IMOCA Globe Series30th
Points73 pts
Age48 (8/23/74)
Top performance4th of the Vendée Globe 2008-09
Joined Imoca on2007
PartnersPartenaires:, K.LINE, Partenaire associé : Vinci-Energie, Partenaire secondaire : Chocolaterie Alex Olivier, Mécènes de l’association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque
CommitmentMécénat Chirurgie cardiaque, Plankton Planet


Sam was born on 23 August 1974 in Portsmouth, England, to a family of sailors. Her grandfather was a submarine captain and she learnt to walk on her parents’ boat. An engineering graduate who studied at Cambridge university, Sam began her career in competitive sailing at 24 with her 1st crewed round the world (Jules Verne Trophy 1998).

An engineering graduate who studied at Cambridge university, Sam began her career in competitive sailing at 24 with her 1st crewed round the world (Jules Verne Trophy 1998).

It was in France that she chose to settle in order to live out her passion. There she learnt her trade on the Mini 6.50 and then the Figaro circuit. However, Sam really made a name for herself in the Vendée Globe 2008, securing a brilliant 4th place on the IMOCA ROXY. Her experience and her positive attitude earned her a place as skipper for Team SCA during the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.

After two Transat Jacques Vabres alongside Tanguy de Lamotte, Sam was chosen in 2018 to take over the helm of the IMOCA Initiatives-Cœur, based in Lorient.

With a cheerful disposition and totally at one with the sea, she loves sharing her passion with the public, as evidenced by the funny and at times crazy videos she sends during each race. An accomplished athlete, Sam swims, cycles and does yoga and Pilates.

Within the project, Sam plays an active part in the technical developments on the boat Initiatives-Coeur. A perfectionist and persevering, she’s a speed demon and gives her all in competition. Making no secret of her competitive ambitions, Sam Davies, who is also the mother of a little boy, doesn’t forget the raison d’être of the Initiatives Cœur project. The boat sports the colours of the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, a Foundation based in France, which enables children with heart malformations but no access to treatment in their own countries, to be operated on.

Together with her son and her partner, sailor Romain Attanasio, she lives in Tregunc in southern Finistère.

On November 8, 2020, the Initiatives-Cœur project started its 3rd Vendée Globe, the 3rd also for Sam Davies. After a start that was up to her abilities, the British skipper was forced to retire on December 5 off Cape Town following a collision with a UFO that caused structural damage around the keel of her boat. However, Sam does not give up and chooses to finish her circumnavigation of the globe out of the race. It is full of motivation that she launches out in this new challenge, very different from the one of departure. She completes the race on February 28, 2021, achieving a personal victory, but also for the cause she supports after Heart Surgery Sponsorship, since her trip raised enough money to save 102 children. 

Sailing Highlights

2022: Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération - 8th
Transat Jacques Vabre - 5th
Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération - 6th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th
Vendée Globe - Finishes out of the race
Défi Azimut - 2nd

2020: Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne - 4th
Défi Azimut - 7th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th
Bermudes 1000 Race - 4th 
2018: Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - Retired
2018: Drheam Cup - 1st
2018: Bermudes 1000 Race - 2nd
2017: Transat Jacques Vabre - 6th with Initiatives Coeur/Tanguy de Lamotte
2015: Transat Jacques Vabre - 5th with Initiatives Coeur/Tanguy de Lamotte
2014-15: Team SCA skipper - Volvo Ocean Race
2011-12: Vendée Globe - Retired on dismasting.
2011: Transat Jacques Vabre - 10th with Sidney Gavignet
2010: Transat Ag2r - 4th with Romain Attanasio
2008-09: Vendée Globe - 4th on board ROXY
2006: Transat Jacques Vabre - 10th with Jeanne Grégoire
2004: BPE Trophy - 5th
2003: Transat Ag2r - 5th
2002: Transat Jacques Vabre - 6th with Nick Moloney


Sail numberFRA 109
ArchitectSam Manuard
Construction2022, Black Pepper Yachts
Former names
Length18,28 m
Draught4,5 m
Mast height29 m
Mast typeWing mast
Sail area max.


© Jean-Louis Carli
© ©Yann Riou - polaRYSE Copyrighted For editorial uses only.
© Yann Riou
© Maxime Horlaville / polaRYSE / Initiatives Coeur