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Pierre-François (Pifou) Dargnies joins Team Malizia as Technical Director

by Team Malizia 23 Mar 00:38 PDT
Team Malizia's IMOCA race yacht, Malizia - Seaexplorer, currently sailing in the Southern Ocean on Leg 3 of The Ocean Race © Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia

Pifou Dargnies joins Team Malizia as Technical Director after nearly nine years as technical director for Beyou Racing running the impressive Charal IMOCA campaign. The experienced Frenchman has come onboard to oversee all technical aspects of the Malizia programme with a look towards the future.

Pifou Dargnies comes with many years of experience in the world of offshore sailing and engineering, having started his career working with the infamous Roland Jourdain as an engineer since 2009 and later as Head of Design. During this, he set out on his own sailing campaign as a sailor in the Mini Transat in 2013, a race Team Malizia skipper Boris Herrmann also competed in some years before.

Combining his engineering background and his sailing abilities meant that in 2014, Pifou joined the IMOCA team of Jérémie Beyou to run the performance side of the project of Maitre CoQ. This developed and when Jérémie partnered with Charal in 2017, Pifou Dargnies was positioned as Technical Director of the Charal programme. The high-performing Charal team finished in an impressive third place with a brand new boat in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022.

In 2010, Boris and Pifou met while living together in France when Boris was trying to get his IMOCA project off the ground. The pair formed a fast friendship and stayed close ever since, with a similar passion for the IMOCA world and pushing boundaries within the offshore sailing world.

Pifou joins the team part way through The Ocean Race 2022-2023, taking over the technical aspects of running the team during this time and with an eye towards preparing the boat and skipper to be the strongest possible in the Vendée Globe 2024-2025.

Team Malizia founder and skipper Boris Herrmann commented: "I am really happy to have Pifou join the team, we have been friends for many years and I really trust his experience and knowledge - having such a strong technical and design lead will be a big advantage to the team and will mean we can really work together on the performance of the boat."

Holly Cova, Malizia Team Director, said: "It will be great to have Pifou join Team Malizia, with his strong background and excellent results with Charal we are lucky to have him with us. The run-up to the Vendée Globe will be an intense training period and one where I am sure Pifou can add a lot of knowledge and experience to the team and help us step up in a competitive sense."

Pifou Dargnies, Malizia Technical Director added: "I am really looking forward to working in an international team, Boris and I have known each other for years and swapped ideas since we were young, it will be an exciting challenge to work with this young team. Of course, the first focus is The Ocean Race but I am already thinking ahead and looking at how we can have a winning boat for the Vendée Globe 2024, reliability and durability will be key here. The boat has proven its ability to sail fast in the Southern Ocean and Boris has gained valuable experience with his boat in the Southern Ocean. So now it will be up to the technical team to ensure reliability for this long round-the-world race."

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