Armel le Cléac’h

Banque Populaire

A relentless worker, both methodical and determined, Armel has put all the odds on his side and remains excited about new challenges.

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38 years old - Gouesnac'h - FRANCE


Immersed in sailing from a very young age, Armel Le Cléac’h discovered the joys of sea gliding on an Optimist in Saint-Polde-Leon. His dreams of sailing the oceans became stronger and the young boy developped a strong character. A relentless worker, both methodical and determined, Armel has put all the odds on his side and remains excited about new challenges. From the moment he started sailing in the 2000 Solitaire du Figaro, he left his fellow skippers in awe by finishing first of the rookies’ rankings and taking the second place overall. He then took on the Tour de France à la Voile, which he won in 2001. In 2003, he entered the very exclusive circle of the Solitaire winners by beating Alain Gautier by a whisker. Impressed with the talent of the young yachtsman, Alain Gautier decided to trust him with the helm of his Figaro, Foncia, on which he won the 7th edition of the Transat AG2R. In 2005, Armel set his sights on the IMOCA Championship with a new sponsor, Brit’Air, and a new goal: the Vendée Globe.

His second place in the 2008 Vendée Globe earned him respect as it is remembered as an incredible racing feat which revealed a spirited, combative and generous man. Being both expected and feared, Armel made a noticed comeback in the 2010 Figaro Bénéteau Championship by winning the Transat AG2R and becoming a two-time winner of the Solitaire. A few months later, he finished second in the legendary Route du Rhum. In 2011, after his sponsor Brit’Air retired, he joined the Banque Populaire Sailing Team.


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In pictures

Banque Populaire VIII


  • Solitaire du Figaro – 2nd
  • French solo offshore racing champion
  • Solitaire du Figaro – Winner
  • Transat Ag2r – Winner (N. Troussel)
  • Route du Rhum – 4th
  • Solitaire du Figaro – 4th
  • IMOCA World Champion
  • Transat Artemis – 2nd
  • Vendée Globe – 2nd
  • Transat Ag2r – Winner (F. Delahaye)
  • Solitaire du Figaro – Winner
  • Route du Rhum – 2nd
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – 3rd (C. Pratt)
  • Transat B to B – 2nd
  • GP Guyader – Winner
  • Europa Warm’Up – 3rd
  • Vendée Globe – 2nd
  • Solo Concarneau – 3rd (Class40)
  • Solitaire du Figaro – 8th
  • Mediterranean record Marseille-Carthage – 18d 58’ 13’’ (Ultime)
  • Rolex fastnet Race – 2nd (Maxi)
  • Columbus Route record Cadix-San Salvador – 6d 23 h 42’ 18’’ (Ultime)
  • 24h solo sailing distance record: 673 miles (Ultime)
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – 2nd (E. Tabarly)
Armel le Cléac’h

Monocoque IMOCA

IMOCA60 Banque Populaire VIII

Armel Le Cléac’h’s latest weapon is also a VPLP-Verdier designed boat, some of which was co-designed (in particular the hull) with the team behind Safran II (Morgan Lagravière’s boat). Fitted with hydrofoils, which could see two days shaved off the Vendée Globe record time, this brand new machine was designed for performance downwind. Launched in June 2015, the monohull has what it takes to allow the skipper to make it to the top step on the podium: the winning spot he is aiming for. During the last double-handed transatlantic race (2nd), we saw that Banque Populaire was the most advanced of the new foilers in terms of her fine-tuning. Armel Le Cléac’h will be very confident in the ability of his fantastic boat.

2D Image Technical Sheet


Technical Sheet

Designer : VPLP-Verdier
Boat Builder : CDK
Launch Date : 09 June 2015
Lenght : 18,28 m
Beam : 5,80 m
Draught : 4,50 m
Mast height : 29 m


Technical Plan




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