Last January, Armel Le Cleác’h sailed Banque Populaire VIII around the world solo in the Vendée Globe in 74 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds, breaking the solo (monohull) round-the-world record.
That same month, Francis Joyon with his IDEC Sport crew took the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest global circumnavigation ever: an incredible 40 days, 23 hours and 30 seconds.
During the summer, records were falling so fast that North Sails had a hard time keeping up: Team Concise in the Round the Island; Mighty Merloe and Comanche in the Transpac; Joyon’s IDEC and Thomas Coville’s Sobeto Ultim in the Transatlantic Outright; Prospector in the Marblehead to Halifax.
Come November, Coville did it again, in tandem with Jean-luc Nelias on Sodebo in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Indeed, taking in his solo circumnavigation record in December 2016, he must hold a personal record for the most sailing records broken in a single 12-month period.
What’s more, North Sails estimates that Coville’s 3Di Endurance mainsail had 75,000 miles (the equivalent of three times around the world) logged when he broke that singlehanded east-about circumnavigation time.
More recently, in December, Christmas came early for Francois Gabart when he and his MACIF took the outright solo around-the-world record by lapping the planet in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. (The team also set a new 24-hour distance mark to beat in November.)
The final record of 2017 went to LDV Comanche, who set the pace for future Rolex Sydney Hobart Races with a time of 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds.
With that results in the books, North Sails Ireland in Myrtleville raises a toast to its offshore clients who continue to push its products to the limit.