A structural and composites engineer, Sébastien is a fan of surfboarding, snowboarding and skiing, as well as sailing, offshore racing and the ocean of course. A native of France’s Vendée region, Sébastien discovered sailing as a child aboard his father’s boat. Bitten by the competition bug very early on, he quickly made a name for himself on the Olympic craft
Third of the World 470 Championship in 2013, but ultimately it was offshore racing that grabbed his attention and he rapidly set the Vendée Globe as his ultimate goal. In late 2013, he dominated the Challenge Espoir Bretagne-CMB, securing his entry ticket for the professional Figaro circuit. In the space of five seasons, he has asserted himself as one of the big names in this hotly-contested class, an antechamber to the Vendée Globe. In 2018, he won the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro and the French Elite Offshore Racing Champion title to boot.
Lining up in the colours of ARKÉA and PAPREC – two groups whose names are synonymous with offshore racing, the skipper Sébastien Simon intends to join forces around a meaningful programme where the dimensions of innovation, passing on knowledge, challenge and sharing, shape the contours of an ambitious project. With the support of his partners for his first participation in the Vendée Globe, Sébastien Simon has resolved to go for a new boat designed by the naval architect Juan Kouyoumdjian. The construction of the foiler began in Port-La-Forêt in September 2018, with a scheduled launch in the summer of 2019. Team ARKÉA PAPREC’s ambitions rely on the talent and spirit of Sébastien Simon and the vast experience of Vincent Riou.
Sébastien Simon will start his first solo round the world race in 2020. One month after the start, while sailing in 4th position, the sailor from Sablais was forced to abandon the race after hitting a UFO off the Cape of Good Hope. The disappointment is huge, but the skipper has the ambition to come back in 2024.
Although the partnership between Sébastien Simon and his partners ARKEA and PAPREC will end after the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021, the skipper has worked hard to prepare for this race, which he will be starting with Yann Eliès at his side. These two are formidable competitors and let's just say they're a bit 'hungry'.