250 kilometres of coastline, a large window on the Atlantic Ocean, 13 ports, each with its own identity, the Vendée has many faces and in particular a strong maritime face.
Since its inception, the Vendée Globe has been the race of a whole department. Around the Vendée Département Council, the town of Les Sables d'Olonne, the company SODEBO and the Pays de la Loire Region, thirty or so large companies from the Vendée have come together to ensure that the Vendée becomes the organiser of the world's greatest sailing races.
The gamble has paid off, as the Vendée Globe is not only a great sporting event, but it is also followed in France and abroad by many enthusiasts, who go far beyond those who love sailing.
2022 and 2024 will see the arrival of new races, the first qualifier for the next Vendée Globe with the Vendée Arctique les Sables d'Olonne, in June 2022, and the last one, the New York Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne, in June 2024, which will confirm the region's reputation as a host for the greatest sailing races.
At each edition, the region comes alive around these international competitions, particularly with the younger generation with its Vendée Globe Junior programme, which offers games, news and educational information for a public that includes schoolchildren, but also young people and families. Each of these races has an educational character: they introduce and discover the oceans, continents, natural environments and species, and raise awareness of the need to preserve them.