42 years old

Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts de Seine) / Lorient (Morbihan)

Stéphane Le Diraison’s career as an ocean racer took off when he moved to Paris. Something of a paradox for this pure Breton, originally from Hennebont (Morbihan), who began to sail before he could walk. Just a few months old, he used to go aboard the family’s boat every weekend and the sea was a natural part of his environment. It’s not surprising that he began solo sailing at a very young age at around 15. Before he moved into the sixth form, he had renovated an old 6m boat that had been abandoned on the mud flats and started delivery trips aboard her. Spain, Portugal, the Canaries, the Balearics: Stéphane clocked up the miles and experience on various types of boat, sailing solo.

At the same time, he raced with a crew, in particular in Class 8. In Lorient, his neighbours on the pontoon were Alain Gautier, the winner of the 92-93 Vendée Globe and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede. He began to look forward to taking part one day in the Vendée Globe. Stéphane Le Diraison would do anything to get there always applying rigour and method, as you would expect from an engineer. Gradually he moved up taking it one step at a time. He started with the Mini Transat in a series boat in 2007, finishing in second place. Two years later, he was back in the race again, but this time on a prototype (4th place).

Stéphane knew where he wanted to go and nothing would stop him. After moving to Paris, he got the support of Bureau Veritas, which is also his employer, and of his new home town, Boulogne-Billancourt. Competing in the Class 40 circuit after 2010, he soon got good results, including a win in the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables in 2011. His 2014 Route du Rhum showed his total commitment. After ripping his solent early in the race, he climbed back up through the fleet to finish in 4th place in Guadeloupe.

Now the lucky owner of a 60-foot IMOCA – his tenth boat! – Stéphane Le Diraison will be at the start of the race of his dreams on 6th November 2016. Already an achievement. An experienced solo sailor, he also has a thorough technical knowledge, so has got what it takes to achieve his second major ambition: to complete the Vendée Globe in less than 90 days.



IMOCA monohull

  • Sail number : FRA 92
  • The boat’s previous names: Hugo Boss, Energa
  • Designer: Finot-Conq Design
  • Chantier : Neville Hutton
  • Launch Date: 01 June 2007
  • Length: 18,28 m
  • Beam: 5,94 m
  • Draught: 4,50 m
  • Displacement (weight): 8,5 tonnes
  • Number of drifts: 2
  • Mast height: 28 m
  • Keel blade: Carbone
  • Upwind sail area: 300 m²
  • Downwind sail area: 550 m²

The most recent IMOCA designed by Finot-Conq was designed for Alex Thomson. She is practically the sistership to Armel Le Cléac’h former Brit’Air (which became Bertrand de Broc’s MACSF), 2nd in the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. Wide and powerful, Stéphane Le Diraison’s boat has shown what she can do, in particular by becoming the first IMOCA to have covered more than 500 miles in 24 hours in the 2007-2008 Barcelona World Race. Stéphane Le Diraison intends to become the first skipper to complete the Vendée Globe on her, after the two failed attempts by Alex Thomson (in 2008-2009) and Zbigniew Gutkowski (in 2012-2013).


In pictures

To listen

  • Photo sent from the boat Compagnie du Lit - Boulogne Billancourt, on December 24th, 2016 - Photo Stephane Le DiraisonPhoto envoyée depuis le bateau Compagnie du Lit - Boulogne Billancourt le 24 Décembre 2016 - Photo Stephane Le DiraisonCouture 1

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  • Stéphane Le Diraison - La Compagnie du Lit - Boulogne-Billancourt

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  • Stephane Le Diraison (FRA), skipper Compagnie du Lit - Boulogne Billancourt, talking on pontoons of the Vendee Globe in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 1st, 2016 - Photo Jean-Louis Carli / AFP / DPPI / Vendee GlobeStephane Le Diraison (FRA), sk

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