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Vendée Globe

The Everest of the Seas

As it is often referred to by spectators and sailors alike, the Vendée Globe is an iconic round-the-world sailing race. The only race that takes skippers around alone, without assistance, and without stopping. With just three distinct marks (Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, and Cape Horn) the Vendée Globe is as simple as it is complex, and as the longest sailing race, incredibly challenging.

North Sails is proud to announce Sam Davies as our ambassador for the Vendée Globe. As a two-time skipper of the race, she’ll take us behind the scenes to absorb all the gritty details from race prep to storm watch in the southern ocean.  Next up for her is the Transat Jacques Vabres with co-skipper Tanguy de Lamotte on Initiatives-Coeur, but first it’s all hands on deck to get her partner Romain Attanasio around the world on FAMILY MARY – ETAMINE DU LYS.

Now on its eighth edition, the Vendée Globe has seen 139 singlehanded sailors set off from Les Sables d’Olonne since 1989. Only 71 of those have finished the race. On November 6th, 29 brave souls will set off again. This installment is ambitious in reaching new milestones in participation, design and technologies, leaving us (and especially the sailors) with more “unknowns” than ever before.

Race coverage, live tracking and more on http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en

Vendée Globe banner photo

Latest News

North-powered Vendée Globe boats update on their progress around Cape Horn and up the Atlantic. Hear from race leader Banque Populaire, third place boat Maitre Coq, as well as Yann Elies on Groupe Quéguiner and more!

January 5, 2017 | 10:32 am

Armel’s lead decreases as he sits in a high pressure system and Alex Thompson closes in. Jean Pierre Dick approaches cape horn as Jean Le Cam and Yann Eliés grow closer. Standing by and wishing good wind to Armel!

December 29, 2016 | 3:54 pm

Thomas Coville departed from Brest on the same day as the 2016 Vendée Globe start. On Christmas Day he finished his circumnavigation, crushing the solo around-the-world record by over eight days. The Vendée Globe participants sent their congratulations in this video.

2016 Vendée Globe Competitors wish us a Merry Christmas from their “cozy” spot on the radar.

December 27, 2016 | 5:32 pm

Sam Davies sends an update on Family Marie - Etamine du Lys, who has taken shelter off Cape Town to initiate repairs on a broken rudder. "Romain has been assessing the performance and maneuverability of his broken rudder and is positive that if he manages to follow his plan, he will be able to continue the race with one clean, new, rudder and one short, damaged but repaired, rudder." Read more

North Sails offshore specialist Hugues Destremau visits the Vendée Live set under the Eifel Tower in Paris. Learn the many decisions facing a Vendée Globe skipper when selecting a sail inventory in his interview with host Andi Robertson. Plus check in with Hugues’ twin brother Sebastien Destremau, now 1,000 nautical miles off the Cape of Good Hope!

December 6, 2016 | 6:25 pm

Unprecedented aerial footage of North-powered Banque Populaire taken by the French Navy in the Indian Ocean

December 1, 2016 | 1:53 pm

The South is calling... Three more Vendée Globe skippers are due to pass the Cape of Good Hope today to bring the tally of those now in the Indian Ocean to nine. Barring any issues, North client Jean-Pierre Dick onboard St Michel - Virbac will be the next sailor to make it past the important milestone that marks the entrance to the next phase of the solo round the world race. Full update on vendéeglobe.org

Armel Le’Cleach pulls ahead in ideal foiling conditions, as the fleet leaders approach the Kerguelen Islands. Whales escort Morgan Lagravière’s Safran into Cape Town as the two North-powered skippers experience opposing sides of the iconic Vendée Globe Race.

Sébastien Josse is sailing at 23 knots in the Indian Ocean in good conditions that allow him to catch up to the race in spite of the cold.

November 28, 2016 | 12:18 pm
“Everyone looks at the sea, and there is a feeling of freedom,” he said the day before the start. “This is not only about sports. This is something more universal. Something more human about going on a boat and going away.” - More from the New York Times

November 5, 2016 | 7:55 pm

November 5, 2016 | 1:48 pm
“My boat is not one from the new generation - she finished 3rd during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. My team and I have done everything possible to improve the potential of the boat, with some well performing sails, some modifications on the structure, keel, and rudder. The accident I experienced in the 2008-2009 race left a mark on me, so just a few days before the start I’m a bit nervous.” - Yann Eliès, Quéguiner – Leucémie Espoir

Final Vendée Globe preparations in Les Sables-d'Olonne, France, before the start of the around-the-world-alone race on November 6, 2016. We are on the ground in Les Sables d'Olonne! Check out our Facebook album.

November 4, 2016 | 12:25 pm
“I like to sail through strong wind. I can be resistant in these kinds of situations. When you see the weather forecast becoming stronger you think “Holalalaa! It will be very difficult”… but when you have been sailing for 2-3 days you get used to it: human nature is magic!” - Sébastien Josse, Gitana Team

November 3, 2016 | 10:35 am

"This is my fourth Vendée Globe but it doesn’t mean it will be easier: it is sometimes scary because you know better than any other, what you will face during the race. If it is your first time, you can be more naïve and therefore serene. In fact you can take advantage from each situation." - Vincent Riou, PRB skipper

November 3, 2016 | 9:04 am

North Sails’ Gautier Sergeant – Grand Prix Sail Design

November 2, 2016 | 5:39 pm
"Sometimes we are nervous when we’re sailing this kind of boat because it goes very fast. When I have a look at the Speedo it can be scary. It is maybe better to go to sleep and don’t think about it!  The additional load on the boat is the principal risk for us: we are scared for the material, not for ourselves.” - Jérémie Beyou, Maitre Coq skipper

November 1, 2016 | 2:48 pm

Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Safran
Since 1989, a total of 139 skippers have crossed the start line of the Vendée Globe. In seven races, 71 have finished, reflecting the level of difficulty inherent to the this race. No wonder it’s known as the #everestoftheseas. This Sunday, another 29 brave souls will set off.
Join us on Instagram with #BeyondVendée

October 29, 2016 | 3:36 pm

October 29, 2016 | 3:13 pm

Sam Davies: Why North Sails?

Sam explains the importance of working with a sailmaker you trust to establish the best options for you and your boat.

“The Southern Ocean is not a place we get to go very often." – Sam Davies, Vendée Globe skipper 2008, 2012
Images © Yvan Zedda / North Sails