“ The Transat is a tough, test for any sailor – and their values of excellence, resilience and determination are shared by RALF TECH.”
The extreme marine events watch brand RALF TECH is today announced as the official timekeeper of The Transat bakerly 2016 solo transatlantic race from Plymouth to New York.
For the specialist Franco-Swiss watchmaker that produces timepieces for extreme scuba diving, special forces operators and for skippers in the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race, the link-up with one of the toughest professional races in world sailing is a natural fit.
RALF TECH watches are not available to the mass market and have been developed to withstand the toughest conditions in sport and combat through testing by sailors, divers and special forces units. The Transat bakerly is another extreme environment – a race dominated by north Atlantic storms, freezing fog and the danger of ice.
Frank Huyghe, the chief executive officer and creator of RALF TECH, said he did not hesitate when offered the chance to become official timekeeper of a race that has witnessed extraordinary tales of heroism and occasional tragedy since its inception in 1960.
“At RALF TECH we embrace a spirit of adventure and after setting out in 1998 to produce timepieces for the toughest – record-breaking – scuba challenges, we have brought our brand closer to the surface of the oceans, providing watches for transatlantic rowers and round-the-world sailors.
“The Transat is a tough, test for any sailor – and their values of excellence, resilience and determination are shared by RALF TECH. Our watches do not have theoretical standards – they have been tested by us in the real world and imbued with our philosophy of excellence and our values – authenticity, innovation, experience and independence.”
Hervé Favre, Event Director for The Transat bakerly, welcomed RALF TECH on board for the re-birth of classic race. “In ocean racing, as in all areas of professional sport, every second counts and 25 skippers will be pushing themselves to the limits to complete one of the toughest courses in sailing in the shortest time.
“RALF TECH is the perfect partner to act as official timekeeper to a race across some of the most inhospitable waters on the planet in which finishing times could be separated by mere minutes and seconds.”
The Transat bakerly sets sail from Plymouth on May 2nd on a 3,000-mile course to New York with the fastest boats expected to reach the Big Apple on May 9th. The race is staged in four classes – Ultimes, IMOCA 60s, Muli50s and Class40s – and the top three in each class will be awarded an exclusive Ralf Tech timepiece.
This race also sees the participation, alongside the main fleet, of the legendary French skipper Loick Peyron on board Pen Duick II, one of six yachts raced and owned by the “father” of French offshore sailing and two-time winner of The Transat, Eric Tabarly. Peyron will also receive a Ralf Tech timepiece when he arrives in New York.
RALF TECH began in 1998 with the manufacture of technical equipment for professional scuba divers and in 2005 a RALF TECH watch, on the wrist of French diver Pascal Bernabé, broke the diving world record with an immersion lasting 10 hours at a maximum depth of 330 metres / 1100 ft.
Since then RALF TECH watches have been developed for French and Swiss Special forces and, in particular, the combat swimmers of the famous Commando Hubert of the French Marine Nationale. In 2012 the adventurer Christopher Dupuy rowed the Atlantic with a RALF TECH watch and the same year the company became the official timekeeper of the Vendee Globe.
“RALF TECH is not intended as a brand for the general public,” says Huyghe. “You will not find our timepieces in department stores, jeweller’s shops or airports. But you will discover them through true horology connoisseurs and watch specialists. You will find them in shops in the avant-garde of fashion and in those shops for whom being different is a lifestyle.”
Find out more about Ralf Tech www.ralftech.com.