The duo, childhood friends from their native Santander in the north of Spain, only paired up a little over a year ago, when Rivero asked Piris to join him for this 25,200 miles lap of the planet as a duo.
After MAPFRE the pair are only the second of the top three to complete the circumnavigation non-stop. After finishing fourth with Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso in 2008 Rivero is the only skipper other than double winner Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) to have now completed both editions of the race.
Rivero and Piris fought back after a lacklustre departure from the Mediterranean, sailing fast in the North Atlantictrades and making a good passage of the South Atlantic. They took on third place after passing Barcelona rivalsEstrella Damm and the French boat Groupe Bel when they both pit-stopped simultaneously in Wellington.
On board Renault Z.E. the duo had to contend with damage to the mast track, rudders and deck, with unconfirmed reports of additional repairs to the mainsail after crossing the Azores High pressure zone. Thanks to the combination of Toño’s experience as a boat builder, and Pachi’s in-depth knowledge of the boat and the experience of having already completed the course, they were able to make all necessary repairs whilst sailing and maintain racing non-stop.
Rounding Cape Horn in third on March 7th together, with dolphins playing around their IMOCA Open 60, formerlyLoick Peyron’s Gitana 80, was one of the high points of the race for them, while their assured final meteo strategy to cross the Azores high pressure ridge and reach better breeze clinched their third place ahead of Estrella Dammwho were around 150 miles behind.
Renault Z.E.crossed the line after 97 days, 18 hours, 47 minutes and 36 seconds of racing, two days, 21 hours, 30 minutes and 36 seconds behind second-placed MAPFRE and three days, 20 hours, 27 minutes and 36 seconds after race winners Virbac-Paprec 3. The duo had completed the theoretical 25,200-mile at an average speed of 10.79 knots, actually covering 28,554 nautical miles at an average pace of 12.17 knots.