Yoann was born in Frejus in 1983. He is a strong and calm man with a rugby physique, hands like beats and a friendly smile. When he talks about sailing, Yoann is always looking for the right word, the clearest expression. Boasting is not his type.
Sailing was first of all a leisure activity for him: the trigger came during a transatlantic race in 2000 with his father, on the family sailboat. Competition was not something he thought about: he came to it late in life.
He was a student in Southampton. He was supposed to be a computer scientist, but he changed his mind and became a naval architect. And as he is a sportsman and needs to occupy his weekends, he takes to the water more and more, competing in his first Tours de France under sail.
With his diploma in hand, Yoann found his way: it would be technical. The preparation, the weather, the adjustments," he says, "that's what makes me tick. I have no mythology of man and the sea; I don't feel any particular pleasure in sailing single-handed. Competitive sailing is primarily a mechanical sport. For me, it's an engineering thing, especially as today's technical requirements are staggering. It is a world where I feel good".
He started out in high-level competition as a technical trainer, spending three months with Veolia on Roland Jourdain's boat, then a whole season on Nicolas Lunven's boat in the Figaro Bénéteau circuit. In 2010, he took the plunge as a Figaro skipper, probably one of the most demanding in ocean racing. He was 27 years old, nobody knew him, and he had never sailed in a race before: nevertheless he finished 2nd rookie. The press nicknamed him "the phenomenon".
Since then, Yoann has built up a fine list of achievements: double winner of the Solitaire du Figaro in 2016 and 2019, at the end of a fiftieth edition which will remain in the memories. He is also part of the very closed circle of double winners of the Route du Rhum, 2018 and 2022. In 2022, Yoann retained his Class40 crown after a magnificent comeback.
Yoann confesses to a maniacal obsession with preparation, engineering and analysis; his competitors, on the other hand, are more likely to remember his daring moves and his extraordinary endurance. In the race, Yoann demonstrates mental and athletic resources that go beyond the analytical profile he likes to give himself. In the final analysis, Yoann puts his physical resistance and athletic condition at the service of an enormous tactical lucidity - reinforced, in difficult moments, by the certainty of an irreproachable preparation.
At present, Yoann has his sights set on the next edition of the Vendée Globe, with his brand new IMOCA monohull Paprec Arkéa (Koch-Conq), built to perform in this single-handed round the world race.
After launching his new machine in February 2023, Yoann Richomme takes on his rivals on the water for the first time in the Guyader Bermuda 1000 Race, with Yann Eliès as co-skipper. The two men finished sixth before taking second place in the Rolex Fastnet Race.