MerConcept launches UpWind, a racing program to provide female sailors with offshore multihull racing experience, aiming to have a female skipper for the 2026 Route du Rhum. With a vision for more inclusive offshore sailing, the program seeks to increase the pool of female talent for mixed multihull crews and challenges like the Jules Verne Trophy.

By the Numbers
  • UpWind aims to recruit, train, and support a squad of six female sailors for the Ocean Fifty offshore sailing circuit.
  • Applications are open for female sailors worldwide to join the program by March 24, 2024.
State of Play
  • Francesca Clapcich, the only Italian to win The Ocean Race, has been appointed as the skipper for UpWind.
  • MerConcept acquired the Ocean Fifty trimaran previously owned by Armel Tripon, currently undergoing a complete refit and scheduled to be launched at the end of March.
  • The race schedule for the 2024 Ocean Fifty circuit is anticipated to include four events between June and October, including a transatlantic race from west to east.
  • A shortlist of 12 applicants will be invited to Concarneau for a selection week in April, aiming to identify six female sailors to join the team.
Bottom Line

UpWind by MerConcept seeks to transform offshore sailing by providing equal opportunities and increasing the presence of talented female sailors in high-performance multihull racing, with a vision for more inclusive and diverse offshore sailing community.