UpWind by MerConcept

UpWind by MerConcept announces squad of seven female athletes for inaugural season of Ocean Fifty Racing. © Qaptur | MerConcept

UpWind by MerConcept aims to create a more inclusive and diverse offshore sailing community, providing a platform for individuals from all backgrounds to access quality sailing training and professional development.

Backed by Founding Sponsor 11th Hour Racing, this initiative opens up competitive opportunities for the next generation of sailors, enabling them to explore, learn, and excel on the open sea through a global racing schedule on an Ocean Fifty high-performance trimaran.


Visit the UpWind by MerConcept website

Initiatives supported by 11th Hour Racing:

  • Recruit and train at least 12 active female sailors on multihull offshore racing boats, and select a minimum of six female sailors to compete in the 2024 Ocean Fifty racing program.
  • Appoint one female sailor to be the skipper on the Ocean Fifty, a high-performance trimaran, for the Route du Rhum in 2026, and all other sailors shall also be female sailors.
  • Facilitate and lead annual training on the diversity, equity, and inclusion action plan for all academy participants, including sailors, shore team, and others involved in the academy.
  • Integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of campaign planning and operations, including the boat refit, and influence the team supply chain and stakeholders to adopt more sustainable practices.
  • Build a diverse academy shore team and appoint females in roles across each of the technical and shore teams.
    Develop a mentorship program to create internship opportunities within the shore team.
MerConcept is a leading offshore sailing and sustainability hub in Brittany, France, founded by François Gabart. UpWind by MerConcept fosters competitive opportunities for future sailors worldwide aboard a high-performance Ocean Fifty trimaran. Photo credit: Guillaume Gatefait


Since 2006, MerConcept has harnessed the power of the wind to propel its boats, navigating across the globe and supporting unifying and inspiring offshore racing projects. Evolving into a mission-driven enterprise, MerConcept, recognizing the imperative of giving purpose to progress, has established a sustainable innovation laboratory. This lab empowers research and development, fostering the creation of a maritime mobility division. Adaptable to reinventing ourselves in the face of complex technological and environmental challenges, we conceive, build, and navigate the boats of the future at our core base in Concarneau, Southern Brittany.