Brittany is the home of the world’s best offshore sailors. Our 7-day fast-track performance monohull course will have our favourite French native Hugo Picard turning you into a fine-tuned sailor. Your training happens on a Ferrari-like Pogo 12.5. All prices are per person.
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Saturday at 3:30 PM
Saturday at 9:00 AM
Comfortable athletic clothing, light shoes, hat, full sailing foul-weather gear (salopettes & jacket/smock), sailing boots, sunscreen
All docking fees
All local fees
Food & wine on board
Food & drinks off the boat
ASA 104, NauticEd Bareboat, RYA Dayskipper or comparable sailing experience is recommended although not required
About 10 hours, course material will be provided after booking your course.
ASA 2x levels (if required)
Sailing Virgins Performance Course
Who is a Performance Course for?
We started our school with the belief that people under 50 want a sailing experience that is more athletic, more exhilarating than your typical cruising course. Our strong growth last year and perfect five-star ratings on Tripadvisor, Google and Facebook, making us the highest rated sailing school on the planet, suggests we’re onto something. Here is a bit more information about us.
This course follows our guiding principle, that sailing is one of the most exhilarating, athletic things you can do. Sailing courses are often held on tired old cruising boats. We have a Pogo. This thing is fast. Designed by Finot-Conq, the Pogo 12.5 is the boy-racer of monohulls. 15 or more knots is to be expected on a week in this part of the world: the mecca for offshore racers.
How many people can go on a course?
On this boat we can take five students. We have a senior instructor for the week, making sure everyone gets both boat and instructor time.
Who is the instructor?
Your instructor is Hugo Picard, known as The Sailing Frenchman on YouTube (with over 100K subscribers). Hugo has run race boats for Clipper, instructed in the Caribbean, raced single-handed in races leading up to the mini-Transat and is an unflappable, inspirational human. We love Hugo at Sailing Virgins – we all agree he’s pretty much the coolest person we know.
To be a Sailing Virgins instructor you need to have at least two seasons as a lead skipper for The Yacht Week in the Med and Caribbean, plus have at least a couple of ocean crossings under the belt. Our instructors can sail like nobody’s business. And they can get on with anyone and everyone.
Catamarans or monohulls for speed?
We like them both. The spoiler here is that it’s not about the boat so much as the crew. Nevertheless they have their pros and cons. While cats are normally faster, a Pogo will beat all but the fastest cats (one of the few who can beat it is the TS42, which we sail in our Performance Cat Course). We cover the difference in more detail here.
This itinerary is subject to change based on conditions.
Day 1 – Saturday 3:00pm
Today’s destination: La Rochelle. Today you will meet your instructor and fellow students, get onboard the Pogo and receive briefings, ready for pushing out in the morning.
Day 2 – Sunday
Today’s destination: Les Sables d’Olonne. Les Sables d’Olonne channel is part of the Brittany legend: this is the stretch from which the Vendée Globe racers begin the epic race and then return three months later, after having sailed around the world nonstop. It is also a good place to practice docking and for the offshore racing tragics, to have a look at some very nice boats (aka boat porn).
Day 3 – Monday
Today’s destination: Ile d’Yeu. Here is a nice little island good overnight stop at anchor if conditions allow, possibly in the harbour. During the day you will be refining your trimming and reefing being coached by Hugo to find those extra half-knots of speed in the boat.
Day 4 – Tuesday
Today’s destination: Belle Ile. During the day you will visit Houat and Hoedic Islands, providing great navigation challenges around the rocks of the area. In the evening, the appropriately named little island provides a great overnight stop, offering great food in local restaurants. You also have the possibility to rent bicycles and explore the island.
Day 5 – Wednesday
Today’s destination: La Trinité sur Mer. A lovely little bay in a sheltered harbour. As well as working on passage planning, you will be able to experience Brittany at its finest.
Day 6 – Thursday
Today’s destination: Golfe du Morbihan. Getting in here requires a few planets to align (figuratively and literally: it needs the right tide). This is also a good option to explore by feet/bicycle if people want to stretch their legs. During the day you will make a stop at Les Glénans: with blue water like in the Caribbean but in Bretagne. When Hugo was asked he gave his pithy response in favour: “shitloads of rocks and current makes it worth to go have a beer there”. That’s why we love you Hugo.
Day 7 – Friday
Today’s destination: Lorient. Today is an early start as we make our way to finish the week in the legendary port of Lorient, home to IMOCAs, ULTIMs and Class 40, and the throbbing heart of offshore racing. In the afternoon if you have any ASA exams, this is when you will sit them. After sailing back to La Rochelle, you will get together with your new best friends for a final bash in the restaurants and bars of the village for the night.
Day 8 – Saturday
Everybody packs up, says their goodbyes and is off the boat by 9am.
We can occasionally provide accommodation for the nights surrounding your course for an extra fee. Contact us for options.
Bretagne (aka “Brittany”) France
The Pogo is widely known as the fastest non-foiling production monohull available. They scream.
More information on the Pogo 12.5 can be found here.