Riechers and Audigane announce their new boat
Sailors Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane, who announced their entry for the Barcelona World Race in January last year, are back on board an IMOCA 60. Following five months of intense preparation against the clock, this German-French partnership confirm they have a new boat, a Finot-Conq design launched in July 2007 that took 2nd place in the Vendée Globe 2008/09 and a 2nd in the Route du Rhum 2010.
Riechers and Audigane suffered a huge setback when their sponsor abandoned the project in April this year. The German and French skippers have been working flat out since then to find a new sponsor and a new boat and continue their preparation for the race.
“In just five months, we've not only managed to secure our Barcelona World Race entry, but we've also created a fantastic working environment and we've become stronger as a team, ready to take on the round the world regatta from an excellent position”, explained Jörg Riechers.
Riechers and Audigane will soon be announcing the sponsor for the new boat, the yacht Armel Le Cléac'h took to second place in the Vendée Globe 2008/09 in 89 days and 9 hours. Le Cléac'h was also in the driving seat for the yacht's second place Route du Rhum finish in 2010.
“With a track record like this, we know that this is a boat we can push for a podium position with. It's true that we haven't had much time to sail with it, but Sébastien and I know each other well and we sailed a lot together on our last boat”, said the German skipper, for whom the Barcelona World Race will be his first round the world regatta.
The boat underwent a refit in July this year. Over the past few weeks the rigging and appendages have been inspected and work has also been done on the electronics and mast. For this preparation, the team has an outstanding technical advisor: Bertrand de Broc, the last skipper to compete aboard the IMOCA 60.
The Franco-German duo will be racing the double-handed round the world regatta with an added motivation, since Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cams’ Cheminées Poujoulat is their former boat. Riechers comments: “We'll be going up against our old boat, one that we know really well. We also know that it's really fast, thanks to the modifications we made and Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are also great sailors… So getting ahead of them will be the big challenge for us”.