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Vincent RIOU (FRA)

Vincent RIOU (FRA)The Vendée Globe is one of the most demanding round the world yacht races and through that race Vincent RIOU came out from the wings onto centre stage. Vincent sailed a spectacular race in a highly competitive field in which the lead changed numerous times. As the finish approached the three leading boats, Vincent's PRB, Boundelle skippered by Jean-Pierre LE CAM (FRA) and Mike GOLDING's (GBR) Ecover played a cat and mouse game of psychological warfare as they pushed themselves and their boats to the very edge.

The final result went down to the wire and Vincent spent his last few days of the race keeping a very close eye on the progress of second placed Boundelle who had held the lead as close as three days before he finished. On 2 February 2005, Vincent returned to Les Sables d'Olonne to a hero's welcome for winning the Vendée Globe 2004/2005. Alongside victory came another prize, a new single-handed round the world monohull record which took more than five days off his friend Michel DESJOYEAUX's (FRA) record from 2002.

The Achievements of Vincent RIOU (FRA)

1st - Vendée Globe 2004/2005, PRB, 7 November 2004 - 2 February 2005
WR - Around the world, non-stop, single-handed monohull record, 21,760nm, 87 days, 10 hours, 47 minutes and 55 seconds - average speed 10.37 knots, PRB , 7 November 2004 - 2 February 2005 (Vincent beat the record by 5 days, 17 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds)

Name: Vincent RIOU (FRA)
Place of Birth: Pont l'Abbé, France
Date of Birth: 26307
Profession: Sailor
ISAF Sailor ID: 1
What inspired you to take up sailing? The feeling to be well when I was on the sea. I've always been attracted by the sea. I am more at ease on water than on the ground and I have always lived close to the sea.
What was the first boat you sailed? First it was not sailing boats, but small fishing boats with engines. With my family at age 2 or maybe 3 years old!
How did you buy your first boat and what was it? I've never had my own boat. I've always sailed on other people's boats and very often in my sailing club's boats. Later when I sailed on races like the Tour de France á la Voile or the Figaro Race, the boats were chartered.
Name your first sailing club: Club Nautique de l'lle Tudy
What was the first event you competed in? Windsurfing race at the age of 12
What was the first event you won? Laser regional race at the age of 15
What are the main achievements/personal highlights of your sailing career? Without hesitation, the Vendée Globe!
What are you future sailing goals? The Route de Rhum with a new boat and all the races from the IMOCA. All that preparation is for the next Vendée Globe.
What does sailing mean to you? Sailing is my life! Sailing means also competition. Of course I like the sea and sailing but I like above all the competition.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing career and why? Maybe two people. My first trainer when I was racing in Lasers. He gave me the passion of the competition.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing career and why? And of course Michel DESJOYEAUX (FRA). 'Mich Desj' gave me the method and his step.
Who is your sailing hero? I've many sailing heroes. Peter BLAKE (GBR) and Eric TABARLY9FRA) for the last generation. And also people like Russell COUTTS (NZL) or Paul CAYARD (USA) for the new one. I respect them much and I admire their talent.
What other sports do you enjoy? Cycling and running. In fact I don't have much spare time to practice other activities than sailing. And when I have it, I prefer to spend time with my child and my wife.
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2005 mean to you? It pleases me a lot. I'm proud and honoured. I did not expect it.
If you were voted as the winner, what would this mean to you? It will mean that the international sailing world recognize the discipline which is often practiced in France; the single-handed race around the world without any stopover.
If you were voted as the winner, what would this mean to you? The single-handed races are often practiced in France, but it doesn't mean that the French don't want to sail with others. Maybe winning this prize is the recognition of the discipline and maybe it will open the barriers. I hope there will be more non-French competitors on the start line for the next Vendée Globe.

RWS - 2005 - Vincent RIOU

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