put into not only the race but to put the Vendee on the map.
This event showcases the Vendée to the world, and the Vendéens take it very seriously. Their publicity machine is working overtime with huge buildings in Paris being lit with the Vendée Globe emblem, and television crews from around the world being invited to cover the occasion. Every school in the Vendée is issued with publicity packs for each child, including brochures, plans, DVD’s and a lot more. Even the auto route toll charges have been suspended for the 3 weeks leading up to the start of the race, and the parking charges have also been cancelled everywhere in Les Sable d'Olonne for the same period.
The Vendée Globe village is contained within the Port de Plaisance and is open for 3 weeks before the start of the race. The Village is packed full of free information, with posters, stickers and brochures that anywhere else in the world would be for sale, here being given away without charge. There is a state of the art interactive sailing simulator to test your virtual sailing skills and videos everywhere. Of course all of the boats with their skippers are there for you to take a close look at, and believe it or not everything is FREE.
During the race the village closes down, reopening again just before the race leaders arrive home.
It’s a show not to miss.
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