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Posts Tagged ‘macif’

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Huge thanks to longtime ocean racing Anarchist “Laurent” for the excellent translation of this long dockside interview with Francois Gabart. Some real surprises in here, and some gems. Original here.

Journalist: “Not only you break the record, but you shattered it!”

FG: “yes, I do not know the global history of records, but yes… I did not expect that. To be honest, I had a slight hope to break the record, but to break it by that much, I would never have thought…”

Journalist: “What are you the most proud of?”

FG: “I am the most proud of all the work we did with the team and his boat, since…. I can’t even recall the number of years! 2, 3 or 4 years since we launched this project. We made a super boat, and a super trip. I am proud of this trip.”

Journalist: “how do you rank the emotions of today?”

FG: “You should not rank or compare emotions… but it is huge….”

Journalist: “… ” (can’t hear what the lady is asking)

FG: “it was unreal last night, in pitch black! In the middle of fishing boats. There was a fisherman right on the finish line! I called him on the radio and asked him if I could pass on the right… “Yeah, sure, no problem”… It was strange… but to be here, now with all of you, it feels really strange as well!”

“As I said prior to the start, you need 3 parameters to succeed:

– a good weather window

–  some luck, and I definitely got some luck; maybe if I had not left on November 4th, maybe if I had left 3 hours later, I would have missed this good weather window in the South Atlantic…

– and then once you have this good weather window in the South Atlantic, you had to hang to it!”

Journalist: “Did you hide anything?”

FG: “NO! I did not hide anything. If it had been a race, it would have been different. I tried to share as much as possible. By decency, there are a few things you do not say, but it has been hard, you know it, I said so. I was on the edge, all the time. This is what I wanted to do. And I did it.”

Journalist: “Do you have a word for Thomas Coville?”

FG: “I want to thank both boats from last year. First Thomas pushed me like never before. I think that if there hadn’t been the record by Thomas, I would not have done as well. That’s for sure. He boosted us to do better.  And even Francis Joyon with crew after that. It was very re-assuring, after Thomas record. For sure, they were 6 on board, but if they can do it in 40 days, maybe there is a way to do better than 49 days, solo.  Both boats last year made me dream, and pushed me. If I am here today with this timing, it is in part because of them.”

Journalist: “did you imagine to have a virtual competitor, right behind you, to boost you?”

FG: “I told myself to be full throttle, all the time, what ever happens. Whether you are ahead or behind, try to do the best, the best you know, from start to finish, without taking thoughtless risks, but without slowing down… So I have been racing against the daily routings. You always try to nibble a few more miles here and there.”

Journalist: “did you know it was going to be so tiring?”

FG: “yes, I was expecting that.”

Journalist: “when did you tell yourself “it’s in the bag”? Or did you wait until the finish line?”

FG: “comparing to Vendee Globe, this time around, I have known for the past few days that the record should be broken, unless there is a technical problem. That being said, the technical risk is very present from first to last day, even more so towards the end, when the skipper is tired…”

Journalist: “Is it stronger emotions than the Vendee Globe arrival?”

FG: “you should not classify emotions… I wanted it to be as big as the Vendee Globe. And here, it is great (FG choking)”

Journalist: “you talked a lot about tiredness, how do you feel?”

FG: “I hurt everywhere…. everywhere… I have been hurting everywhere for weeks now. I don’t sleep; last night I did not sleep… I am exhausted.”

Journalist: “does it feel good to cry”?

FG: “yes; it feels good.”

Journalist: “what new challenge could you give yourself? What about the Mini-transat, it is the only race you have not done!”

FG: “the mini-transat, I don’t think so…”

Journalist: “did you talk about that with Michel Desjoyeaux, on the water, after the finish line?”

FG: “He was wondering about that… But I am not too worried about that. There are wonderful boats. This boat flew once in a while, but not for long. In a very short time, we will be able to fly, around the world. It is coming around the corner; tomorrow!”

Journalist: “would you go back to break your own record?”

FG: “not right now!!!

What would make me dream right now, flying around the word, yes, that would be appealing. I think that with a crew, we are not far from it, with a crew you should be able to fly 90% of the time. And it is going to go very-very fast.

This record is going to be broken, and it is going to be broken soon and by a large margin!”

Journalist: “but what about the right weather?”

FG: “yes, but if the boat flies in 15 knots wind speed, and goes twice as fast, the right weather, we will find it! Of course it is not going to be easy. I sure hope so! I hope that the next person is not going to think that it is a done deal before the start! Of course, it is going to be hard for the next one, but he will break the record; for sure. And he will break the record by a lot! I am convinced of it!”

Journalist: “if you have been in a crewed configuration, what would be different? Any faster?”

FG: “I would be less tired… And it would have been faster. For instance, the last high pressure ridge, right before the end, it is holding on to just a few % faster in the Trade Winds, and you can avoid the ridge, and maybe shorten the course by 24 or 36 hours… But we will never know…

There are some parts, when you go very fast under autopilot, like the end of the Pacific Ocean and the beginning of the South Atlantic, it would not have changed much to be with a crew…

Now, all the transition periods, where there are a lot of maneuvers, for sure, it will be faster with a crew. But first of all, I would not be as much tired. With a crew, you trust the others and you can really rest.”

Journalist: “what are you the most proud of?”

FG: “I am proud of the boat and all the work we did with the team before the record. When we started this project 4 years ago; we started from a blank sheet of paper. There was no Ultim. Of course, there were already Sodebo and Idec, these beautiful big boats, but there was not the dynamic there is today around Ultim Class. I thank Macif, because it was audacious. And they went for it, and we went for it and we made a wonderful boat. I am proud to gather the team, to conceive, and build this boat.

And then I am proud of being up to the boat. This boat deserved to go fast. There were times when I thought I cannot ease up, I cannot slow down; this boat wants only one thing: go fast!

I am proud of this boat, and I am proud to be up to the challenge of sailing this boat.”

“The feelings are wonderful; the Vendee Globe was incredible; here also it is incredible. I do not want to compare. It is new; and maybe the hardest part was to live again something as strong as the Vendee Globe. Everybody, ALL of YOU,  were telling me at the end of the Vendee Globe: “you are never going to live something as beautiful again…”. You all said that. But no… and here we are. There is always a way to do well, better, different. And it is beautiful”.

Journalist: “you have won the Vendee Globe, the Route du Rhum, the Transat Jacques Vabre,, this is your first record. Did you like this new way of sailing?”

FG: “yes, I liked it. I think it came at the right time. I have been sailing competitively for the past 20-30 years. But here you are all alone, facing yourself. It was the right time. In life, there are the right times for the right things. And here, it was the right time.”

Journalist: “François, there are guys saying that you are very lucky…” (the journalist is using a French colloquial saying that I cannot translate…)

FG: “yes, it is true, I am lucky. You cannot do that without a bit of luck. Then of course, you have to be looking for it, trigger it, and fight for it. But I got some luck.

Journalist: “what do you feel right now?”

FG: “tiredness first… some relief… happiness, pleasure to see you all… a lot of beautiful things…”

Journalist: “how do you sleep while sailing at 35-40 knots? Do you have to be dead-tired to fall asleep”

FG: “it is the challenge, sleeping at 40 knots, living at more than 40 knots… You have to trust the boat, you have to trust yourself. This is the difficulty single handed. Let the boat go fast. But I won’t hide from you that sometimes, it is pretty hot…”

Journalist: “how do you feel coming back to land?”

FG: “it is rather brutal… it is not violent, but yeah, it is a bit “in your face”… Last night, it was a bit strange. You are all alone, in pitch black, then the first boats arrive, and they put bright spot light on you; you can’t see a thing… I felt like a hunted wild beast. I could not cope with it. I stayed inside. It was too much too fast”.

Journalist: “does it mean you wanted to stay at sea?”

FG: “No, I am super happy to be back on land. I was happy at sea, though…”

Journalist: “what is the first thing you want right now?”

FG: “I want to spend some time with everybody, take a shower, and get some sleep. I think I need it….”

December 18th, 2017 by admin

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He’s got the sailing prowess of Michel Desjoyeaux, the sponsor skills of Alex Thomson, and the looks of a goddamned underwear model, and Francois Gabart and the foiling Macif trimaran are on the verge of destroying the solo RTW record,  The Golden Boy will incredibly be just a couple days outside the outright RTW record set by IDEC last year, and if not for IDEC, this solo effort would have also been a Jules Verne winner.  By how much will Macif beat Peyron’s Banque Populaire Jules Verne run?  Roughly 6 days, and we don’t know that there is any other human on the planet that could equal this singular accomplishment.

We’ll have the live finish up on the front page as soon as it’s available – check the thread for the very latest of everything.


December 16th, 2017 by admin

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Bermuda and the America’s Cup may occupy the Louis Vuitton luggage buyers, real fans of sailing have one of the most interesting races in years on the calendar this summer, and the favorite has just picked his crew – which includes one lifelong Anarchist from France.  We’ll be speaking to charismatic Mini and multihull badass Benoit Marie soon about his role on Francois Gabart’s Macif in the upcoming Bridge Race, which will pit several “Ultim” maxi-trimarans against the 1750,000 horsepower of the Queen Mary 2 in a race between Saint Nazaire, France and New York City this coming June.

May 4th, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 9.41.26 AMThe wide-open development world of the Ultimé trimarans means ultimate secrecy, especially when it comes to the most important performance part on the boat: the foil.  And sure enough, after months of testing and sailing with only highly edited photos and videos making it to the public, the J-foil on Macif has finally been revealed.  It’s fat, short, and looks like it’ll survive a whale or seal filleting session well enough, but will it be fast enough to bring wunderkind Francois Gabart RTW gold?

With the even more extreme near-sistership Banque Pop IX not far behind, we fully expect quite a bit about these rockets to change before their solo round-the-world race begins in a couple of years.  In the meantime, this monster is off to Le Havre to compete in the doublehanded TJV in just a couple of weeks; here’s a pretty sexy video promo for their challenge.   Thread here.


October 13th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 2.08.04 AMThe boat that will soon start smashing records as the world’s fastest ocean racing sailboat had a minor hiccup over the weekend when a fitting broke in the main hull of the VPLP trimaran Macif. The team’s press release says it’s no big deal, but is anything ‘minor’ in a 105-foot singlehanded foiling trimaran?  Stay on top of the Ultime Class in the thread.

Photo from MerConcept.

September 28th, 2015 by admin

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A couple of days ago in the doldrums, Open 60 PRB – probably the lightest Open 60 ever built, caught up to Gabart and Desjoyeux aboard Macif, who’d been leading almost from the gun.  Young Francois and the grizzled veteran Michel showed what they and their latest gen VPLP/Verdier boat could do that night, putting almost 20 NM on the orange boat by morning.  But maybe they are a bit too fast.

Macif continued to stretch her lead until yesterday when her rig went over the side, not all that far from where the same pair last lost the rig off the nearly identical boat during the Barcelona World Race (though that was Foncia, sistership to Macif).  The duo cut the mast away and are proceeding under jury rig to Salvador de Bahia, and they are still fast, sailing almost six knots with no mast at all.  Check the short jury rig video here, and track PRB, Maitre Coq, and Safran as they fight for the win with just one day left on the course.  More from Gabart:

We were sailing on port tack under full main and big gennaker in 15-20 knots with a small seaway coming from behind.  An hour or two before we’d had some gusty wind but the wind was stable when the mast broke.  We were under autopilot with myself in the cockpit and Michel resting inside when the mast went, breaking a dozen meters above the deck, meaning 18 meters of mast in the water.  The standing part was supported by the cabin top/coachroof.

We turned downwind, fortunately all safe when it happened.  It took about an hour to separate the upper part from the lower part, making sure we could preserve the boom for a jury rig.  We’re both in the same state of mind: Sad and disappointed, but we are forward looking people and at these times it’s better to do that than to dwell on problems.

The Failure

Within two seconds of the first noise, the mast was down, so it’s hard to speculate on what might have happened…I suspect it was a tube failure rather than fittings or attachments.  We were definitely pushing the boat but in a very usual way and in normal conditions; certainly not the first time I’ve pushed this boat since her launch!

After the Vendée Globe, we stepped a lighter mast that would hopefully not sacrifice reliability, but it was maybe a bit more fragile in the harsh conditions of this TJV.  I don’t want to second guess much, because maybe the Vendee Globe mast might have been fine, but maybe it would have broken too.  

I don’t think our match race with PRB had any impact on how we pushed the boat.  We took a step back at times, our goal was to sail better consistently. We did not want to overdo it, we wanted to sail cleanly and even if PRB had been a few miles ahead, or behind, then nothing would have changed.”

Second time unlucky

“I have had two dismastings in my life, both in IMOCAs between Brazil and Africa and both sailing two up with with Michel . We think of the dismasting which happened two years ago in the Barcelona World Race. But the reasons are different. But there is the same feeling of sadness because all of a sudden everything just stops. At the same time we look to the positives, it could have happened at any other time and that would have been worse for us and for the boat. It’s been great since it happened in the Barcelona . There is no reason why we can’t follow on the same after this second dismasting.”



November 21st, 2013 by admin

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