North Sails NEWS


PRB Skipper Onboard Yes We Cam! in an Amazing Display of Seamanship

📸 Team PRB

All of us in the North Sails family as well as the rest of the sailing world have breathed a collective sigh of relief upon hearing of the rescue of a healthy Kévin Escoffier from his life raft. To Jean Le Cam, we can’t fathom the heroic seamanship needed to pull off this successful retrieval in such rough conditions. And to the rest of the skippers who lent their support, you are an example of the code of seamen – that safety for yourself, your boat, and all fellow sailors comes long before any race or result. We bid safe passage to the fleet of exceptionally brave adventurers who are competing in the hardest competition on earth, The Vendée Globe.

Just yesterday we were cheering that Escoffier had reached 3rd place after a successful 24-hour run. Our excitement quickly turned to anticipation upon learning that Escoffier was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to activate his distress beacon and take to his life raft about 840 miles SW of Cape Town, South Africa. The news especially hit us hard as Escoffier is a long-time client, a close friend to many within North Sails, and more recently, a key member of our testing team for the North Sails Performance foul weather gear.

Vendée Race Control immediately alerted the nearest competitor Le Cam to divert to Escoffier’s aid. A hugely experienced five-time Vendée competitor, Le Cam was diverted to Escoffier’s aid. Three other competitors were also called to the zone to support, which resulted in a successful rescue operation. Mercifully Le Cam was successful in locating Escoffier and he climbed aboard Le Cam’s boat Yes We Cam!, in the early hours of this morning having spent 11 hours in the life raft.

It’s an interesting turn of fate, in the Vendée Globe 2008-2009 the former skipper of PRB, Vincent Riou, rescued Le Cam from his capsized IMOCA 60 200 miles west of Cape Horn. Just proving that one good turn really does deserve another!

A huge congratulations to both Escoffier and Le Cam on a phenomenal display of seamanship. Also, our utmost respect and thanks go to Vendée Race Control and the PRB Team for their swift and professional coordination of the situation that resulted in a positive outcome.

We look forward to beers on the dock with Escoffier a little earlier than initially planned – but damn they’ll taste sweet.

Click here for a full report.

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