London-based Philippe Briand has been conceiving high-performance yachts since his La Rochelle childhood, and his technical excellence and precision – accompanied by a strong artistic flair – have continued to evolve over what is arguably the most prolific career of any yacht designer today.
Now yachts he designed have secured the top spots at this year’s Loro Piana Regatta in the BVI, at which a record number of vessels participated for the sixth edition.
After several days of closely fought races, a trio of Briand-designed superyachts finished in the top three of the two highest-performance classes of the competition.
Having jostled for the pole position in her class with Nilaya over the duration of the weekend, 33.4m Vitters-built Inouï, a carbon composite sloop with naval architecture and exterior design from Philippe Briand, took second place in Class A, the most high-performance of the classes in the regatta. Finishing just behind Inouï was Briand’s 42.3m Samurai (ex-Mari Cha IV), which was third overall in Class B. The Briand-designed, Perini Navi-built 38.0m P2 took the top prize for Class B overall, having closely fought against Hetairos all week.
The Briand portfolio spans four decades, starting with his first IOR Quarter Ton design at the age of 16. His designs for competition have included eight yachts for six America’s Cup campaigns; two of the vessels for the French team that won the Admiral’s Cup in 1991; and countless high-performance offshore racing yachts.
An accomplished sailor himself, Briand has won the Half-Ton Cup in 1993 and the One-Ton Cup in 1994, in yachts of his own designs.
Briand’s first foray into superyachts came in 1995, with a winning submission for the design of the ground breaking, award-winning 44.7m S/Y Mari Cha III, and then Mari Cha IV. The success of these lightweight, high-performance cruising racers propelled him into the world of superyachts, where he has enjoyed considerable success.
Briand and his team of designers have won over 30 international yacht design awards (to date year 2015) for their work, and have collaborated with some of the most highly respected sailing yacht builders in the world, including
- Alloy Yachts (New Zealand)
- CNB (France)
- Groupe Beneteau (France)
- Perini Navi (Italy)
- Royal Huisman (Netherlands)
- Vitters (Netherlands)
They currently produce yacht designs and naval architecture always oriented on use of new technologies – ranging from 6 to over 100 metres, both for sailing yachts and motor yacht. The team puts a strong emphasis on performance and is continually employing new technologies to enhance designs, in a quest for perfection.
He is one of the few – if not the only – yacht designers with the technical capabilities and experience to design high performance yachts of both the motor and sailing variety. In recent years, his collaboration with Vitruvius Yachts has seen three of his motor yacht designs launched (50m, 55m and 73m), bringing an evolved, high-performance and long-range style to the sphere.
We interviewed him for several magazines and these interviews can be seen at https://www.thehoworths.com/articles/