ATLAS is an association gathering people fascinated by the practice of competitive sailing. Our objective is to take Quebecois oceanic sailing to the highest level and to prove to the international sailing scene that Quebec has enough talent and ambition to compete with the best teams!
In this perspective, throughout the year ATLAS organizes activities reserved for its members and its sponsors.
We fill our sailing calendar with international races, regattas, and match-racing events in North America, and between those majors events, we leave space for deliveries, corporate activities, and discovery experiences for Junior Sailors and social events.
ATLAS sailing team is the creation of 3 individuals that are passionate about sailing : George Leblanc, a quebec skipper who has travelled around the globe by boat for the past 35 years. Gilles Barbot, a French entrepreneur and President and Founder of Groupe Esprit de Corps Inc., and Maxime Grimard, a young French manager who fell in love from the Province of Québec.
For the past four decades, Georges has been fighting to put Quebec sailing on the map, participating in many international races such as the ‘Route du rhum’ and the ‘Transat Jacques Vabre’.
It was this passion and daring that attracted Gilles to George and their chemistry together that gave them the courage to take on projects that many deem audacious even impossible. Gilles’ experience taking over 8000 people over the past 10 years to accomplish human challenges ranging from Across Canada biking to a relay race race from Mtl-NYC had prepared him for this.
In 2013 their first project initializes with Destination 2014. The idea is simple, prepare 20 quebecois entrepreneurs to cross the Atlantic ocean on VOR60 Esprit de Corps II.
In January 2014 Gilles buys a second VOR60 in the Netherlands. In an epic journey and one of the most original ways of emigrating to America, Maxime, who plans to move to Quebec permanently, sails with Georges across the atlantic. Realizing the potential created by owning two VOR60’s, the 3 men’s ambitions and desire to go ever further lead them to create the ATLAS Sailing team.
In summer 2015, the team continues to initiate new members to the ultimate sailing experience- oceanic sailing between the two ports of Quebec and St-Malo but also in challenging excursions in the gulf of the st-Lawrence and he open ocean around St-Pierre et miquelon and the island of Anticosti. It is these deeply human experiences, when the team is shaken to its core by the tumult of the sea and salt laden air that give the team even greater ambition- to participate in an international race in 2016.
In July 2016, ATLAS Ocean racing wins Route Halifax Saint-Pierre, its first win in an international race. In February 2017, ATLAS sails to the Caribbean in order to take part in the international races taking place there.
At 4am AST on Wednesday, May 22, whilst returning from a season of racing in the Caribbean, SV Esprit de Corps IV was shipwrecked on Cross Island, NS. 20nm before Lunenburg, NS, her final port of destination, and under a very reduced set of sails, gale force winds complicated the manoeuvre of dousing the sails before entering the chanel leading to Lunenburg. The strong gusts and a loss of the ability to use the propeler led the boat to drift towards Cross Island where she ran aground. All members of the crew returned to land safe and sound.
The challenges and rigour the sailing team imposes on themselves, mirorred by the challenges they face in their businesses is the basis for the team’s success…