New sponsor for Dominique Wavre

Mirabaud to support Switerland's most capped offshore sailor

Thursday May 6th 2010, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Switzerland

Mirabaud are to back Switzerland's leading offshore racer Dominique Wavre in the Barcelona World Race 2010-11, Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 and the Vendée Globe 2012-13.

Dominique Wavre is Switzerland’s most capped ocean racers, having sailed over 360 000 nautical miles. Born in Geneva, he cut his teeth in the Whitbread Round the World Race competing with Pierre Fehlmann on board Disque d'Or and the maxis UBS Switzerland and Merit before competing with Lawrie Smith on Intrum Justicia. In the Vendée Globe, he finished fifth in 2000-1 and fourth in 2004-5, but was forced to retire from the 2008-9 race. In the the Barcelona World Race 2007-08 he came home third with his co-skipper Michèle Paret. His lengthy offshore CV also includes eight Tours de France à la Voiles and two participations in the Solitaire du Figaro.

Mirabaud is teaming up with Wavre for a long-term, international programme founded on a common set of sports, technological and human goals. Antonio Palma, Partner and CEO of Mirabaud, explains : “ We were captivated by Dominique’s determination and expertise. His rational, calculated approach appealed to us, as well as the highly technical nature of his project. We decided to commit ourselves to the multi-year venture because it embodies numerous values that are dear to us : enterprising spirit, competition, striving for excellence, and technology. ”

In the weeks ahead, Wavre’s IMOCA, rechristened Mirabaud, will be optimised for her program ahead. Wavre will stick with his existing boat - built in New Zealand by Southern Ocean Marine, to a design by Owen Clarke. “ We will be making numerous improvements on key points, ” says Wavre. “ In particular, we are going to work on the yacht’s stability. The goal is to increase the boat’s stiffness while reducing its weight. We know the boat still has considerable potential for improvement, and we are working on that with the Barcelona World Race in mind. Along with these efforts, we will also be repairing the keel head that was damaged during the last Vendée Globe ."

Mirabaud has participated in sailing competitions since 2005 as the main partner of the Lake Geneva's Bol d’Or Mirabaud, the world’s largest freshwater regatta. It also sponsors Thomas Jundt’s radical 18ft skiff/hydrofoil Mirabaud LX. Mirabaud is also the main partner for the Surprise class on Lake Geneva (who race for  the Mirabaud Trophy ) and have supported the UK women’s Yngling Olympic team, gold medal winners at the Athens and Beijing Olympic games.

“ The Open 60 Mirabaud allows us to enter a new phase and broaden our horizons,” states Antonio Palma. “Mirabaud Group has grown constantly in recent years, and as we have expanded, we have opened subsidiaries around the world…including in Spain, where the Barcelona World Race will start on 31 December of this year. It was only logical that our sports ambitions should expand in kind, with the symbolic aim of going around the world.

"The partnership between Mirabaud and Dominique Wavre will enable Venture Finanzas, Mirabaud’s new subsidiary in Spain, to communicate actively in this market. The Spanish financial company will begin operating under the Mirabaud brand by mid year, and will be directly associated with the Barcelona World Race via The Mirabaud racing yacht. ”

Wavre commented: "I am proud and happy to enter this partnership with Mirabaud. The Vendée Globe will be the culmination of our joint project, but I am absolutely delighted to begin by participating in the Barcelona World Race alongside Michèle Paret, before taking on the Transat Jacques Vabre 2011. With this well-balanced programme, we should arrive at the starting lines under the best conditions imaginable. All my team members and I are more motivated than ever. A magnificent adventure has just begun. ”

Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret will be at the start line in Barcelona on 31 December ready for this double-handed, round-the-world regatta with no stops.

Calendar of events :

May-June : the 60-foot Mirabaud returns to the shipyard for optimisation, in preparation for the future events
Date to be announced : official christening
Beginning in September : Preparations for the Barcelona World Race
31 December : Start of the Barcelona World Race

Novembre  : November : Start of the Transat Jacques Vabre

November : Start of the Vendée Globe

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