After many in the UK and the USA enjoyed a long weekend, the focus of the yacht racing world is back on solo offshore racing. The OSTAR 2009 has started and the Vendee Globe held an awards ceremony. Akena Vérandas, the Vendee based company and two time supporter of the Vendee Globe has bought Vincent Riou’s PRB. Arnaud Boissières will sail the boat, though during the coming season Riou will be alongside.
The new Akena Vérandas is due to be relaunched in mid-June to line up for the start of the SNSM Trophy on 21st June. The other races during this season will be raced double-handed: the Fastnet in August and the Transat Jacques Vabre in November. Arnaud will take part in these events with Vincent Riou, who will offer him the benefit of his rich experience and allow a perfect handover of the boat, which he largely thought up and which he has raced a lot.
‘Taking over PRB means a lot. Not only because she is a boat from the last generation, but because she was imagined by Vincent Riou and belonged to some very important sponsors in the Vendée Globe. All of these things together mean that this is an exciting challenge. I am not frightened of her power, as I need to progress in order to continue. It will take a while to get used to her, but Vincent will be there, so it should go smoothly. I will try my best to sail her well and to be as competitive as possible. We’ll see what happens starting with the Transat Jacques Vabre alongside Vincent.’
Vincent Riou, co-skipper with Arnaud Boissières in the Transat Jacques Vabre:
‘It’s a pleasure to continue to sail on my old boat, as I spent a lot of time on her and I would like to finish on a good note. A 60-foot monohull is designed and built for a sailor and the best way of passing that on is by accompanying the new skipper to explain how things work. I’m pleased for Arnaud. He’s a great guy and very friendly and has clearly shown that he is motivated. It’s nice to sail with him and if I can bring him anything, so much the better.’