IMOCA Globe Series6th
Points92 pts
Age49 (8/23/74)
Top performance4th of the Vendée Globe 2008-09
Joined Imoca on2007
BaseLorient (FRANCE)
PartnersInitiatives, K.LINE, Vinci-Energie, 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 engineer with a degree from Cambridge University, Sam began her career in competitive sailing at the age of 24, with a first round-the-world crewed race (Jules Verne Trophy 1998). She then chose to move to France to pursue her passion. She learnt her trade in the Mini 6.50 and then on the Figaro circuit. Sam became known to the general public during the 2008 Vendée Globe where she brilliantly finished 4th on the IMOCA Roxy. Her experience and attitude led to her being recruited as skipper of Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, an all-female round the world race.

After two Transat Jacques Vabre races alongside Tanguy de Lamotte, Sam was chosen in 2018 to take over the helm of the IMOCA Initiatives-Cœur. Within the project, Sam is actively involved in the technical development of the red IMOCA. She clearly displays her sporting ambitions, without forgetting the raison d'être of the Initiatives-Cœur project. The boat carries the colours of Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, a foundation that allows children with heart defects to be operated on in France and who have no access to treatment in their own country.

On 8 November 2020, the Initiatives-Cœur project set off on its third Vendée Globe, the third for Sam Davies. After starting the race as well as she could, the British skipper was forced to retire on 5 December off Cape Town after a collision with a UFO caused structural damage to the keel of her boat. However, Sam did not give up and chose to finish her round the world race out of the race. She completed the race on 28 February 2021, achieving a personal victory, but also a victory for the cause she supports with Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, as her voyage raised enough funds to save 102 children.

She finished 5th in the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2021 with Nicolas Lunven. The same year, she sold her boat to Arnaud Boissières and launched the construction of a new IMOCA, still in the colours of Initiatives-Cœur, with a view to the next Vendée Globe in 2024, an IMOCA that she launched on 28 July 2022. Six months later, she was at the start of the Route du Rhum, where she finished 28th in the IMOCA fleet.

At the beginning of 2023, while her boat was in winter refit at Lorient La Base, Paul Meilhat called her to participate in a leg of The Ocean Race on his IMOCA Biotherm. She accepted, on the condition that she would race one leg: Leg 3, the one between Cape Town and Itajaí. Alongside experienced skippers, she experienced the adventure of the Deep South in an IMOCA crew.

Back to her project, she embarked Damien Seguin on her 60-foot boat, a sailor with whom she had shared 37 days at sea aboard Biotherm, to race the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race.

She then takes on Nicolas Lunven for the rest of the 2023 season and the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Sailing Highlights

2023: Défi Azimut-Lorient Agglomération - 5th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th (Initiatives-Coeur)
The Ocean Race - 4th (Biotherm)
Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race - 4th
Route du Rhum - 28th
2022: Défi Azimut - 8th

2021: Transat Jacques Vabre - 5th
Défi Azimut - 6th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th
Vendée Globe - Finishes out of the race
Défi Azimut - 2nd
Vendée-Arctique - 4th
Défi Azimut - 7th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 5th
Bermudes 1000 Race - 4th 
2018: Route du Rhum - Retired
2018: Drheam Cup - 1st
2018: Bermudes 1000 Race - 2nd
2017: Transat Jacques Vabre - 6th
2015: Transat Jacques Vabre - 5th
2014-15: Team SCA skipper - Volvo Ocean Race
2011-12: Vendée Globe - Retired on dismasting.
2011: Transat Jacques Vabre - 10th
2010: Transat Ag2r - 4th
2008-09: Vendée Globe - 4th
2006: Transat Jacques Vabre - 10th
2004: BPE Trophy - 5th
2003: Transat Ag2r - 5th
2002: Transat Jacques Vabre - 6th


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