Nigel Irens gained a diploma in Boatyard Management at Southampton College of Technology. In 1972, Nigel and a friend opened a sailing school in Bristol, and by 1977 he had designed his first boat, Promenade, a 60-foot cruising trimaran. Nigel Iren Design Ltd was founded in 1977. The firm’s portfolio is wide-ranging, from racing yachts, to innovative bespoke cruising designs; typically synthesising traditional forms with modern materials, and methods of construction. He has designed many of the world’s greatest racing, cruising and power yachts, and has been at the forefront of multihull oceanic racing since the mid-1980s. He has been responsible for the design of several record-breaking trimarans such as Ellen MacArthur's B&Q-Castorama, Thomas Colville's Sodeb'O, and Francis Joyon's solo round the world record holder IDEC. Nigel’s designs are a remarkable fusion of art and science. More recently he became a consultant to the Alinghi design team.