The North Sails sailmaking company sets up in Lorient
The project had been in the boxes for many months. North Sails has officially opened in Lorient. Initially planned in the Challenges building, built to host the French America's Cup projects, it had to be redesigned after the fire in the building on June 9, 2018 . North Sails has finally set its sights on the former floor of the Tonnerre sail factory, near Lorient-La Base. "With the development of the bases of all the ocean racing teams, the Ultim, all the minis on the median... You can't imagine not being there. And it also brings us closer to Port-La-Forêt," sums up Philippe Touet, arrived at the head of North Sails France in Vannes in tandem with Gautier Sergent, in June 2019 .
A floor dedicated to sail service
North Sails' new premises have a floor area of 500 m². It is entirely dedicated to service activities. "There are no plans to make sails for boats there. The objective is to always have 2 people on site. These will be people from the Vannes team who live towards Lorient and who will also be avoided travelling. This allows us to keep the same contact persons with the customers. The principle is to always have one person in the design office and one salesperson. Eventually, the floor in Lorient should replace our 2nd building that we rent in Vannes. The IMOCA sails can be handled in Lorient, while the Ultim will remain managed in Vannes."
Service also for boaters
The establishment of a North Sails service sail factory in Lorient does not satisfy the offshore racers. "There were no more sailmakers present in Lorient for the service. When our arrival was announced, there were already yachtsmen from the port of Kernevel who came to see us for sail repairs" explains Philippe Touet. Although sailing is mainly recognised in the racing and regatta world, it continues to see yachting as a potential for growth. "The 1st assembly with shipyards such as Outremer, Gunboat, Marsaudon or IDB Marine corresponds to our marketing image. We're also going to make the next sails for the schooner Tara" concludes Philippe Touet.