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OC Sport opens international base for offshore sailing campaigns

Published on 14/01/2019

OC Sport, the international event organiser and rights holder, has opened a new base in Lorient, France. Managed by the company’s French subsidiary OC Sport Pen Duick, ‘Le HUB by OC Sport’ will draw on the company’s successful track record in the organisation of major offshore events and team management, to offer a full-service solution for international offshore sailing campaigns.

One of the first to take advantage of the new facilities at Le HUB is 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper Charles Caudrelier, who won the race at the helm of the OC Sport-managed Dongfeng Race Team.

Continuing their successful partnership, Caudrelier will take the helm of the OC Sport Figaro Bénéteau 3 for the next two seasons.

Commenting on the new base, Caudrelier said: “The idea of Le HUB by OC Sport is really to create a centre of skills bringing together people with different experiences, to create a real team where everyone can have their own projects while learning from others around them. It will allow us to bring together a group of sailors who will work with each other and generate a great dynamic. Personally, I am pleased to continue with OC Sport and to build on our recent success.”

Alongside Caudrelier initially will be two alumni of the successful Franco-Chinese Dongfeng Race Team, Fabien Delahaye and Benjamin Schwartz. Both will benefit from the resources and skills available on site, ranging from logistical know-how and technical services through to sponsorship and communications support, for their new Figaro Bénéteau 3 campaigns.

Located in the heart of the ‘Sailing Valley’ in Lorient, Le HUB will take over the former Gitana Team base, offering a full range of the skills and knowledge necessary to run a successful campaign. At 1,200m2, Le HUB is large enough to accommodate two IMOCAs, several Figaro Bénéteau 3s, a Multi 50 or an ULTIME.

In 2019, it will host three Figaro campaigns, whilst maintaining a focus on the construction of a winning IMOCA project for the Vendée Globe 2024.

Hervé Favre, Co-CEO of OC Sport in charge of sailing, explained the company’s ambitious vision. “Lorient is a key location for us at the heart of the offshore sailing industry in France. We want to attract international teams and skippers to make use of these world-class facilities and our goal is to be active and successful in campaigns in the Figaro, IMOCA, ULTIME or Multi 50 in the coming years. Our ambition is to win races.

“Today, nobody offers a complete service for sailing campaigns under one roof. With Le HUB by OC Sport, we can now provide this. We want to be the ‘go-to’ organisation for a company embarking on sailing sponsorship.”

Favre continued: “We are known in the industry for our event capabilities, but we are less recognised for our technical know-how, and so over the next four to six years we will be working to build this awareness. The goal is to run a successful, race winning Vendée Globe campaign in the next six years.”

OC Sport was founded in 1998 to promote and manage the stellar sailing career of Dame Ellen MacArthur, including her record breaking round the world voyage.

In her wake, Nick Moloney (IMOCA Skandia - 2004), Sébastien Josse (IMOCA BT - 2008), Samantha Davies and Sidney Gavignet (IMOCA ARTEMIS - 2009), have also benefited from the expertise of OC Sport in running their campaigns.

Most recently, the company celebrated its biggest ever team management success with the victory of Dongfeng Race Team in the Volvo Ocean Race, solidifying OC Sport’s credentials as industry leading campaign managers.

Owned by the French media conglomerate, the Telegramme Group, OC Sport has the biggest portfolio of offshore sailing events in global sports management. These include four-yearly The Transat, the four-yearly Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, the annual Solitaire URGO Le Figaro and the Transat AG2R La Mondiale.

The creation of Le HUB by OC Sport will enable the Telegramme Group to strengthen its regional ties in Lorient, and is expected to contribute significantly to the local economy. Norbert Métairie, President of Lorient Agglomeration, Mayor of Lorient welcomed the new international base.

“For OC Sport to settle permanently in Lorient with ‘Le HUB by OC Sport’, is the realisation of the relations started long ago with Ellen MacArthur’s OC Sport projects in 2004 (B&Q - Castorama), then Sébastien Josse in 2008 (BT), which occupied this same hangar Glorieux 1. More recently, our relations have been strengthened with the two Dongfeng Race Team campaigns prepared in Lorient.

“It is therefore with great pleasure that we welcome this ambitious project, which will bring undeniable economic benefits to the area and we look forward to supporting them on this new venture.”

Potential partnersm teams or skippers interested in Le HUB by OC Sport can contact Project Manager Marine Derrien, marine.derrien@ocsport.com.

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