The Vendée Globe


The Vendée Globe is the most gruelling event in the sport of sailing, and is arguably the most challenging sporting event on the planet.


The solo, non-stop, unassisted round-the-world yacht race remains the pinnacle event in the offshore sailing calendar, with over 2 million fans visiting the race village ahead of the start.


The 42,000 km race is the stuff of legends, where real life heroes are made, racing in some of the toughest conditions on earth, yet still competing for every inch on the racetrack. In the latest edition, after 80 days at sea, the first 8 of the 33 competitors crossed the finish line within 24 hours of each other, showing just how close this competition is in this epic race!


A race like no other, the Vendée Globe brings people together. It inspires nations, with stories of resilience, mental toughness, survival, overcoming adversity and camaraderie in the harshest conditions on the planet. Covering 5 oceans, the race also educates the next generation about our oceans and our planet.


26,000 miles / 42,000 kilometers
Around the World
No Canadian has ever finished the Vendée Globe
Takes place every four years
Starts and finishes in Les Sables d’Olonne, France

With only 114 people ever finishing the Vendée Globe, more people have been to space than have successfully completed this gruelling round-the-world race.


No Canadian has ever completed the Vendée Globe.


There have been two previous attempts by Canadians to complete the grueling Vendée Globe race, neither have crossed the finish line.


The first Canadian, legendary Gerry Roufs started the 1996 Vendée Globe onboard his boat Groupe LG 2. Roufs was in the South Pacific, having rounded Cape Horn and was in second place, behind Christophe Auguin.


Violent winds in excess of 80 knots hit the race leaders, Roufs described the conditions to the Race Directors as “the waves are not mere waves, they are the Alps”.  The last message received from Roufs was received on 7th January 1997, not far from Point Nemo, the most remote spot in the South Pacific. Roufs was declared lost at sea, with the upturned hull of his boat spotted on 16th July 1997.


The second Canadian to take on the Vendée Globe was Derek Hatfield in 2008. Caught up in a violent storm, Hatfield capsized  south of Australia and consequently retired from the race.


Scott Shawyer wants to make history and become the first Canadian to complete this incredible race.


Recognising the challenge of those before him, Scott has the backing of Vendée Globe legend and veteran Alex Thomson and his team, and will complete a thorough training program in the years leading to his Vendée Globe in 2028.

“The Vendée Globe is an incredible test of ones mental and physical strength, and I have huge respect to all those who have taken on the challenge, got to the start line, and of course to those who have completed the race. I will leave no stone unturned as I embark on my journey to become a Vendée Globe skipper and to become the first Canadian to cross the finish line”.