The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has announced leading French sailor Yoann Richomme as skipper of the campaign that will contest the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race.
Richomme joins the campaign to lead the charge into The Ocean Race having enjoyed an illustrious career which has seen him crowned champion of La Solitaire du Figaro twice, most recently in 2019, a victory that built on his 2018 win in the Route du Rhum.
Based out of Lorient, France, the spiritual home of French ocean racing, Richomme follows in the footsteps of French legends such as Eric Tabarly, Jérémie Beyou, and winning Ocean Race skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier.
Both Caudrelier and Bruno Dubois, who joined forces to spearhead Dongfeng Race Team’s 2017-18 Race win, are advisors to Paulo Mirpuri and the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, and picked out Richomme as the perfect sailor to lead the campaign into the next race.
“I knew right away that Yoann was top of my list for the next race. Yoann’s recent race wins speak for themselves,” explained Dubois.
“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.
“Winning this race has been a goal of mine for a long time and I am ready to take on this challenge,” Richomme said. “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.”
Paulo Mirpuri, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team Owner said: “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 professional sailors from 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.
The Ocean Race (formerly The Volvo Ocean Race), scheduled to start in 2021, will be raced in two classes of boats: the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class and the one-design VO65 class which has been used for the last two editions of the race. Entries in the IMOCA 60 class will compete for The Ocean Race trophy, while those racing the VO65s will chase the Ocean Challenge Trophy.
The 14th edition of The Ocean Race is scheduled to start from its home port in Alicante, Spain in Q4 of 2021 and finish in Genoa, Italy in June of 2022. The full Race Route was planned to be completed by 2019 but has yet to be finalized.
While we wait for the full race route, organizers had previously revealed there would be up to nine stopover ports. Here’s what has been confirmed so far:
• Alicante, Spain: This historic Mediterranean port will host the start for the fifth consecutive edition in the autumn of 2021.
• Aarhus, Denmark: The course comes to the east coast of the Jutland peninsula during the spring of 2022, following a popular ‘Fly-By’ of the city during the final leg of the 2017-18 edition of the Race. Details.
• The Hague, Netherlands: This city along the North Sea coast will welcome the race for a third consecutive time, first coming as a ‘pitstop’ on the final leg of the 2014-15 edition and as the final finish port for the 2017-18 race. Details.
• Cabo Verde: More accustomed to having offshore teams sail by, or stop for repair, this archipelago of ten volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean will become just the second African venue the race has ever visited and the first West African nation to host the event. Details.
• Genoa, Italy: As the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, this first-time race host is Italy’s largest sea port yet remains full of grandeur as the gateway to the Riviera while offering weighty architectural heritage. Details.
• Itajaí, Brazil: To the south of Rio de Janeiro, Itajaí was founded in the mid-19th century by German and Italian colonists, and is now the commercial centre and Atlantic port for an agricultural region drained by the Itajaí River and its tributaries. Details.
• Cape Town, South Africa: Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, as the oldest urban area in South Africa, was developed by the United East India Company (VOC) as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Located at latitude 33.55° S, it’s approximately the same as Sydney and Buenos Aires and equivalent to Casablanca and Los Angeles in the northern hemisphere. Details.
• Auckland, New Zealand: European, Polynesian, Asian, and strong Maori heritages give Auckland its distinctive culture. Located in the North Island of New Zealand, it is the most populous urban area in the country with an urban population of around 1,570,100. Details.
• Shenzhen, China: Located in the southeast, the city is a modern metropolis that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland. It’s known for its shopping destinations and features contemporary buildings, such as the 600m-tall skyscraper Ping An International Finance Centre, and a number of amusement parks. The city is a leading global technology hub and was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world in the 1990s and the 2000s. Details.
• IMOCA – Team Malizia (GER)- Boris Herrmann (GER)
• VO65 – Racing For The Planet (POR)
• IMOCA – Paul Meilhat (FRA)
• IMOCA – 11th Hour Racing (USA) – Charlie Enright & Mark Towill (USA)
Source: The Ocean Race
Published on February 4th, 2020