Saturday, 6 April 2013

April Fools and Sailing

The aptly-named Prince de Bretagne 40 multihull (promoting fresh vegetables) eats a monohull for lunch in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Image copyright Th. Martinez / Sea & Co.

by Anne Hinton

Further to the April Fool concerning IMOCA and MOD70s, which seems to have been rather popular, we wish to make two points:

       1. It is never a good idea to modify a one design class in any way whatsoever; so-doing immediately turns the boat into a hybrid, rather than a one design. Yann Guichard also expressed disapprobation for any modification to the MOD70 one design when it was proposed to him by Pierre-Yves Lautrou at the Café de la Marine du Télégramme last night.

      2. The current economic climate means that costs are all important in regard to getting boats on the line. Sailors have commented to us that they do not believe that a one design IMOCA will be cheaper, but, rather, more expensive, than the present option. An MOD70 campaign is far more expensive again than an IMOCA60 one. Indeed, the crewed MOD70s are in need of a sponsor, as Guichard also pointed out at the Café de la Marine du Télégramme last night.

Hopefully the article did serve to give some exposure to the IMOCA60 and MOD70 classes. 

The intention with the MOD70 was always to provide crewed one design multihull racing around the world with stops, in similar fashion to the present monohull Volvo Ocean Race. However, the class has not yet been able to race worldwide, for lack of the necessary sponsorship.

One day, when the economic climate is a lot better, there may be a possibility of an additional single-handed multihull race around the world, in which case a race in parallel would see the multihulls eating the monohulls for lunch, speed-wise, as is rather over-dramatised in the image above from the Round the Island Race in the UK, with the Prince de Bretagne 40 multihull. However, today, we hope that the Vendée Globe, in monohull IMOCA60s, will continue from strength to strength.

The second article, written by Poisson d’Avril (the French for April Fool), stemmed from a wish to mention the achievements of Vestas SailRocket, which has the potential for 70 knots in its present set-up, if rumours are to be believed. The word SpinDRIFT (pétole – on ne bouge pas) contrasts strongly with SailROCKET (Aller LA plus vite possible ! – as imagined from Jimmy Pahun at the Café de la Marine du Télégramme!!), and of course Spindrift carries out part of its racing programme, in the D35 Ladycat, on Lake Geneva, where the Hydroptère is challenging for speed records.