Each edition of the Everest of the seas offers an opportunity for sailors to display the colours of a charity or to make people aware of a good cause or medical problem. The eighth Vendée Globe is no exception with Yann Eliès, Eric Bellion, Tanguy de Lamotte and Thomas Ruyant all publicising charitable organisations. Claude Quéguiner, head of the Group of the same name has been associated with the Leucémie Espoir federation for a long time. This charity offers help to people suffering from leukaemia and their families, as well as contributing funds to search for new treatments.
It is therefore no surprise to see that this has been included in the Groupe Quéguiner sailing project, which chose Yann Eliès as their skipper back in 2012. Together they have achieved three wins in the Solitaire du Figaro and made it to the podium of the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2015. The Quéguiner-Leucémie Espoir monohull, which revolutionised the IMOCA class in 2007 (ex Safran) inspired the boats that were to follow to go down the same route. They are hoping that this charitable project will make it to the podium in this eighth Vendée Globe.
Stronger due to our differences
For the first time in the Vendée Globe, there is a message in favour of ‘difference’ with Eric Bellion as skipper of COMMEUNSEULHOMME appearing in the 2016 race. What is the idea? “Difference can be a source of complications, making life difficult, but if it is accompanied by the desire to succeed together, it becomes a strength.” An amateur adventurer, Eric Bellion knows what he is doing, as he has already run several race projects. “When you are in a storm on the high seas, and you have to hand over the helm to a crewman, it doesn’t matter whether that person is handicapped or not, black or white, man or woman. The only thing that matters is trusting each other.” This approach won over fourteen business leaders, who have backed COMMEUNSEULHOMME, Eric Bellion’s boat (the former DCNS from the 2008 Vendée Globe). Around 80,000 employees will be experiencing Éric’s round the world voyage and discovering that difference is a real team strategy.
Repairing children’s hearts
By getting out there sailing, Tanguy de Lamotte has been supporting Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque since 2005. The Vendée Globe for Initiatives Cœur-K.Line is a a boat, a skipper and sponsors, who are committed to supporting a humanitarian association. Co-founded by the surgeon, Francine Leca and Patrice Roynette, Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque operates on children from poor countries. The foundation was already present in the 1996 Vendée Globe with Catherine Chabaud (6th). Since the last edition, 77 children have benefitted from an operation, while the Vendée-based firm K.Line, attracted by these values, has joined Tanguy and his sponsor Initiatives-cœur for their second Vendée Globe. Both partners are signed up to the operation, One click, one heart. They donate one euro to Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque for each new fan on Initiatives-cœur’s facebook page. An operation can be carried out on a child each time 12,000 euros has been raised.
We can change the world
Le souffle du Nord pour le projet Imagine is backing the skipper from the North-East of France, Thomas Ruyant in his round the world campaign. With the hummingbird logo, Imagine is an NGO created by the journalist Frédérique Bedos, who directs and produces political documentary films. Her aim is to bring together journalism and hope, insisting on the idea that everyone of us has a role to play in our planet’s future. His films aim to encourage people to contribute to these measures. The North of France region, where the journalist comes from, joined the Imagine Movement with charitable backers such as Devred 1902. Thomas Ruyant’s 60-foot boat is Kito de Pavant’s former Groupe Bel (Vendée Globe 2008 and 2012). The four skippers involved in these charity campaigns are in fact all lining up aboard IMOCAs from the 2007 generation for this eighth Vendée Globe.