North Sails NEWS


Following the Fleet Home After 24,000 Miles Around the World

The Vendée Globe 2020-21 fleet is arriving back to Les Sables-d’Olonne after completing their 24,000-mile circumnavigation. This solo, non-stop, and without assistance marathon is one of the most difficult sailing events. Reaching the finish line, regardless of position, is considered a remarkable accomplishment. 25 competitors will complete this 9th edition of the race. 8 skippers were forced to retire the race, including Kevin Escoffier who was plucked from his safety raft by fellow competitor Jean Le Cam after his boat folded in half. 

North Sails is proud to power the engine above deck for 22 IMOCAs participating in the 2020-21 race. Join us on this page as we follow the finish and welcome the skippers back into port.


Race Tracker


February 3, 2021 5:10pm GMT

She did it!

After 87 days, 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 25 seconds, young skipper Clarisse Cremér on Banque Populaire X is the first woman to cross the line in the Vendeé Globe 2020-21. Cremér is 12th overall, and has broken the previous female record set by Ellen MacArthur 20 years ago, which was 94 days and 4 hours.

With a reliable and fast boat, Cremér preserved her IMOCA throughout the 87 days and was very focused on every detail to keep things in control. It’s been exciting seeing her check-in throughout the adventure, showing her energy and determination while offshore. The team’s support for Clarisse in this race has been solid. Banque Populaire teammate and mentor Armel L’Cléach rode out to celebrate this young sailor’s fantastic accomplishment and welcome her home.

📸  Adrien Francois/Alea

Cremér’s first IMOCA experience was doublehanded racing in the 2019 TJV with Armel L’Cléach. Her first solo race was in the 2020 Vendée Arctic, where she finished 12th. A 12th place finish in the Vendée Globe is the icing on the cake for Cremér, her team and her country as a highly motivated and driven female role model for women in sailing.

As the Banque Populaire technical team jumped aboard to congratulate her, emotions were high. She gave up control of the boat for the first time in almost three months, and took a few moments to celebrate her accomplishment free of any more responsibilities.

It was clear the team made a great choice in Cremér for the 9th edition. Her boat was set up perfectly to allow her to accomplish her goals, push the limits and show just how much hard work she’s willing to put in to everything she does. She’s already talking about coming back for another Vendée Globe. We will be here too, cheering her on every step of the way.

Brava Clarisse!

📸  Olivier Blanchet/Alea


February 2, 2021, 3:00pm GMT

It’s not over yet…

Benjamin Dutreaux on OMIA – WATER FAMILY*, Maxime Sorel on V and B-MAYENNE, and Armel Tripon on L’Occitane en Provence have now reached the finish in 9th, 10th, and 11th place in what were the most challenging conditions in the final approach into Les Sables-d’Olonne.

Benjamin Dutreaux, race rookie, arrived at the game late but has successfully crossed the line 9th in his first non-stop, unassisted round the world adventure. Congratulations Ben!

Before the start of the 9th edition, Armel Tripon was already a familiar face in ocean racing. Over the course of his 84 days at sea he shared the importance of experience and determination, and the value of resilience. all of his offshore accomplishments, Tripon has risen above the hard moments;taking every moment in so he can be better next time. He iss the perfect example of a sailor with an immense passion for the sport that puts his heart and emotions into every maneuver and every decision. For another first timer in the Vendée Globe, we are very proud!

Tripon commented, “I am lucky to have been able to race, to do what is my job. Every day I thanked my partner for allowing me to live this dream. I didn’t want to spoil it. I had an exceptional boat which was very well prepared. I got to know it well so I could push her harder and harder. It was a big chase to get back to boats as we went along. It was motivating. I really enjoyed playing with the weather systems and finding lines. Every day is to be celebrated on the Vendée Globe”

📸  Olivier Blanchet/Alea

All eyes to the finish now to prepare for the 12th place finisher and first female to arrive; Clarisse Cremér on Banque Populaire X. At 31 years old, Clarisse is the youngest skipper to finish this edition race, and is currently chasing a chance to break Ellen MacArthur’s 20-year old race record for women finishing in less than 94 days and 4 hours. A non foiler and first timer, she’s no doubt won the hearts of female sailors worldwide and to see her complete the race, let alone finish in the top half is truly remarkable and an inspiration to all.

She commented, “Boris’ story gave me a shock. I will have to be on the lookout until the finish, I have crossed the lanes and they were busy and I just had to slow down at one point to let a cargo ship pass. I can see them on the AIS so it is OK just now.

It will not be easy to slow down in 30 knots of wind so I think I will be under 3 mainsail reefs only and I will try to accelerate to aim for a finish tomorrow afternoon. It’s not easy to predict an exact finish time, it’s a new exercise!”

📸  Clarisse Cremer / Banque Populaire X

Meanwhile, Jeremie Beyou on Charal is battling the conditions near the Azores, in 35 knots and gusts ranging from 45-50 knots. The conditions are exhausting and it doesn’t look like it will improve the closer he gets into range of the finish.

Romain Attanasio on PURE Best Western is also in the same boat just a tad further North, wondering if the weather will let up, exhausted, and pushing on.

Spirits are high and adrenaline is pumping as the next three boats get closer to the finish port. We are keeping an eye on the race tracker and wishing all skippers the very best of luck and safety as they press on into the final sprint of the race.

To be continued…


January 28, 2021, 1:05am GMT

Yes He Did!

Jean Le Cam has crossed the Vendée Globe finish line. Le Cam secured fourth place on the leaderboard after receiving his time compensation of 16 hours and 15 minutes for his assistance to Kévin Escoffier. Jean has been part of the race since the 2004-05 edition and is known for his camaraderie, excellent navigation skills, sincerity, and passion for the sport of sailing.

Le Cam won the hearts of fans around the world in his valiant recovery mission of Escoffier from his life raft on December 1st. In a twist of fate, Escoffier abandoned PRB the same IMOCA which Le Cam boarded in 2008 after his keel snapped off and his boat capsized off Cape Horn. Apart from finishing the race and placing in the top five overall, Jean le Cam has shown true sportsmanship as a Vendée Globe race veteran, and is also a role model and mentor for many new to the race.

📸 Yvan Zedda / Alea / #VG2020

With Le Cam’s finish, we have a standing shuffle, bumping Boris Herrmann, Thomas Ruyant, Damien Seguin and Giancarlo Pedote to fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively. Pedote’s first race participation is significant, and his consistency and determination has allowed him to accomplish what no other Italian has before, setting a personal record not only for himself but for his country.

Pedote commented;
“I managed to complete my round the world and race at the same time with rather reduced means and a small team that did not have the experience of a Vendée Globe. It is a satisfaction for me.”

The top 10 will be rounded out by Benjamin Dutreux (Omîa – Water Family) and Maxime Sorel (V & B-Mayyene) who are expected to finish this evening local time.


January 28, 2021, 4:30 GMT

Bestaven and Dalin Share Vendee Globe Honors 

Since November 8, the 2020-21 Vendée Globe has left us on the edge of our seats, and now three months later, we’re watching eagerly as the finishers have been trickling in. From sinkings to accidents, this Vendée Globe has been truly special. Now, with the “famous five” lead pack ending their around the world journey all within 24 hours of each other, this Vendée Globe finish is officially the closest in the history of the race. Here’s a quick recap of the past 24 hours:

Charlie Dalin’s Apivia claimed line honors, completing his circumnavigation in 80 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes, and 47 seconds. A Vendée rookie, he remained in the lead for the majority of the race and overcame what could have been race-ending foil damage early on in the Southern Indian Ocean. Coming into the finish, Dalin crossed the line at full speed hoping to put as much time between him and the rest of the pack who all finished just a few hours after him in what now is the closest Vendée Globe finish since the race’s start in 1989.

Yannick Bestaven of Maitre COQ crossed the line 7 hours, 43 minutes, 59 seconds after Dalin. He benefits from a 10 hour and 15 second time credit for his support in Kévin Escoffier’s dramatic rescue, as a result, he is named the overall winner of the Vendée Globe 2020-21. Bestaven is one of two skippers that led the fleet for the longest time: 26 days. When he crossed the finish line, the spectators were shouting from their balconies to celebrate his finish and pay tribute to his amazing accomplishment as the corrected time overall Vendée Globe trophy winner.

Yannick commented upon finishing;

“I feel like I’m living a dream, hallucinating. You go from total solitude to this, to this party, to these lights, these people who are there despite the complicated context, I don’t realise what’s going on. I’m still in my race. It’s a child’s dream.I always believed I could do it, but in what position? I thought I would win at Cape Horn, but then I thought that if I finished 25th, then that would be good enough. We prepared a lot for this Vendée Globe, I knew I had a reliable boat and I was able to pull it off. This result is beyond my expectations. I imagined living many things, I have lived many others. After having fought as I have fought, bringing a victory to Maître CoQ IV is a dream!”

Louis Burton crossed the line second, 4 hours, 9 minutes, and 25 seconds after Dalin, and has solidified third place overall on the scoreboard. Sailing around the world at an average speed of 12.6 knots, this race was a great achievement for the seasoned sailor who’s completed eight transat’s and two around the world solo trips. With this Vendée Globe finish, Burton improved his personal record by four places after coming in 7th in the 2016-17 edition.

Boris Herrmann, who had a 6-hour time credit was in prime positioning for the top spot, when he collided with a fishing boat 90 miles from the finish line. Fortunately, Herrmann was not hurt in the collision, however he did suffer boat damage which forced Sea Explorer to limp to the finish line, arriving home on the morning of January 28. He currently sits in 4th place and must wait for the arrival of Jean Le Cam to determine his final position on the scoreboard.

Thomas Ruyant on Linked Out rounded out the “famous five” and arrived after 80 days, 15 hours, and 22 minutes covering 24,365.74 miles at an average speed of 12.59. One of the race favorites of the 9th edition, Ruyant was in the lead pack for a good portion of the race. Despite foil damage, he pushed forward to finish the race– only highlighting his determination to not let anything prevent him accomplishing his finish line goal. In the early hours of the 28th, in tough sailing conditions and surrounded by darkness, he hedged across the line. Four years ago, Ruyant was unfortunately forced to retire from the race. This time, Ruyant successfully completed his world tour with a smile on his face so large that it spoke to his ambition and mental strengths to persevere despite the challenges.

Following Ruyant, Damien Seguin on Groupe Apicil and Giancarlo Pedote on Prysmian Group. Groupe Apicil came in hot to the finish at 20 knots as the first non-foiler to finish the race, which is one of his many stand-out accomplishments in this 9th world tour. With still uncertainty for time owed to Le Cam, He and Seguin now wait patiently for their comrade to cross the line to determine their final positions.

To be continued…


January 28, 2021, 1:30 GMT

Burton Reached Les Sables-d Olonne

Bureau Valleé 2, skippered by Louis Burton, is second to reach the Vendée Globe finish line. Burton completed his circumnavigation in 80 days, 10 hours, 25 minutes, and 12 seconds. The 2020-21 race is his third Vendée Globe, most recently having placed 7th in the 2016-17 edition of the race, a remarkable position considering his former boat was deemed one of the heaviest in the fleet. In his latest adventure, Burton acquired Banque Populaire VII, the foiling IMOCA, which carried Armel Le Cléac’h to a record-breaking race.

Congratulations to Burton on his Vendée Globe success and we hope he gets some well deserved rest.

Oliver Blanchet / Alea

January 27, 2021, 21:00 GMT

 #NSVictory List: Bravo Charlie! 

Charlie Dalin flew across the finish at 20 knots to take line honors in the Vendee Globe 2020-21. Dalin arrived at Les Sables-d Olonne after 80 days and six hours, in a race that would not let up. A Vendee Globe rookie, he remained in the lead for the majority of the race and overcame what could have been race-ending foil damage early on. Coming into the finish, Dalin did not, and could not, take his foot off the gas though, as the top five competitors will arrive home mere hours after him, in what might be the closest Vendee Globe finish ever. 

To add complexity to this edition, Dalin will remain on standby until the overall winner is declared; both Boris Herrmann and Yannick Bestaven have a time correction after being rerouted to support Kevin Escoffier. Herrmann was awarded a total of six hours for offering assistance and Bestaven ten hours, fifteen minutes.

Olivier Blanchet/Alea

The around the world race is a solo, non-stop, and without assistance, marathon covering over 20,000 nm, and is one of the most difficult sailing events in the sport. Reaching the finish line, regardless of position, is considered a remarkable accomplishment, and often the sailors who finish last are the sailors who’ve won our hearts. Over the next week, 25 competitors will finish the 9th edition of the race. Eight skippers were forced to retire, including Kevin Escoffier who was rescued from his life raft by fellow competitor Jean Le Cam. Escoffier’s boat folded in half in large seas shortly before the Cape of Good Hope in the South Atlantic Ocean.  Le Cam was given 16 hours and 55 minutes for his assistance. 

North Sails is proud to supply 3Di and Helix Structured Luff sails to power the engine above deck for 22 IMOCAs participating in the 2020-21 race. Join us on this page as we follow the finish and welcome the skippers back into port.

January 27, 2021, 19:00 GMT

Watch the Finish Live


January 26, 2021, 18:30 GMT

An Ultra Competitive Fight to the Finish

With the leading pack showing a tight gap, the suspense will be high until the end. This single-handed round-the-world race could even end in a sprint; never seen before in the history of the Vendée Globe. The designers of North Sails France take stock of this exciting 9th edition full of twists and turns.

What do you think of this edition? What surprised you the most in this first part of the race?

It’s an incredible edition. This Vendée Globe is very competitive, and things are happening every day! We followed it closely, and we continue until the end! We can’t wait to see them arrive.

In this first part of the race, like many people, we were surprised by the bad conditions the fleet encountered and the number of technical problems with hooks, rudder, foils, sails, structure, pilot, etc. We were also impressed by the poor delta performance for the foilers against Jean le Cam’s boat (Yes We Cam!) and Benjamin Dutreux’s boat (Omia – Water Family). The weather surely contributed to the fact that the foilers did not dig an incredible gap with the non-foiling boats.

And of course, the rescue of Kevin Escoffier (PRB) by Jean Le Cam is particularly noteworthy. Frankly, it reminds us of the Vendée Globe of our youth!

The new foilers are put to the test in this Vendée. Is it linked to the weather that varies from one edition to the next? Is it a question of luck to pass a front without problems and without a UFO? Or is it because of the new materials that we always want thinner and lighter?

The skipper can deal with a front, it depends on his strategy. Then there are the damages due to design problems that are part of the evolution of these boats. As for hitting a UFO, all the boats are equal. It is a strong random part of this competition which is not predictable for the moment. Probably the latest generation of foilers rake wider and statistically, they are more likely to encounter a UFO. The IMOCA class is working on a sonar system to avoid this. It’s still quite new, but it’s a step in the right direction.

What about sails? Are they also being put to the test?

Yes, with the higher accelerations, and even more so with the foilers. Not because the sailors pulled on them, but. maybe even the opposite because they sailed with less pressure to slow the boat down due to the sea state, and the movements of the sails were very dynamic. It is too early to draw conclusions.We will take stock with them and review with the teams once they’re back on land.

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