Third in the series on Vendee Globe Sponsors
Vincent Riou and PRB
As always information is from various Internet sources so: Caveat Emptor
PRB is a home coatings business that is headquartered in the Vendee region of France. The core business is coatings siding, paint, tiles, masonry and related products. In 2006 their turnover was 110 Million Euros. 5% of their business is exported.
Their headquarters is, once again not far from Les Sable d’Olonne, (and Akenas Veranda) close to the main highway from the north east into Les Sable D’Lonne. I remember being told, or seeing a picture of an Imoca 60 as a bill board on top of their building. “PRB” shows up on Google maps. And, no surprise, they are not far from Rue Tabarly and Rue Alain Colas. There is at least one other Rue Alain Colas in France- in Brest.
PRB has 14 outlets in France as well as a presence in the US, in New Jersey, via a company called Minerva Finishes who on their website refer to one of their (PRB) products as “Stucco”. This is a cut and paste from the Minerva Finishes company in NJ:
Minerva Finishes provides an amazing range of architectural plasters and finishes that reflect today’s lifestyles and tastes combined with old-fashioned service and attention to detail expertise that exceed your expectations.
I will go out on a limb and say that is basically what PRB represents in France.
PRB has been sponsoring sailing since 1992.
On their main website there is of course a direct link and pictures of Vincent and the boat.
With regards to their skipper, Vincent Riou, the basics: French, from Brittany, 40 years old, married with two kids, likes fishing when not sailing. So in essence a “normal” guy, not some wiled eyed hermit longing for the loneliness of life at sea, as I fear is so often the response of Americans when discussing sailing, racing, at high speed, around the world alone, non stop or otherwise…..Apparently though the Brittany region, where most of the French solo sailors come from, and in particular the town of Port Le Foret, is known among the cognoscenti as the “Valley of the Madmen”
Riou is apparently known in the community of sailors with whom he mingles as “Vincent the Terrible”, apparently for his competitiveness. A look at his background and his basic track record for sailing is well encapsulated in this interview with him in Yachtpals-Jan 2009
He is the only previous winner of the Vendee Globe participating on this edition.