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Yoann Richomme will be the skipper of the new IMOCA Paprec Arkea for the 2024 Vendée Globe

by Team Paprec Arkea 4 Dec 2021 08:15 PST
Yoann Richomme will be the skipper of the new IMOCA Paprec Arkea © Camille Millerand / Team Paprec Arkéa

Paprec and Arkéa are strengthening their commitment to ocean racing as they lead a new campaign for the 2024 Vendée Globe. Now the two groups have chosen to create their own structure based in Lorient, in the heart of the Sailing Valley, very much a first in the world of ocean racing.

  • Paprec and Arkéa launch a joint offshore racing structure
  • Yoann Richomme will be the skipper of IMOCA PAPREC ARKEA
  • The new IMOCA is being designed by a collective of designers comprising Antoine Koch and the Finot-Conq group

Yoann Richomme, twice, winner of the Solitaire du Figaro, Class 40 winner of the Route du Rhum and winning skipper on The Ocean Race Europe in VO65 has been chosen as the skipper of the new IMOCA PAPREC ARKEA the construction of which will begin in 2022.

Paprec and Arkéa are setting out on a new campaign for the 2024 Vendée Globe 2024 with a new skipper, a new boat, new team and are forming an original structure as a joint subsidiary shared between the two groups which will jointly share this new project.

"At Paprec, we have been active in the world of sailing and ocean racing for over 20 years. These maritime adventures are very much in keeping with the Paprec group's DNA: celebrating pushing oneself, the strength of both the individual and a collective commitment. As with the development of the Paprec group, we are looking to the long term. This is why we have taken the step of creating our own team along with Arkéa, a partner who shares our same vision of excellence. Together, we want to shape a project in our image, an ambitious and successful project that is very much people based." - Sébastien Petithuguenin, Managing Director Paprec Group.

Through this shared approach It is the long term aim of Paprec and Arkéa, to build a long-lasting and committed project around the values of performance and innovation. Like the two rapidly developing business groups, the structure - which will be headed by Romain Ménard - aims to create the most favourable set up possible in terms of human, technological and logistical resources in order to support Yoann Richomme and PAPREC ARKEA in the quest for excellence. The idea is also to share the sporting project and the human adventure with as many people as possible. The Vendée Globe was a huge popular success this year, one of the outstanding sporting events which was most shared with the wider public.

Talent and technological choices are keys to the sports performance

Talented and experienced skipper Yoann Richomme will lead the new IMOCA PAPREC ARKEA. A naval architect who qualified in Southampton, England, Yoann has many key wins to his name already on various major offshore major, both solo and crewed. Among his main successes he has twice won the demanding Solitaire du Figaro (2016 and 2019) and in 2018 won the Route du Rhum in Class40.

Although Richomme admits that the Vendée Globe was not a childhood dream it has become one of his life goals, to succeed on one of the pinnacles of the sport. Now, armed with extensive offshore experience, considerable entrepreneurial skills and unfailing motivation, the French native of Fréjus who is a fluent English speaker, says he has never felt so ready for this ambitious campaign for the non-stop and unassisted solo round-the-world race.

"I have obviously followed Yoann's career path. He is a brilliant sailor who is part of the very small group of the double winners of the Solitaire du Figaro. What's also interesting about him is that he also has an entrepreneurial vision. Beyond his sailing track record, it is also his personality that appeals to us. We strongly believe in Yoann's ability to unite, lead, perform, share and to represent. We really are very satisfied to be able to pursue this second campaign in a framework that we have chosen and defined to build a leading project.": Cedric Malengreau, Chief Executive Officer of Arkéa, Communication and synergies partner of the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa group subsidiaries.

With this new project, Yoann Richomme and the partners are aiming for a position of honour in the next Vendée Globe. The build of the new IMOCA will begin early in 2022 according to the plans of the group of designers.

"We chose the designers at the beginning of July," says Richomme. "The sponsors, Romain and I came to an agreement within a few days, choosing Antoine Koch and the Finot-Conq group and we chose to collaborate also with the project of Thomas Ruyant. We are looking to find synergies between our teams to move forward intelligently. The muolds for the new IMOCA are in production, we will get them in January and a build slot has been reserved at Multiplast in Vannes from the start of 2022. The construction of the boat will take a year."

The main dates for the construction of PAPREC ARKEA

Richomme plans to be fully invested in the team around him. Two engineers have already joined him, Gautier Levisse, Design Office Manager and Simon Troël, Technical Manager. "We are working on building a strong, reliable boat so that we can spend more time on the water than in the boatyard, that seems like it is always easy to say but hard to do!" Richomme continues. "Our IMOCA aims to be a seakindly boat that goes well in all sea states, which is not easy with these machines which reach speeds of over 30 knots. We aim to have a boat that slams less than the last generation which tended to take a lot of water over the deck. We have seen some very interesting developments especially in Class40 in recent years. I have kept abreast of these developments while sailing and I know today that the decisions we make are linked to personal experiences and not simply to virtual theoretical elements. That is reassuring for me. "

After a launch scheduled for early 2023, PAPREC ARKEA will participate in all the races of the IMOCA calendar both double handed and then solo before lining up for the start of the Vendée Globe in November 2024 "We hope this is a winning project with a very good level of preparation and without regrets "concludes Yoann Richomme.

Yoann Richomme

  • Born July 12, 1983 in Fréjus
  • Lives as a couple, two children
  • Lives in Larmor-Plage
  • Diploma in Naval Architecture, Southampton Solent University
  • Double winner of the Solitaire du Figaro (2016 and 2019)
  • Winner of the Route du Rhum in Class40 (2018)
  • Winner of The Ocean Race Europe in VO65 (2021)

Partners

Sébastien Petithuguenin, Managing Director Paprec Group: "At Paprec, we have been in the world of sailing and ocean racing for over twenty years These maritime adventures are in the image of the group's DNA: they celebrate pushing oneself, the strength of individual and collective commitment. As with the development of the group, we are looking to the long term. This is why we have taken the step of creating our own team with Arkéa, a partner who shares our vision of excellence. Together, we want to shape a project in our image, an ambitious and successful project that is based on people. Our meeting with Yoann was obvious. He is an extremely humble and talented sailor, who has patiently built his record to now be ready to aim for a solo round-the-world race. We can't wait to see him take the helm of the boat being built.

We have out together a team of experts, who are among the best in their respective fields, to go even further in the performance of these flying machines. The Vendée Globe will be the sixth round the world race for the group. We are embarking on an extremely exciting project. "

Cédric Malengreau, Chief Executive Officer of Arkéa, Communication and synergies partner of the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa group subsidiaries: "Within Arkéa, we clearly measured the power and reach of the Vendée Globe, which is actually much more than a sporting event. This unique round the world race is extremely unifying and gives off a very positive image around the values that we carry within the group: commitment, innovation, surpassing oneself. This is a vision that we share with Paprec and that made us want to go further, to build a project together that resembles us and brings us and others together. I had obviously followed Yoann's path. He is a brilliant sailor who is part of the very closed circle of the double winners of the Solitaire du Figaro. What's interesting about him is that he also has an entrepreneurial vision. Beyond the record, it is therefore also his personality that seduced us. We strongly believe in Yoann's ability to unite, lead, perform, share and represent. We are really very satisfied to be able to attack this second campaign in a framework that we have chosen and defined to build a leading project. Our desire is also to promote this project to as many people as possible and in particular our employees, administrators and customers, to embark them on this fantastic adventure that is the Vendée Globe."

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