Vincent RIOU

© Yann Riou / polaRYSE
Country FR
IMOCA Globe Series-
Age51 (1/9/72)
Top performanceWinner of the Vendée Globe 2004-05
Joined Imoca on2004
TeamARKÉA PAPREC pour la Transat Jacques Vabre 2019


If we had to sum him up in just a few words, Vincent Riou could be called the top all-rounder. He is a sailor, who knows how to do everything: designing, developing and fine-tuning boats, an excellent weather analyst, but also a top class technician and a determined and talented racer.

The Swiss army knife of Breton sailing, if you like.

From his childhood in Loctudy – a small village in SW Brittany, where he still lives with his wife and children, Vincent Riou has inherited a keen passion for the sea. It is on the water that “Vincent the terrible” is happiest, doing battle with anything that floats from the dinghies of his childhood to multihulls and not forgetting the Figaro racers and the big IMOCAs.

In 2000, he prepared the winning boat for Michel Desjoyeaux. Four years later, the Vendée based firm PRB offered him the helm on the advice of the Professor. Vincent had a remarkable performance ending up as winner, even though unusually he wasn’t in the lead at Cape Horn. The one that was just in front of him at the rock and who missed out on winning was Jean Le Cam… It was King Jean than gave Vincent his nickname. A link that was to continue as in the 2008 edition, Jean capsized at the Horn and who would rescue him in these hellish conditions? Vincent, of course! The Race Jury awarded him equal third place after this epic rescue. To finish the story, the two men would go on to sail together in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre… that they would win. Deeply involved in the IMOCA class (which organises the rules for the Vendée Globe boats), Vincent will be the only previous winner competing. He isn’t in it just for fun, but hopes to follow in the footsteps of Desjoyeaux by becoming a two time winner of the Vendée Globe a feat solely achieved by Mich Desj’. For the moment.

Sailing Highlights

2018: Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - 4th
Vendée Globe - Retired
2016: Transat NY-Vendée - 5ème
2016: The Transat Bakerly - 2ème
2015: Transat Jacques Vabre - Winner with Sébastien Col
2014: Route du Rhum - Retired

2013: Transat Jacques Vabre - Winner with Jean Le Cam
2012: Europa Warm'Up - Winner
2011: Transat B to B - 3rd
2011: Rolex Fastnet Race - Winner
2010: Tour d'Espagne - 2nd
2010: Route du Rhum - 5th i
2009: Transat Jacques Vabre - 7th with Arnaud Boissières
2008: Vendée Globe - 3rd tied in with Marc Guillemot
2007: Rolex Fastnet Race - Winner
2007: Calais Round Britain Race - Winner
2004: Vendée Globe - Winner
2003: Calais Round Britain Race - Winner
2003: Transat Jacques Vabre - 4th with Jérémie Beyou

© Yann Riou / polaRYSE
© Yann Riou / polaRYSE
© Yann Riou / polaRYSE