Dona Bertarelli

Co-founder

  • Nationality : Swiss
  • On board role : Onboard reporter
  • Number of world tours : 1

Best performance

In 2016, after 47 days, 10 hours, 49 minutes at sea during the Jules Verne Trophy attempt, Dona Bertarelli became the fastest woman to sail around the world

Sailing has always been part of her universe, but it was in late 2006 that Dona Bertarelli first started racing competitively, gathering together an all-woman crew on Lake Geneva’s Décision 35 catamaran circuit. Following in the footsteps of Riquette Thévand (in 1944), in 2010, at the helm of Ladycat, she became the second female skipper to win the prestigious Bol d’Or Mirabaud, which she won again in 2014. She created Spindrift with Yann Guichard, a racing stable designed to accommodate their various nautical campaigns. Since then, the pair has been developing and managing this professional team in line with their philosophy. They set its course based on a shared vision, such as the decision to set up Spindrift for Schools, a teaching programme approved by the French Ministry of National Education, with whom a partnership agreement has been signed along the theme of Sustainable Development Education. The educational kit “Inspired by Nature: committed to action!” has been created in partnership with the Departmental Service of National Education of the Morbihan region, the French Réseau Canopé in Lorient, Brittany and with the support of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-Unesco), which has included this kit in its Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development programme.


An entrepreneur and philanthropist, as well as a fervent ocean advocate for nearly two decades, committed to several foundations and projects dedicated to marine conservation, Dona Bertarelli discovered offshore multihull sailing in 2013 aboard Spindrift 2 (which became Sails of Change in 2021). Listening, learning, gradually gaining confidence and honing her skills, she takes the win in the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2013, then 2015, as well as securing her first crewed Atlantic record. The sailor’s experience continued to grow during Spindrift’s Jules Verne Trophy attempt, in 2015-2016 after 47 days, 10 hours and 49 minutes at sea. In 2016, Dona Bertarelli was named female sailor of the year at the SUI Sailing Awards for the second time (2014) and is the fastest woman to sail around the world!

Her commitment to protecting nature has taken on a global dimension. In 2020, Dona Bertarelli was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as Special Adviser for the Blue Economy to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). In 2021, Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard became Patrons of Nature of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The same year, Dona Bertarelli, her children and Yann Guichard founded Sails of Change, a community of sports and nature lovers who want to create a sustainable future for our planet. The livery on both the racing stable’s boats sports a brand-new design comprising the green of the earth and the blue of the ocean, alongside the #30×30 logo, the first campaign supported by Sails of Change. 30 by 30 is a global call for action to protect at least 30% of the ocean and the earth by 2030.

In order to carry these messages around the world and invite the public to embark on this human adventure, Dona Bertarelli will be the on-board reporter in her second attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy aboard the maxi-trimaran, which has been specially renamed: Sails of Change.