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Doyle Sails: Two high profile sailors join the international team at Doyle Sails, Palma

by Danielle Burridge, Doyle Sails 20 Feb 2022 19:44 PST 21 February 2022
Antoine Thullier has joined Doyle Sails Palma © Natasha Gonzalez

Doyle Sails continues to expand internationally with two high-profile sailors joining the international team at Doyle Sails Palma loft.

The newest addition to the Doyle Sails Palma family is sailor and sailmaking craftsman Antoine Thullier. He has joined the Doyle sails team after running his own loft in Spain for almost a decade, while working as both a sailmaker and professional sailor.

Jordi Calafat come on as part as the global design network based in the Palma loft. He brings substantial experience with the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and 52 Super Series.

Antoine Thullier was born and raised on the Atlantic coast of France. He grew up by the sea and fostered a passion for sailing from an early age. From a child, Thullier felt a connection to the sea and began to understand his path in life was going to be connected to this environment.

Antoine is the newest member of the Doyle Sails Palma team and will be leading the service team in Mallorca alongside Chris Sherlock, Scott Zebny, Luke Molloy and their team of high-profile designers, sailors and sailmakers including renowned sailor and designer Jordi Calafat and sailmaker Guido Romana.

"I jumped into the industry at 20 years old when all I wanted to do was talk about sailing every day. I joined a local sail loft in the south of Britany where I took the opportunity to learn and discover the art of sailmaking," says Thullier, during his first day on the job in Palma.

"After that, I joined Incidences sails in La Rochelle to help on big offshore multihull projects and collaborated with Maxime Paul, which has been such an enjoyable experience for me, and elevated my skill level and craftsmanship."

With his sights set on discovering more of the sailing world, Antoine moved to Spain to work with another sailmaker and was quickly intrigued by the Grand Prix, Maxi classes, and illustrious superyacht scene. Thullier continued, 'it was the perfect location to launch myself as a sailmaker, sailor and hard worker. I have now been lucky enough to sail on TP52s, Wally's and many Superyachts over the last 15 years".

By 2013 Thullier had established himself within a great network of sailing teams and had a sought-after skillset that prompted him to launch his own sailmaking company. Servicing and building new sails and developing many solutions around sails, race bags and specific covers for prestigious yachts.

"The key was to deliver an exclusive and custom product and service, sharing and understanding the needs of the yachts captains and race crew. It has been a challenge that has made me stronger,

"Joining Doyle Sails will present more opportunities for me and to be part of this world-class team is a highlight," Thullier said. "They are the leader of sailmaking, and Doyle Sails have built an extremely talented team and it is a great opportunity to grow, sharing everybody's experience, knowledge and skills," he added.

Olympic Gold medalist joins Doyle design team

Former world Optimist champion and Olympic Gold medalist in the 470 class, Jordi Calafat has also joined Doyle Sails Palma as Grand Prix Designer. He is a valuable addition to the ever-expanding Doyle Sails Grand Prix sailing and design team. Jordi is synonymous with the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, 52 Super Series, Club Swan classes and a significant number of one-design fleets globally. With two TP52s already signed to Doyle Sails for the 2022 Super Series, Jordi has hit the ground running.

When asked what Jordi will be bringing to Doyle Sails, he comments, "I have been pretty successful in the Grand Prix classes - specifically the TP52, Swan 50 and Swan 36s and Maxi 72s, which is where I have worked the most. We have won the world's in every one of these classes over the last few years. We've won the previous six Maxi World's with the Maxi 72s and the TP52 Worlds twice".

Working with Design Director Richard Bouzaid, the wider Doyle design team, and the global Doyle sailors, Jordi will instantly become an influential and integral addition to the group.

"There are many different reasons for me joining Doyle Sails, Doyle has the best lamination, which means the best membranes, so this gives me a lot of comfort as a sail designer to create custom designs. The other key thing is working with Richard Bouzaid, Doyle's Design Director. That is a big plus for me to improve my skills and share my knowledge with the design team.

"As a designer, it is always important to learn from differing points of view and to be surrounded by great sailors. Doyle already has a team of good designers and great sailors. The company's approach is that it's managed by sailors who have been successful in the Whitbread, the Volvo, America's Cup, etc. This view of the industry and approaching different projects was one of the key influences when I chose to join Doyle Sails. When designing sails, we have to consider the different philosophies that have different impacts on business - the key thing is to work out what the sailors and the trimmers want to see and consider other aspects of the sailmaking or the business".

Part of the secret to the vertical growth and significant shift to Doyle Sails has been the development of an efficient and reliable communication loop between high-performance sailors and the Doyle design office. This loop allows on-water experience and development led by sailors to feed directly back into the design team—allowing the constant innovation of Doyle sails.

"Doyle Sails react and evolve so quickly and continue to develop new types of sails. They are full-on when there is an opportunity to bring more speed. In every single way, they are quick to innovate and develop the product and get it on the water", says Jordi.

Jordi comes into full flight in early December 2021. No downtime is expected with first-hand experience in Structured Luff and Stratis technology. Jordi has previous experience through many Doyle Sails collaborations in the Maxi 72 campaigns and comments, "Doyle are the leaders in the Cableless or the Structured Luff technology - they started this evolution and are still the leaders. There are endless development opportunities, and in this case, so many other positive changes can be made to yachts because of it - rig structure and boat structure included. It is a matter of time now to see how far we can keep evolving this".

Jordi will continue to sail at the same Grand Prix level, including the Swan 36 and 50 classes, the TP52 Super Series and the Maxi 72, but you can also expect to see Jordi onboard Superyachts, and entrenched in both the RC44 and Wally Cento classes. In 2022, Doyle Sails will be launched onto the 52 Super Series circuit with Jordi at the forefront.

"We have Platoon where the aim is to win the season for Harm and the team finally. We have been so close so often it would be good to achieve that. It is never easy, but Harm is very committed, and we work together with Dave Armitage, who runs the sail programme for Interlodge. Hopefully, we can have two successful TP52s in 2022", says Jordi.

"We've always been about building the strongest group of people at Doyle Sails, and it is a pleasure to officially welcome Jordi to our team as both a high profile sailor and one of the world's best sail designers," Doyle Sails International CEO Mike Sanderson said. "I am lucky enough to have actually been working with Jordi for the last five years with Bella Mente, and so it's wonderful now to be part of the same sailmaking team officially! We're proud to currently be ahead of the curve in innovation, technology and design, but now is not a time to be complacent, we are moving forward and fast, and Jordi will be a big part of our next phase".

Jordi Calafat started sailing in 1980, and, in just three years, he won the Optimist World Championship. He was a naturally talented sailor; his success continued when he won the 1985 420 Junior World Championship, placed second at the 470 Worlds in 1989 and 1990, then took sixth at the 1991 470 Worlds. The lower finish didn't deter him, it inspired him. In 1992, Jordi won a gold medal in the 470 class at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Jordi Calafat Career Highlights:

  • Three Seasons with Maxi 72, Bella Mente
  • Two Seasons with Maxi 72, Momo
  • Two Seasons with Maxi 72 Cannonball
  • 2021 TP52 World Championship, Platoon
  • 2020 TP52 World Championship, Platoon
  • 2021 Swan 50 World Champion, Hatari
  • 2020 Swan 50 World Champion, Hatari
  • 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, Telefonica
  • 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race, Telefonica Blue
  • 2007 America's Cup Winner, Alinghi
  • 1992 470 Gold Medal, Barcelona Olympic Games
About Doyle Sails:

Doyle Sails Palma is a world-class facility and currently one of the largest sail lofts in the area with over 3,000 sqm of floor space. The primary focus for the loft is the finishing and servicing of Grand Prix and Superyacht sails. Home to one of the most influential and experienced teams in the industry, Doyle Sails Palma is well established with Chris Sherlock, Scott Zebny and Luke Molloy at the helm. Learn more doylesails.com/loft-palma

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