Award-winning sportsman, John Ripard is a force to be reckoned with. Taking the Ripard Group which was founded in 1901 to the next level by marrying it with his passion for the sea, it is for his success at all things aquatic that John Ripard became so renowned in his own right.
Without a doubt one of the most prominent yachtsmen in Malta, Mr Ripard sailed for Malta in the Snipe Class Category in the 1955 Mediterranean Games in Barcelona, represented Malta at the World Underwater Fishing Championship in Portugal in 1959. In the 1960 Olympic Games John and his brother Paul represented Malta sailing in the Star Class.
In early 1968 the idea of creating a true offshore race was born resulting in the now famous Middle Sea Race. The first Middle Sea Race started with 8 entries on the 30th November 1968 and 8 days later JOSIAN with skipper John Ripard and his crew crossing the finish line to win inaugural Middle Sea Race, repeating his second win in 1970 on TIKKA II.
In 1973, he took part in the ‘Giraglia’ and later the ‘Campionato d’Inverno’ in Genova winning his class in both these regattas with ‘Tikka II’ again.
In 1980, he was elected international judge by the International Yacht Racing Union. After the United States of America lost the America’s Cup to Australia, Mr Ripard was appointed Chairman of the Race Committee whose responsibility it was to conduct the over 200 races required to determine who would race against ‘the Defender’ by winning the Louis Vuitton Trophy, the preamble to the 1987 America’s Cup for which he was appointed alternate judge. After this first involvement in the America’s Cup, Mr Ripard was appointed a member of the International Juries for the 1988, 1992, and 1995 Cups held in San Diego. Soon to follow was an appointment to the International Jury of the sailing events of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, held in Savannah. These unforgettable experiences took him all over the globe and in 1992 he was honoured by receiving Ġieħ ir-Repubblika, the medal for contributions to the republic.
Following several years as Commodore, today, he is the president of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. John Ripard is extremely representative of all the values which underpin Edwards Lowell’s ‘Someday’ campaign: he is a man who has persevered and succeeded. He has capitalised on the opportunities that have presented themselves to him thought-out his career. The link between John Ripard and Edwards Lowell was made even stronger thanks to the Middle Sea Race which has become synonymous with the Rolex brand. Conceived in 1968, the Middle Sea Race was brought to life thanks to the intrepid spirit of John Ripard, his brother Paul, Jimmy White and Alan Green. Their daring spirit has continued to live on for the last fifty years and it is because of it that the Rolex Middle Sea Race attracts hundreds of sailors each year from all parts of the world. His passion and vision have forged a road for all those who dare to be bold and think big.