Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/30 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/30 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/30 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/30 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/30 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/30 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/30 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/30 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Sports

Seventh Vendée Globe starts with three Britons hoping to win

media Samantha Davies on board Saveol Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Competitors in the solo, non-stop, round-the-world yacht race, the Vendée Globe, took their places on Saturday morning, ready for a 1.02pm start, local time. Eight of the 20 competitors are not French. Three of them are British.

Led by Swiss yachtsman Benard Stamm, the 20 yachts left the landing stage at 9.30am Saturday ready to take off on the 44,450-kilometre journey that will mean almost three

Follow the Vendée Globe online

months alone on the high seas.

They will brave the Roaring 40s, the Furious 50s, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn, not to mention the solitude.

Three British sailors will take part, one of them the only woman in the race.

They are:

  • Samantha Davies, a 38-year-old mother, at the helm of Saveol, who finished fourth in 2009;
  • Mike Golding, a former firefighter and three-time world champion, tackling his fourth Vendee in Gamesa;
  • Alex Thomson, who cut the east-west solo transatlantic record for 60-foot monohulls by over 24 hours in July but failed to complete the last two Vendées, on Hugo Boss.

Golding’s nine-year-old son, Soren, burst into tears as his father left the quay for a long

The Vendée Globe route 2012
Click to see the map

absence.

The favourites are French participants Vincent Riou, who won in 2005, and Armel Le Cleac’h, who came second in the last race.

They hope to beat the record of 2009 winner Michel Desjoyeaux – 84 days, three hours and nine minutes – and maybe even to go round the world in 80 days.

A record million people visited Les Sables Olonne to view the yachts ahead of the race.

The 2012-2013 race will be the seventh Vendée Globe. The race started in 1989.

Two participants have died during the race - Britain's Nigel Burgess in 1992 and Canada's Gerry Roufs in 1996. American Mike Plant died while sailing from York to take part in 1992.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.