North Sails NEWS

The French skipper chose North Sails 3Di ENDURANCETM patented composite three-dimensional sailmaking technology to claim unprecedented victory in the four pillars of offshore racing – 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, 2014 Route du Rhum, 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre, 2016 Transat.

A winner has emerged from the Transat bakerly fleet after 33 year-old Francois Gabart was first to cross the finish line off of New York City last night at 18:24 EDT (22:24 GMT)! Gabart sailed into the star-lit city skyline accompanied by cheers and celebration from the MACIF team and sailing fans.

This is Gabart’s first solo win aboard the giant MACIF Trimaran, a 100’ VPLP design that launched last summer. Although a great initial test for him and the boat, today is only the beginning of the MACIF program as the young, yet experienced, ocean sailor sets his sights on a solo non-stop round-the-world record attempt.

“It was a big challenge for me. You should have 10 or 15 people to manage these boats, and it’s just me. It was my first solo race on MACIF, and I didn’t know if I would be able to do it, so I am really proud of what I did… To arrive into New York was perfect. The boat is in good shape. Me? Well, maybe not! I’m very tired, but I’m incredibly proud.”

The similarly sized Sodebo was close at his heels, reinforcing the fantastic potential of class competition among the Ultime 100’ trimarans – indeed on a grand scale! Gabart recalled:

“The competition with Thomas [Coville] on Sodebo was wonderful. It made the race incredible for me. We are working together to organize more races for these type of boats, and when we see what happened in The Transat bakerly, and how close the competition was, we know there is a place for it. This is just the beginning of the journey.”

Gabart on MACIF and Thomas Coville at the helm of Sodebo spent the first three days within sight of each other after the start in Plymouth, UK. All three Ultime trimarans in the Transat bakerly, including Gabart’s MACIF, Coville’s Sodebo, and Yves Le Blevec’s Team Actual race with North Sails 3Di ENDURANCE.


Now, to put this initial success for Gabart and MACIF in perspective, by winning the Transat last night, François has achieved the “Grand Slam of Offshore Sailing”. In just four years he has won:

2012-2013 Vendée Globe (solo nonstop round the world race) on his IMOCA 60 MACIF establishing a new race record at his first participation and, at age 29, the youngest to ever win the race.
2014 Route du Rhum (solo race between France and the Caribbean) on his IMOCA 60 MACIF
2015 Transat Jacques Vabre (double-handed race between France and Brazil) on his new trimaran MACIF, 1st race on this boat.
2016 Transat (solo race between the UK and the US), his 1st solo race on the boat.
Only the greatest offshore sailors have achieved this level of success: Loïck Peyron, Michel Desjoyeaux, and Franck Cammas among them.

Gabart has won all of his major offshore titles using patented, three-dimensional composite sailmaking technology from North Sails. North Sails 3Di™ is the only sail on the market made with Thermoset adhesive (no delamination), precisely mapped load patterns using CNC laid tapes, three-dimensional molding, and proven durability over 50,000 miles. Patented technology with proven results – North Sails 3Di will perform better and last longer than any other sail on the market.

About North Sails
North Sails, the largest division of North Technology Group, has become the world’s leading sailmaker through an ongoing commitment to superior performance, technical innovation and elevating the sailing experience of our customers. North Sails holds the patents for 3DiTM, a unique composite construction process resulting in high-performance sails that approach the shape holding of a rigid foil. By competing at the highest levels of our sport, North Sails tests and improves our products in the most demanding environments. The success we enjoy in the America’s Cup, Around-the-World challenges, Grand Prix racing circuit and One-Design Championships translates into sails that perform better, last longer and provide more enjoyment… no matter what and where you sail. That dedication has reshaped modern sailmaking. It is what drives us to push boundaries, pursue adventure, and always #GoBeyond. 87

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