Deprived of a famous sailing race because she had a baby

Deprived of a famous sailing race because it has had a baby


“I'm in shock”: sailor Clarisse Crémer will not be at the start of the next Vendée Globe at the helm of the “Banque Populaire”. The group landed her, believing that she was unable to qualify for the race after her maternity and a change in regulations.

“I learned last Friday that Banque Populaire had finally decided to replace me. By their decision, and despite my constant will, I will not be at the start of the Vendée Globe 2024”, announced the 33-year-old sailor on her social networks on Thursday.

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Becoming a mother at the end of last year, Clarisse Crémer symbolically recovered in December from the hands of Norman Charlie Dalin the helm of the former Apivia, the foiling Imoca she was hoping for around the world under the colors of “Banque Pop”.

The sailboat has since returned to the group's stables in Lorient, but Crémer, 12th in the last edition of the Everest des Mers, does not will not board. “Banque Populaire decides to leave me at the dock,” she lamented.


In a press release, Banque Populaire invoked changes to the Vendée Globe regulations to justify its decision. In the past, a “finisher” (navigator who completed the event) was automatically qualified for the next edition.

But this process has changed in 2021. Skippers who do not have a new boat are now all required to take part in a certain number of qualifying races until the start of the Vendée and to accumulate the miles to decide between them.

“On this criterion, of course, I fell behind the other competitors at the start, this maternity having prevented me from being present in the qualifying races for a year”, admitted Crémer.

“We are at 0 miles and those ahead of us have at least 2,600 miles (4,100 km) and intend to do the same races as us … We will never catch up with them,” said his side during the meeting. a press briefing on Thursday Ronan Lucas, director of Team Banque Populaire.

The team assured that it had done “everything possible” with the organizers to change the rules or “obtain the guarantee of a wildcard”, without success. The name of the next Banque Populaire XII helmsman will be communicated “in the coming days”.

“I was all the way”

“There were 2 full seasons and 4 transatlantic crossings left to get back to the level, I was fully to finish my rehabilitation as soon as possible”, regretted Clarisse Crémer, who holds the Vendée crossing record for a woman in 87 days, 2 hours and 24 minutes.

“Today, it is clear that the rules chosen by the Vendée Globe prohibit a woman from having a child,” she added.

In a press release sent to the media on Thursday evening, the Vendée Globe organization said that it could “under no circumstances afford to change the rules, while the selection process (is) already underway” , in order to “preserve fairness” among competitors.

The organizers have ruled out the possibility of issuing him the only wildcard provided for by the regulations. “This cannot be marked before the end of the selection process, the Vendée Globe not knowing the skippers who could claim it”, it is specified.

“No woman should undergo this kind of of decision. When will there be a system that can allow women to find their place (…) after a maternity break”, reacted to AFP Camille Lecointre, double bronze medalist in Olympic sailing.

La tenth edition of the Vendée Globe will set off from Les Sables d'Olonne on November 10, 2024. In the 2020/2021 edition, of the 33 competitors at the start, six were women.