Open 60 Program

The Open 60 Class is another pinnacle of the sport of sailing. These boats are designed to push the envelope for man and machine. Every four years, as with the Olympics, the Vendée Globe Ocean Race is the ultimate competition for the Open 60 Class, a solo non-stop unassisted around the world race taking about 3 months.

Program Details

Officially launched in February 2015, Wind Athletes provides Canada’s premier ocean racing program, Canadian Ocean Racing, both the use of Open 60 O Canada and financial support from our generous private donors to make this program possible.

A small, elite group of aspiring Canadian offshore athletes are selected to be a part of the program headed by Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year, Eric Holden. In Holden’s journey to the Vendee Globe, just the 3rd Canadian in history to enter the solo nonstop round the world race, he will be using his training sails to mentor the next generation of offshore athletes in Canada.

The program begins with a Launch Tour in Spring 2015 in which select Aspiring Offshore Athletes will be able to participate in some or all of O Canada’s training sail from West to East Coast Canada via the Panama Canal. Further opportunities after the Launch Tour concludes in Summer 2015 will be in transatlantic journeys for Fall 2015 and beyond.

Canadian Ocean Racing’s Open 60 program will not only provide Aspiring Offshore Athletes with access to a competitive Open 60 but also the career guidance and mentorship from some of Canada’s most successful offshore sailors.

Wind Athlete’s support of this Open 60 program will allow aspiring sailors to experience all aspects of running a successful IMOCA campaign. The goal is for these Aspiring Offshore Sailors to come away from the program with the skills, connections and experience to build their own careers in competitive offshore sailing.

Applicants to Canadian Ocean Racing’s Aspiring Offshore Athletes must be a Canadian national between the ages of 21-35 and have some previous offshore experience. For more information and/or to apply, please visit:


Eric Holden

Eric Holden, Skipper

Eric Holden is Canada’s premier ocean yachtsman. As the winning skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race, Eric became the first Canadian skipper to win a round the world race. With his extensive background in offshore racing, Eric Holden has competed in the top international races including the Sydney-Hobart race, the Fastnet race, the Newport-Bermuda, and many more.

Holden has excelled in both oceanic races, winning the transpacific Vic Maui race and second overall in the Maxi Transatlantic race, and offshore races, finishing second overall in the Sydney Hobart race and winning the Marblehead to Halifax race.

Holden has a degree in meteorology and is a 200 ton Master Mariner. Before becoming a specialist in offshore racing, he was a member of the Canadian national sailing team in the Tornado class and is a past Canadian Laser youth champion and Byte World Champion. In founding Canadian Ocean Racing, Eric’s aims is to advance Canada’s involvement and interest in offshore sailing, both by participating in the sport’s most elite races and sharing his experience with the next generation of sailors.