The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has today announced that Frenchman Yoann Richomme will skipper the team’s ‘Racing for the Planet’ boat in the 2021 edition of The Ocean Race, the world’s longest and toughest sporting event.
Lasting for over nine months and spanning the breadth of the globe, the Ocean Race is a truly international event and has caught the imagination of sailors, adventurers and sportsmen for the past five decades. In recent years the race has taken up the mantle as an award-winning force for change on sustainability issues, with the Mirpuri Foundation acting as the official sustainability partner on the previous edition as part of a global movement against plastic pollution.
A highly-regarded sailor in the French ocean racing scene, Richomme’s recent victories include the 2018 Route du Rhum and his second La Solitaire du Figaro triumph in June 2019.
Richomme started his career in crew racing while studying naval architecture at the University of Southampton. He raced with a student team in the Tour de France à la voile for the four years of his study before returning to his native France.
Moving to Lorient; the spiritual home of French ocean racing, Richomme fully immersed himself in the culture of French offshore racing which has produced legends of the sport including Eric Tabarly, Loïck Peyron, Jérémie Beyou, and previous Ocean Race winners Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier.
With his winning reputation secured in the world of single and double-handed racing, Richomme now returns to crewed racing in pursuit of the greatest prize the sport has to offer – victory at the Ocean Race.
The Ocean Race is renowned as the toughest sporting event in the world, with the best sailors on the planet battling the elements in a test of teamwork, skill and individual endurance.
The start of the race in the Autumn of 2021 kicks off nine months and 45,000 nautical miles of the closest, with sailors experiencing lack of sleep, physical exertion, fear, no fresh food, no privacy – it provides a unique test of human endurance.
Last edition, The Ocean Race visited 12 iconic Host Cities on six continents – welcoming more than 2.5 million visitors to Race Villages around the world and attracted over 6 billion viewers globally.
Richomme (36) was recommended for the role by reigning Ocean Race champions, Bruno Dubois and Charles Caudrelier, who are advisors to Paulo Mirpuri and the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team.
Bruno Dubois said: “I knew right away that Yoann was top of my list for the next race. Yoann’s recent race wins speak for themselves. From his base in Lorient, he is racing in the ocean up to 200 days of the year. He has the natural feel for how to make a boat fast and also the technical skill to make best use of the data and manage his team. He is without a doubt the most exciting sailor on the market right now.”
Richomme will take the helm of the ‘Racing for the Planet’ VO65 entry of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team. Class rules dictate that all VO65 entries be identical, bringing the skill and daring of the sailors to the forefront of the racing.
Yoann Richomme said: “I am very proud to be appointed to skipper the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team in the Ocean Race. Winning this race has been a goal of mine for a long time and I am ready to take on this challenge.”
“I have great respect for the message that the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team is bringing around the world. As a father, I want to pass this beautiful planet on to my daughter and the next generation. We are racing for the planet and each small step forward can make a big difference.”
“We have one of the greatest assets that any successful team needs – time. With the boat already in the water, 2020 will be our year to trial different sailors and team configurations in order to select the very best team. We will also enter some practice races this year and begin our preparations in earnest, so we know we will arrive at the start line with a team capable of winning the race”
Having tested the waters in 2018 with involvement in the Turn the Tide on Plastic entry, 2021 marks the first full team entry for the Mirpuri Foundation in a race which is respected by fans around the world as the pinnacle of crewed offshore racing.
Paulo Mirpuri, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team Owner said: “I am delighted to welcome Yoann to the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team. We are fortunate to have Bruno and Charles advising us on how to build the very best team. Their knowledge and insight is the best in the world and I tasked them with finding a skipper who can take our boat and lead it to victory in 2021.”
“In Yoann, they have seen someone who has the rare balance of a skilled sailor and patient leader with an eye for the finest detail. I am already impressed with his approach and his mindset. We will do all we can to empower him to assemble a race-winning team and to lead the way in bringing our message, ‘Racing for the Planet’ around the globe.”
With its skipper secured, the team begins its 2020 sailing programme in earnest. The team is inviting resumés from sailors around the world who believe they have what it takes to compete in the toughest race in the world. The team will begin testing potential team members in the coming months before embarking on their practice race outings before the end of the year.