The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, with main sponsor Hi Fly, has won the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe, claiming victory in the final coastal race of the event in Genoa, Italy.



Tipped early on to be the team to beat, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team showed impressive performance right from the start. The team led for much of Leg one from Lorient, France to their home port Cascais, Portugal, before losing out in the closing stages, hitting a slow-moving front of light wind. This was to be the only race of the event that the Portuguese outfit would not win.

Taking their first win of the campaign in the Cascais coastal race as part of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, the team kicked off an impressive recovery that saw the crew pick up maximum points in every race since, with back-to-back wins. The team ultimately finished on 21 points, four points clear of Sailing Poland and AkzoNobel, tied in second place.

Yoann Richomme, Skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team said: “Job done, mission accomplished! That was a tense race. We got a good start, all the boats around us were over the line early, so we were leading right from the beginning. I think we love to make things a little hard for ourselves. We lost the kite when we started to hoist and I thought we would be passed by some boats but we managed to get it back up in the air and win the race. This is a beautiful project. I have absolutely loved it. I love the crew. I’m very proud of everything we have done together and I’m happy for the Mirpuri Foundation.”

Paulo Mirpuri, President of Hi Fly and Founder of the Mirpuri Foundation said: “This is a very proud day for us all. From the very beginning of this project, the dedication and passion of every member has been very special to witness. As a foundation, we set out to build a team that is capable of winning this race, but it is the individual skill, instinct and endurance that has led to winning in this impressive manner. Above all, a win for the Racing For The Planet crew further amplifies the reach of our message – Stop Climate Change – around the world and that is something to celebrate.”

Hi Fly is committed to contributing to a more responsible and sustainable planet by fighting against the very important issues that are plastic pollution and carbon emissions, and is actively implementing and promoting good practices in its business.

Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation are continuing to work on new and imaginative projects to enhance and promote sustainability in related fields. So, in the past two years the two organisations devoted some of their efforts to battling climate change with the “Racing for the Planet – #StopClimateChange” campaign.

This builds on two highly-successful campaigns to “Save the Coral Reefs” and “Turn the Tide on Plastic”, both of which were supported by educational programs, workshops and conferences. The Foundation and Hi Fly also continue to work together to champion sustainability initiatives around the globe, with Hi Fly aircraft having carried Foundation messages in their liveries. Accordingly, Hi Fly’s A330 CS-TQW’s displayed a “Turn the Tide on Plastic” themed livery, and the world-famous A380 9H-MIP carried a “Save the Coral Reefs” message to all corners of the globe.

Hi Fly looks forward then to minimising its environmental impact as well as actively contributing to a better world by extensively supporting the Mirpuri Foundation’s six key areas of intervention: Aerospace, Medical Research, Marine Conservation, Wildlife Conservation, the Performing Arts, and Social Responsibility.

The Mirpuri Foundation’s winner boat of the inaugural edition of the Ocean Race Europe, named ‘Racing for the Planet’, is a VO65 class monohull racing yacht. Is numbered VO65-1, being the first built of eight vessels in all, and has a great pedigree, the same yacht winning the 2017–2018 edition of the Ocean Race, since which it has been completely refitted, becoming an even better boat.

The inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe started on May 29, 2021 from Lorient, France and finished in Genova, Italy on June 19th, with stops in Cascais, Portugal, and Alicante, Spain along the way.

Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Over four decades it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport.

The Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup. The Ocean Race is an obsession, and many of the world’s best sailors have dedicated years, even decades of their lives trying to win it.

The partnership between Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation

The Mirpuri Foundation is the principal sustainability partner of the Hi Fly airline. It is a non-profit organisation established by Hi Fly President, Paulo Mirpuri, whose efforts are single-mindedly directed towards making the world a better place for future generations. To this end, the Foundation promotes collaboration between global authorities, companies, communities and individuals, with the object of impacting positively on issues that threaten our planet.

Hi Fly, working with the Mirpuri Foundation, believes that:

– What is good for the world is also good for business;

– To sustain our success we must protect our greatest resource – the planet;

– Our success as a company depends on our people feeling inspired by their jobs and fulfilled in their careers.

Since its inception, the Foundation has worked alongside Hi Fly to help ensure that the Company becomes (and remains) one of the world’s leading proponents of sustainability in aviation.

Hi Fly seeks to minimise our environmental impact by reducing emissions in our operations and in our supply chain, and by extending the lifecycle of products that we use.

Hi Fly believes in a circular economy and in a holistic approach to how we design, build, and deliver aviation products and solutions. Working with its Foundation, Hi Fly has taken a number of very practical steps to reducing carbon emissions:

  • First single-use plastic free airline in the world

From January 1, 2020, as pledged by Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri in 2018, all Hi Fly’s own flights are taking to the air without any single-use plastic items on board. Other on-ground projects, such as recycling and waste minimisation processes, have seen our cabin waste slashed.

  • Navigation

Hi Fly makes use of FANS (Future Airline Navigation Systems) to ensure that our aircraft always take the most direct route to their destination. This ensures a reduced fuel burn and flight times on all Hi Fly flights.

  • Single-engine taxiing

By shutting down an engine while taxiing, Hi Fly reduces its ground-level fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 to 40 per cent. Single-engine taxiing can also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 10 to 30 percent, depending on the type of aircraft and pilot technique.

  • Constant fleet renewal

Hi Fly currently has the youngest and most efficient fleet in its history. Hi Fly has reduced our carbon dioxide emissions through fleet renewal and optimisation of the occupation of our aircraft. The A330neo delivered here today has a potential of 25 per cent advantage in fuel burn per seat when compared to previous-generation competitors’ aircraft.

  • World’s first carbon-neutral airline

Hi Fly is striving to be the first airline in the world to offset all of its carbon-dioxide emissions by the end of 2022. Though Hi Fly always encourages passengers to make ecological choices, we do not believe in passing on the responsibility for minimising emissions to our customers; Hi Fly takes the view that this responsibility rests upon the company. In order to reduce our carbon footprint, Hi Fly has been prepared to spend heavily on low emission aircraft and, with the help of the Foundation, have researched different ways to offset our emissions. So, Hi Fly and the Foundation are currently exploring a seaweed-growth programme because, as well as absorbing a great deal of carbon dioxide, seaweeds have the potential to store carbon long term. Seaweed can also be harvested and used to produce biofuels. Other carbon offset programs are also being considered, tested and independently verified for implementation

  • Waste management and the Sustainable Cabin Forum

Hi Fly has already implemented many sustainable practices as part of an integrated waste management strategy, but the Sustainable Cabin Forum 2019, was hailed as a groundbreaking success after it gave airline and airport operators the opportunity to discuss their experiences, achievements and aspirations, for the first time with key regulators, in a bid to tackle the challenges of single-use plastic and catering waste in aviation. The Forum, held at the Penha Longa Resort in the Natural Park of Sintra, was organised by Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation, in partnership with IATA and under patronage of the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. Hi Fly continues to make conscious and informed decisions about how its waste is handled with prevention, reuse, generation, separation, recovery, collection, transfer, recycling, treatment and correct disposal all playing an important role. (You can see what others thought about the Forum at: