39 years old


Winner of the Mini Transat and the Route du Rhum in Class40 the following year, Thomas Ruyant had two major successes in 2009 and 2010. This unprecedented double solo sailing success propelled the young sailor to the upper echelons of ocean racing. Dynamic, friendly and modest, Thomas has not rested on his laurels and continued his career which has now taken him to the race of his dreams: the Vendée Globe.

Originally from Dunkirk, Thomas Ruyant didn’t really start out in sailing as it was in ice hockey, athletics and triathlon that he was initially successful. From these land-based sports, Thomas has kept his determination and perseverance, which he is well known for at sea. It was at the age of 15 that the sailor from Northern France took part in his first races on a Laser. Then, he discovered offshore sailing, competing in the Tour de France Sailing Race before becoming interested in the Mini circuit. In 2007, he experienced a lot of problems in his first Mini Transat, but Thomas would not give up and completed the race in Bahia. What happened next is well known with his two remarkable wins in 2009-2010, and there were also wins in many other preparation races in the Mini 6.50 and Class40 circuits.

Ambitious, Ruyant aimed even higher and hoped to compete in the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe. Fascinated by the technical development of the boats, he really wanted to sail a 60-foot IMOCA. Lacking the funding, he would stay ashore, but it was just a postponement. Meanwhile, he was able to hone his skills taking part for three seasons in the demanding Figaro circuit.
Mini 6.50, Class40, Figaro… Thomas has been through them all on his way to competing in the solo round the world race. On 6th November 2016 in les Sables d’Olonne, he will be there at the start of the eighth Vendée Globe. His aims to complete the race, but he also wants to get a good result. A clear indication of his character.
What proof do we have? As Armel Tripon did before in the Route du Rhum on this very same boat, Thomas Ruyant achieved an incredible fourth place on her in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which looks very promising.



IMOCA monohull

  • Sail number : FRA 60
  • The boat’s previous names: Groupe Bel
  • Designer: VPLP-Verdier
  • Chantier : Indiana Yachting (Scarlino, Italie)
  • Launch Date: 01 January 2007
  • Length: 18,28 m
  • Beam: 5,50 m
  • Draught: 4,50 m
  • Displacement (weight): 7,7 tonnes
  • Number of drifts: nc
  • Mast height: 28 m
  • Keel blade: Carbone
  • Upwind sail area: 340 m2
  • Downwind sail area: 570 m2

Le Souffle du Nord
Thomas Ruyant will be setting off on Kito de Pavant’s old boat, which competed in the last two Vendée Globes before being forced to retire. A subtle compromise between light weight and power, it is the result of the collaboration between the VPLP team and Guillaume Verdier, and as the sistership to the first Safran was a precursor. All of the new boats lining up in the next Vendée Globe will also be VPLP-Verdier designed boats. Aboard this monohull, which is a reference in the IMOCA class, Thomas Ruyant will have  a lot going for him…


In pictures

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