Ryan Breymaier of Annapolis, Md. was known for his drive and determination when he sailed the waters off St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) in his student days as a member of the college’s Offshore Sailing Team. In fact, he was nicknamed “Tarzan.” Today, he is preparing to circumnavigate the world in the gritty Barcelona World Race.
The extreme sports race begins December 31, and is scheduled to finish late next March.
Breymaier is the only U.S. racer in the event, teaming with German Boris Herrmann aboard Neutrogena. Their boat is one of 15 representing eight nationalities to face the daunting task of completing 25,000 nautical miles around the globe.
“It only makes sense that a water-rat named Tarzan would eventually race one of the premier “he-man” races on the planet,” said St. Mary’s Coach Adam Werblow. “His friends at St. Mary’s could not be more proud of his accomplishments and can’t wait to hear about the adventure upon his safe return.”
Born in Washington, D.C., Breymaier, 35, graduated in 1997 with a B.A. in economics. He relocated to France four years ago with his wife Nicola to pursue his life-long dream of racing. Short-handed sailing is dominated by Europeans, and many of them are national sports heroes.
“Over here, I’m now known as the young American pitting himself against the European legends but being encouraged by them at the same time,” said Breymaier, who worked for Neutrogena’s previous owner, Roland Bilou Jordain, who sailed the boat in the first edition of the Barcelona World Race.
“I love the boats, I love the racing, and I love the challenge,” he added. Last year, he logged 20,000 miles on the boat, delivering it to various ports and competing in the Istanbul Europa Race (a crewed race around Europe) with Jordain.
The Barcelona World Race is the only race of its kind in the world and follows the Great Circle route (the shortest possible route traced across the map) past three capes: the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, and Cape Horn. Rounding any of the three is a badge of significant merit in the sailing world, but rounding them with only two sets of hands on a 60-foot boat and without the choice of holding back for severe weather is the greatest challenge.
Best of fortunes to Ryan Breymaier . . . “Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw!”