The 50th anniversary Golden Globe race will depart from Les Sables d’Olonne in June 2018, it has been announced, amid claims from race organisers that Brexit had scuttled plans it to start in Plymouth.
The Devon town had been chosen to host the grand depart of the solo round-the-world race from 2018, rather than its traditional Cornish venue in Falmouth.
But Plymouth City Council said that the race organisers had been unable to find a sponsor for the start there, while Golden Globe Race spokesman Barry Pickthall told Cornwall Live that sponsors had been lined up, "but no one knows what is happening with Brexit and because of that uncertainty no one wants to spend money".
He added that Les Sables d'Olonne, which already hosts the Vendée Globe, were able to "offer significant amounts of support for the start" and "had sponsors lined up".
The 2018 race marks the 50th anniversary of the first event, which saw Sir Robin Knox-Johnston become the first person to sail solo around the world. Sir Robin was the only one of nine entrants to finish the inaugural event. A total 26 sailors are currently lined-up to take part in next year's 30,000-mile race.
Yannick Moreau, President of the Sables d’Olonne Agglomeration told a press conference:
“The port of Les Sables d’Olonne, home of the Vendée Globe, is happy to welcome the ‘Golden Globe Race’, the father of all the solo round-the-world events, a pure race that places man and not the machine at the heart of this maritime adventure.
"The Golden Globe Race 2018 could not have chosen a better port in Europe to organise the start and finish of such a legendary race which has attracted so many sailors and adventurers from all over the world."
The race is due to start on July 1, 2018.