Welcome to New York—we’ve Been Waiting For You

The IMOCA fleet returns to the United States this month ahead of the Vendée Globe.


There aren’t too many events in the four-year IMOCA 60 calendar that bring the fleet to this side of the Atlantic. Fewer still see the world’s premiere offshore racing fleet in the continenta­l U.S. This May, we have a rare opportunit­y to see them in action when the fleet makes its much awaited return to the States, with 31 IMOCAS descending on New York City. They will finish the Transat CIC early in the month and spend a few weeks stateside.

On May 24, they will race in the Vendée Liberty Show, an exhibition race in New York Harbor against the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline and Lady Liberty herself. This will be a rare opportunit­y for spectators to see these boats racing, since typically they compete offshore. At press time, it wasn’t known whether there will be opportunit­ies for the public to visit the yachts at the dock.

Then, on May 29, the fleet will set off back across the Atlantic in the New YorkVendée—the final qualifier for the Vendée Globe. This will be the last true offshore opportunit­y for skippers to square off against each other and test their boats before the solo race around the world starts in France. The 31 competitor­s expected to compete include quite a few familiar names for anyone who’s been keeping an eye on the IMOCA 60 fleet for the past few years. American/kiwi skipper Conrad Coleman will be back as the only U.S.flagged campaign in the running. Clarisse Crémer—the top female finisher in 2020 whose advocacy for maternity policies for competitiv­e sailors has garnered significan­t attention—will return to the race, as will IMOCA Globe Series champion Charlie Dalin, who raced with 11th Hour Racing Team during the pivotal doublepoin­ts transatlan­tic leg of last year’s Ocean Race. Also familiar from The Ocean Race will be skippers Boris Herrmann on Malizia, Paul Mielhat on Biotherm, and Benjamin Dutreux on Guyot Environmen­t. Also on the course will be the 2020 Vendée Globe fan favorite Pip Hare; former SCA skipper for the Volvo Ocean Race and Vendée Globe veteran Sam Davies; and the fleet’s youngest competitor, Violette Dorange at just 22 years old.

For any fan of offshore racing, this month’s visit to New York is an unmissable opportunit­y to see a fleet so often relegated to the middle of the ocean (or France) live and in action. Visit sailmagazi­ for updates on the fleet and informatio­n on how you can see them in person.

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