Clarisse Crémer ousted from the Vendée Globe by the Banque Populaire: the president of the race criticizes a "hasty decision"

A dismissal that does not pass

Clarisse Crémer ousted from the Vendée Globe by the Banque Populaire: the president of the race criticizes a "hasty decision"

A dismissal that does not pass. The president of the famous Vendée Globe sailing race, Alain Leboeuf, criticized the decision of the Banque Populaire team on Friday February 3 to part with its navigator Clarisse Crémer after her maternity, calling the decision "hasty".

"I don't understand how we could make a decision like that (…). There are a lot of races left and Clarisse will be able to do very well to be on the starting line in 2024, I really hope so,” said Mr. Leboeuf in an interview with Agence France-Presse. He added: “Banque Populaire would like to be selected before everyone else. It is not possible. You cannot go around the world alone on the oceans without there being intermediate stages. »

On Thursday, Banque Populaire announced that it was parting with the 33-year-old sailor, believing that she was unable to qualify for the Vendée Globe due to the selection rules put in place for the next edition.

Rules that "prohibit a woman from having a child"

Concretely, skippers who do not have a new boat now have the obligation to take part in a certain number of qualifying races until the start to accumulate miles allowing them to decide between the candidates if their number is greater than 40.

Clarisse Crémer, who arrived 12th in the last Vendée Globe, became a mother in December 2022. She was therefore unable to participate in another qualifying race at this stage and is now behind schedule which cannot be recovered, according to her sponsor.

In a message released on Thursday, the sailor lamented being "left behind" by her sponsor and regretted that "the rules chosen by the Vendée Globe prohibit a woman from having a child".

During a press conference on Thursday, Ronan Lucas, director of the Banque Populaire team, tried to justify this decision: "We are at 0 thousand and those in front of us are at 1,600. These people will do the same races than us, so we will never catch up with them… And there are 42, 43 people who are in front. »

The sailor's sponsor assured that it had done "everything possible" with the organizers to change the rules or "obtain the guarantee of a wild card" (the allocation of an invitation to a competition for an unqualified athlete) , without success, and decided to separate from Clarisse Crémer "in view of the human and financial investments" of a project such as the Vendée Globe.

“This regulation was voted in 2020, everyone knew it. We cannot change the rules of the game during the game”, reacted Alain Leboeuf on Friday, considering that the wild card was not intended to be used before “the end of the selection process” in June 2024.

On social networks, many sportswomen gave their support to Clarisse Crémer on Friday, such as judoka Clarisse Agbégnénou, discus thrower Mélina Robert-Michon or navigator Camille Lecointre.

The tenth edition of the Vendée Globe will start from Les Sables-d'Olonne on November 10, 2024. During the 2020-2021 edition, 6 of the 33 competitors on the starting line were women.