Karver & Vendee Globe (english)




Last update : 11/12/2020 - 8:35 am

This Vendée Globe 2020-2021 is our 4th Vendée Globe as a supplier of fittings to the Imocas fleet. We mainly supply furlers, hooks, jammers and blocks. Here is a visual showing all the Karver equipment that can be found on board of an Imoca. 

Karverized Imoca

With an equipment rate of over 70%, we quickly find ourselves in the limelight as soon as a technical problem is announced by the media or the teams themselves.
We counted 102 hooks (headsails, reefs, mainsail, etc.) on the 33 participating yachts ! This gives a good idea of our involvement.


 It seemed necessary to us to open this page during the race to be as transparent as possible, to give the understanding keys and in a certain number of cases only to say that we have nothing to do with some problems mentioned ! Sailing is a world of passionate where the ponton tales can quickly overtake us. At each Vendée Globe, we are impressed by the amount of false information circulating.

This page is therefore intended to shed light on the technical news of the Vendée Globe in connection with our products. The editorial line is clear :
• We are only talking about hard facts and not guesswork.
• We will formally deny the biggest “fake news »
• In cases where we are not involved, we let each team communicate as they wish. We invite the press to get closer to them to have their official version. If an official statement comes to our attention, we will relay it.
• Each news is validated by the teams. We do not publish without their consent.
• If the subject deals with a competing product, we will simply say that we are not concerned without citing brands.

In addition to this public page, we are sharing even more information with the technical teams. Whether we have a responsibility or not, each experience is precious and in extreme conditions like the Vendée Globe, informing becomes an element of safety.

IN THE NEWS (from the most recent to the oldest)

  • 19/11/2020 :  Romain Attanasio have a problem with his main sail lock. This is not a Karver locking headboard car.
  •  11/11/2020 : Armel Tripon / l'Occitane announces the breakage of his hook and decides to divert to repair. This hook is not a Karver hook. He announced a few hours later that he was resuming the race. Be careful ! In the language of racers, the breakage of a hook means that they can no longer use it but the origin can very well be a problem on the mast (the attachment point) or the textile link which makes the connection between the hook and the mast
  •  0/11/2020 : One fan claimed on a participant's Facebook account that Hugo Boss is having hook problems. We contacted them on November 10 in the morning. The technical team denies the information.
  • 09/11/2020 : Arnaud Boissière announced hook problems (Karver KFH). We are at these sides to try to understand why. A permanently blocked hook is a very rare event and there is always an explanation ... We will communicate it to you as soon as we become aware of it.
  • 09/11/2020 : Thomas Ruyant mentioned the organization of a hook problem. According to his vacation of 11/11/2020 he does not seem worried and says he is able to repair it. We have not had any further information from the team yet.
  • 08/11/2020 : Fabrice Amédéo returned to the harbour following a hook blocking. The team finally informed us that a halyard got caught in the sail during furling. Under tension, this halyard cracked the mast and hampered the proper functioning of the hook. The Karver KFH hook is therefore not the source of the problem. It is collateral damage ! Regardless, the efforts on the hook have been significant. Although there is no serious problem, the team preferred to restart the race with a verified new hook. The solidarity of seafarers worked at full speed ! It was the Banque Populaire team that made one of our hooks available, which they kept on the old SMA mast. Fabrice has been racing again since 11/11/2020.


  • To understand the value of a hook, you can read our KarverPedia article on this subject : KARVERPEDIA
  • Despite the news, hooks are perfectly reliable equipment. Like all products, we are not immune to delivering a defective product despite all our checks, but it is important to understand that a hook problem is not always the manufacturer's fault alone. To voluntarily thicken the line, if you put diesel in your gasoline engine, you will have an engine failure ... but you will have difficulty in asserting the responsibility of the manufacturer. Whatever the manufacturer, multiple factors can explain the non-functioning of a hook : the choice of the hook by the team may be wrong (workload underestimated), following special conditions the instantaneous Safe Working Load (SWL) can greatly exceed the expected framework (a very big shock, a violent gybe, ...), hook installation may not be in accordance with recommendations, how to use hook may be very different from recommendations. Finally, and as was the case on Fabrice's boat, external elements can hinder the proper functioning of the hook or damage it.
  • Several fans ask us how to know if the sails are properly hooked. All halyards have markings to show where the hooking areas are. The hooking is done gently and not with a "sharp blow ». Beyond the mark, it is sufficient to release the tension in the halyard. If the sail does not lower and there is no more tension in the halyard : the sail is hooked ! Since the fixed point is at the top of the mast, it needs to take up the tension from below with the help of a 3: 1 sheave installed under the furler. The KFH hook does not have an additional hook / unhooker command. The only rope is the halyard.
  • The Imocas can be compared to Formula 1 of the seas. The pressure and competition between teams are important. The search for weight gain is a major component. At the request of the teams, we manufacture increasingly light and increasingly innovative products. In experimental phases, it is not uncommon to break material but it is part of the process of progress. The objective is of course to no longer be in this experimental phase at the start of a Vendée Globe. Everything is a question of the cursor between performance and safety.
  • Up to now, all the hook problems mentioned by the competitors concern hooks for headsails ; gennaker, codes, scoops, solent, ...