Not just another couple’s cruise

The story of Dona Bertarelli met her partner Yann Guichard is a bit different from other couples. Both are accomplished sailors, but with dissenting experiences of being at water. Now, they are half way into their effort to sail across the world in the fastest time and get their hands on the Jules Verne Trophy.

Swiss national Bertarelli, who is one of the richest businesswomen in Europe (valued by Forbes at $4.3 billion) has a vast of coastal sailing experience, while Guichard is a decorated offshore sailor.

Dona Bertarelli

She has won the much-coveted Bol d’Or Mirabaud two times in her homeland (also becoming the very first woman in history to do that) and with Yann co-skippered the 40m maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 to line honors in Rolex Fastnet race 2015, keeping their title.

Sailing is something that runs in her family — Ernesto, Bertarelli’s brother owned Team Alinghi that won the America’s Cup two times, and now runs a Croatian yacht charter company. Its maiden win in the year 2003 was the very first time when a team had won the title on their first attempt, and they successfully defended it in the year 2007.

However, before meeting Guichard, she had never flirted with the thought of offshore sailing. Speaking to a leading news channel, Bertarelli said the sail did not come right away. She was introduced to offshore sailing via Yann because he was doing which already for a long time, he did Jacques Vabre 4 times and he holds 2 Atlantic records.