Irina Gracheva

I fell in love with the sea and sailing as a child. I started racing from the age of 12. The sports school where I trained and learnt to sail taught me to see not only the romantic side of sailing, but also forced me to overcome difficulties, to work with my hands and head.

Already at the age of 13 I became captain of my first sailing boat - it was a Kadet class dinghy. As my experience grew, my skills grew, I devoted all my free hours to yachting and never thought about any other way of life.

At the age of 15 from the dinghy school I got to bigger racing boats, where I grew up and became a yacht skipper and a real captain. I got my first sailing helmsman's license at the age of 14, and at 18 I passed all the exams and got my yacht skipper's license and made my first long distance sailings as a captain.

In 2013 I became part of the ocean racing community by competing in my first offshore race, Fastnet 2013. I've raced the Middle Sea Race twice, the Fastnet Race three times, and the Caribbean 600 twice.

In 2017, together with Swedish skipper Mikael Ryking on a Class 40 boat, I set a world record for double-handed speed across the Atlantic from west to east on the Bermuda to Plymouth route.

In 2018, I started my career as a solo ocean skipper. Participating in French single-handed racing was a new stage in my life and changed it completely. I realized that this is what my life's work is all about and I want to develop in this direction despite all the difficulties. I emigrated to France and chose Lorient as my base to build up my experience and fully dedicate myself to yachts and the sea. Over last years I have sailed more than 30,000 nautical miles in racing and training solo and double-handed.

In 2019 I took part in my first Mini-Transat race. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish due to breaking my mast in the middle of the Atlantic during the second leg of the race.

For 2020 and 2021 I won and medalled in many regattas in the Class Mini 6.50 in the prototype division. In 2020, I became French Singlehanded Offshore Sailing Champion in the Mini 6.50 class and topped the overall class ranking.

In 2021 I took part again in the Mini-Transat and finished 4th overall and 1st female on my prototype 800.

Since 2022 I am working as a technical manager for SZABI OCEAN RACING team on Imoca 60. My dream is to participate in the Vendee Globe race.

His co-skipper : SZABOLCS WEORES Discover
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