Latest recruit to the IMOCA class

Photo: Christophe Breschi
Joerg Riechers tells us of graduating up from the Mini and Class40
Latest recruit to the IMOCA class is German skipper Joerg Riechers. Riechers has achieved considerable success in both the Mini and Class40 classes and at Düsseldorf Boat Show earlier this week announced his entry with co-skipper, French round the world veteran Sébastien Audigane, in the 2014-5 Barcelona World Race. The new component of the extensive mare shorthanded offshore racing campaign, is once again being backed by Nikolaus Gelpke, Director of publishers Mare-Verlag (see, but while Gelpke has personally backrolled Riechers’ previous Mini and Class40 campaigns, with the IMOCA campaign they are on the hunt for additional backing. “This is the first time we are looking for sponsors,” says Riechers. “Everybody thinks that mare is like Foncia, a company or a big sponsor and doesn’t need any money at all, but that is not the case.” Barcelona World race organiser Andor Serra, with Jörg Riechers and Nikolaus Gelpke Riechers compares the involvement of Gelpke in the 60 campaign to being like that of Sir Keith Mills with Alex Thomson or Bernard Stamm’s campaign where his boat is owned by Swiss artist Edouard-Marcel Sandoz’ foundation although their campaigns have sponsorship from Hugo boss and Cheminees Poujoulat respectively. “Nikolaus finances the project now and has invested the money and makes sure that the project is safe and can be executed, but the idea is that we will refinance the whole project with a sponsor,” explains Riechers, adding of his backer: “He is amazing. He is supporting the team full-on. He is super enthusiastic.” While they are sponsor hunting, the Mare Racing Team’s IMOCA campaign is no pipedream and they have already acquired the 2008 Vendee Globe winning Foncia that Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez sailed as Mapfre in the last Barcelona World Race and Jeremie Beyou campaigned in this race as Maître Coq until he was forced to