Monday, May 25, 2009

120,000 people... Vendee Globe!

Photos by Jean-Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendee Globe
120,000 people on the beach in Les Sables d’Olonne for the prize-giving ceremony

At 10.30 in the evening on Saturday, the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe skippers climbed one after the other onto the huge podium erected on the beach for the official prize-giving ceremony for this sixth Vendée Globe. No fewer than 120,000 people turned up for this show that was entirely free and packed with emotion. One final opportunity to applaud the sailors, but also an occasion to look back at this historic race. During the evening, the date of the start of the next Vendée Globe was revealed. It will begin on 21st October 2012.

As night fell over Les Sables, the show began. A highly emotional atmosphere with a joyful crowd watching the large stage set up on the beach in Sables d'Olonne.

One by one the skippers, who kept millions of fans so excited, would make their appearance. On the giant screens on either side of the stage, the audience was able to watch the highlights of the race. There would be all the emotion of the start, footage of the storms, the moments of stress and anguish, the skippers being forced to retire, the rescues. Then, all the joyful moments: Michel Desjoyeaux's amazing comeback, the ecstasy of each finish. To conclude, there was a giant fireworks display over the beach and sea to close the evening a quarter of an hour after midnight. - For more information: