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Powered by a North Sails NPL TOUR paneled mainsail, the young Frenchman Louis Burton completes his first solo non-stop circumnavigation
Finishing in the early hours of Thursday morning in Les Sables D’Olonne, Louis Burton finished a comfortable seventh place in his first ever Vendée Globe, with a buffer of more than 2,000 miles on his closest competitor. Racing in many parts of the world in splendid isolation, Louis benefited from regular periods of excellent conditions that saw him pile on consistent miles with no breakdowns that ultimately set him out alone, ahead of a chasing pack of older generation boats.
Burton, whose father is Welsh, was the ‘benjamin’ – as the French call rookies – as the youngest skipper to start the last race in 2012 (aged 27). But a collision with a trawler shattered his first Vendee Globe dreams within a few days of the start. But 2017 has seen the amiable sailor finally achieve his dream, and he is the first skipper in the race to finish with a paneled mainsail (North Sails NPL TOUR, built in 2015).
Speaking from just before the finish line as he experienced challenging conditions in the Bay of Biscay, Burton concluded: “I have been very impressed by the shape holding and resistance of my paneled mainsail and 3DI J1 and J2. I had to push really hard to pull away from the others especially in strong breeze. The sail that impressed me most is my fractional Gennaker in Cuben Fiber. I didn’t have a chance to use it in past Transats, but it just so happens that it is the ultimate weapon in the Southern Ocean. I put it up west of Cape Town and didn’t drop it until after the Falklands! With it, the bow comes up and the boat feels like it is flying! In addition, its versatility and tolerance far exceeded my expectations.”
Louis will next take on the Transat Jacques Vabre in November with his partner Servane Escoffier, onboard their new steed: winner of the 2016 Vendée Globe, Banque Populaire.
Congratulations Louis from everyone and North Sails! We look forward to continuing our support in the journey ahead.