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Posts Tagged ‘trimaran’

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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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Clean Report

When Francis Joyon took nearly two weeks off the solo RTW record in 2008, we figured it would be a long, long time before anyone became king of that particularly mountain.  Today, a new king will be crowned in what should go down as the most impressive feat of the year. Thomas Coville is set to take more than a week off of Joyon’s still incredible mark when he arrives in Brest in a couple of hours, achieving a time that would beat even the crewed records until just a few years ago.  It’s interesting to note that fewer people have sailed around the world alone, nonstop in a trimaran than have walked on the moon – just Ellen Macarthur, Francis Joyon, and Coville, and each of them now have owned that all-important trophy.

Coville, along with his sponsor – convenience-store-sandwich-maker Sodebo – deserve massive accolades, and not just for the second-most important ocean sailing record in the world: Their perseverence and tenacity has been nothing short of incredible!  This is Thomas’ 6th attempt at the same record, and to come back and do it again after just the sheer heartbreak of missing it by just hours in 2014 – that’s the stuff of legends.

If you’re in the area to welcome in this soldier of the sea, be sure to check out the #ABrestPourThomas hashtag for the latest info for spectators. If you want to understand what it means to the French to have such ownership of the most important records in the sport, watch this video of a French naval pilot talking to Thomas a couple of hours ago.

Discussion here.  Image via Fralo. 

December 25th, 2016 by admin

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World Exclusive

We’ve been teasing you for a few months about the unlikely rumor that a brand new fleet of foilers were headed for the New York Yacht Club. Thanks to our pals inside Morelli & Melvin, we just got the first publicly available renders for you to drool over. This weapon is currently on the build floor at Holland Composites (though they hid it from me during my half-hour tour of that excellent shop last month).  Above is a pretty sexy look at the slick boat, here’s a sail plan render and here’s one showing some more deck.

Known as the TF-10 (TriFoiler 10m), the M&M trimaran isn’t quite a production build, at least until the first 5 boats splash.  The design and Class are owned by a partnership of five NYYC owners who will form the nucleus of a one-design class to be based in Newport with winter sailing in the Southeast.

Newport mad scientist Malcolm Gefter is a key figure in the new boat, and as unlikely a character as you can imagine to be leading a charge for one of the quickest boats in the land.  Gefter is a unique guy; he’s equal parts mad genius/inventor, big pharma executive, and a guy who likes to wash his own boats.  He also lives in a castle in Newport, but rents out the upstairs to needy sailors.  In other words, he’s a bit of a contradiction – as is the TF-10.

We’ve watched Gefter for the better part of a decade now, as he’s climbed from being the marshmellow in the doggy Swan 42 fleet, to a middle pack Melges 32 owner, to a Marstrom/M32 helmsman.  Once the Euros came down to Miami and started beating up on the older American M32 owners, Gefter looked for something equally thrilling without requiring any huge gym rats aboard and found, well, nothing.  And with the help of Morelli & Melvin along with input from Andrew ‘Macca’ MacPherson – the guy who co-created the GC32 – they came up with the answer.  We asked Gefter a few questions about the new boat.

SA: What are the key features of this beast?

MG: It was essential that the boat be easily foldable and legally trailerable, and that it could be rolled onto the YC lot, put together, and launched with a regular yacht club hoist or ramp.  Just as importantly, you can fold it up on the water and dock the boat in any old 33′ monohull slip.  The cost of doing just that saves huge storage and transport and launch cost each time you want to sail.

SA: What about the foils?  There seems to be plenty of conflict between the tripod/l-foil (AC45, GC32, Phantom) and 4wd/z-foil concept?

MG: One the goal of a truly exciting foiler was reached, the next most important feature was ease of use, and that means z-foils. Both foils are deployed whenever you are sailing, and rake controls for both rudders and foils are electronically controlled by helmsman or trimmer, and there’s just no comparison between z and l-foils when it comes to ease of use.

SA: At 10 meters, it’s big enough to do coastal races for sure.  Is it safe enough or are you gonna need a full-time safety tender like the GC fleet?

MG: It’s 100% pre-preg carbon fiber construction with a good Southern mast, so it is strong enough, and the boat will weigh just 1100 KG; 1500 with crew and gear.  Safety will be in the hands of the crew and skipper, but the light weight and Z-foils really help there compared to a more ‘on-the-edge’ boat that uses L-foils. Also there is room for a proper bunk, toilet, and  nav station in the center hull.

SA: And when will those 5 boats drop?

MG: All 5 boats are under construction in Holland right now, and the first will splash in late Spring 2017.

SA: The all important question: How much?

MG: The goal is under $500k

SA: That’s a fuck ton of money for a 33-foot boat, no?

MG: It’s all relative!  While multihulls are clearly dominating the discussion at the very highest levels of performance racing, they still haven’t really caught on with high-end racing in the US; think of all those mini-maxi, TP52, Carkeeks, Fast40/Melges 32/40 guys still paying for 8-15 crew to sail around at 8 knots upwind and 15-20 downwind, and almost all of those boats costing many times more than a TF-10.  We believe that foiling is a MUST for the future, but only if it can be done safely and without professional racers.  Otherwise, it just won’t catch on!

SA: So why does the TF bring in all those guys?

MG: We all love the way a GC32 looks, but the only one sold to an American (Argo) competes only in Europe.  Even a relatively inexpensive non-foiling multihull like the M32 has sold just 9 boats here in four years.  That is a great boat (I own one) but it can be scary and is always extremely physical.  The solutions we have with the TF10 answer all those questions, but they do cost money.

SA: Can you explain how?

MG: Accessibility to the masses (of high-end sailors) is the key to this thing, and when we consulted a number of the world’s top designers, we realized that all ocean-racing multihulls are trimarans for one reason only: Safety.  As I have found out numerous times on the M32, CATS CAPSIZE EASILY and pitchpole for real, and they are not capable of racing seriously and safely in a real sea state.  Converting a 33 foot cat into a wider, more technologically advanced trimaran increases the cost substantially.

SA: What about running costs? This thing is seriously high tech; does it need a high-tech support crew?

MG: It needs nothing!  Remember that guys in top Melges 20 or Melges 32 classes are already spending 300k a year easily on pros, sails, transport to regattas, etc.  TP52 guys are spending a small fortune to build their boats (which only last a year or two on that circuit) and a large fortune to race them.  The TF-10 has just 2 fully-battened sails, and unlike monohull sails, they can last for years [not if you want to win -ed].

SA: You say you won’t need pros for this boat in contrast with a GC or M32.  Why not?

MG: Most of the energy needed to sail a foiling boat goes into raising and lowering of foils during maneuvers. Like the Olympic Nacra 17, the A-Cat, or the original Hydroptère, this boat is designed to sail with all foils down so you don’t need a 1500 dollar/day Star crew to pull them up and down.  Since it is sailing on four points it is MUCH more stable than a GC, and the owner drives from the center hull all the time, so the driver need not be Usain Bolt to get across the deck in a quick gybe.  The traveler is behind the tiller, meaning you never need to let go, adding more safety at the most common time for things to go wrong.

SA: Will it still get up and go despite being designed primarily for safety?

MG: Polars are well in excess of 35 knots on some points of sail…when the crew are ready!

SA: What do you do until the crew are ready?

MG: Lift the foils slightly and you can sail just like a Corsair or Farrier for beer can races or leisure sailing with friends and family on the wide platform.  Think ‘Ferrari’ – it can go on the street, it can sit in traffic, but it can still get on a race course and put in some serious hot laps against real competition.  We can mess around in the bay or do boring old windward/leeward racing, or we can do stadium sailing, coastal racing, record attempts – and we can do a lot of this doublehanded!

SA: Thanks a lot Malcolm, and good luck with the boat.

MG: No problem.  We’ll see you when it splashes.

Title shout to one of folk/rock’s all time classics, as reimagined by a troubled legend.

 

December 13th, 2016 by admin

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The media is RIGGED!  Rigged to give you a great Sunday of watching sailing videos with your family.  Here’s our first video of the day:

The boys and girls of the Phaedo understandably focused on something other than the navigational error that lost them the Middle Sea Race and outright record last week, and it’s a great look at the life of a top-end sailing videographer with a team at this level.

 

October 30th, 2016 by admin

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Clean Report

I’d already bailed from the 1D35 I usually race in Detroit for this weekend’s Bayview Long Distance Race, but when my wife’s plans to hold a garage sale changed an hour before getting a text from Rick Warner on Friday, I jumped at the chance to sail Rick’s ORMA 60 Arete in the historic race on Saturday.  I’d been trying to race with Rick since he bought the beastly trimaran, and a dead-calm delivery I did last month with him didn’t really fit the bill.

With a forecast of 10-15 for the 50-mile race, this one would be somewhat different, especially since my old friend Bora blew off an invitation to appear as one of Michigan’s Olympians on the U of M football field (in front of 106,000) to take the helm of the boat for this race.  And while the Bayview Race Committee gave us a start, we were an ‘unofficial’ entry and the only multihull, but no one cared – we were there to set a record, and as far as we know, we did.

An ORMA is perhaps the perfect boat for the Mackinac races; blazing fast in light air, and even faster in heavy – but for a race on the depth-limited Lake St. Clair, this truly was a case of bringing a knife to a gunfight, even with much of Arete’s core crew off doing other things.  It took us twenty minutes to get through the 8 classes of boats ahead of us, flying at 20 knots all the way to the wind farm off the Canadian Thames light, and you couldn’t ask for a less dramatic ride; furling sails and smart winch logistics make everything as smooth as the boat, and aside from one problem with the gennaker tack (that’s me hanging on the bowsprit at 15-20 knots after the fix), we didn’t leave much on the course, and while the Bayview Long Distance Race Record ain’t something that matters to more than a tiny group of people, as my (possibly) first ever race record, it mattered to me!

Our total time for the 50 mile race was actually the same as my birthday: 4/20.  While none of us can find an actual race record, we’re pretty confident we set it – our time was just under an hour and a half ahead of the fastest boat behind us, the GL70 Equation.   I uploaded some videos during the race – if you like big multihulls, you’ll like them.  Here’s my arrival, update 1, update 2, and some gorgeous slow-mo of the leeward hull streaming in the sunlight.

Rick has done a great job getting  young sailors aboard Arete in her two years in the Midwest, and his Mackinac resulted in one of the most interesting distance race video series we’ve seen in years, this one from a young videographer.  Watch the four-part series, produced by Andrew Jowett from the Port Huron Times-Herald, here. Photo from Bora Gulari.

 

September 19th, 2016 by admin

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Rick Warner’s ORMA 60 Arete (ex-Sopra) shattered her 2015 BYC-Mack record by more than an hour, beating in everything by a long, long way (as she should).  With the speedy old Windquest mothballed for the race (some of the DeVos clan will be racing cats in Harbor Springs next week), Arete was in another time zone from the rest of the fleet. Results are here.

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 8.01.52 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-17 at 8.01.52 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-17 at 8.01.52 PMWe’d send you to the tracker, but we’re boycotting it.  Hey Bayview, is it really necessary to require us to avow that we’re 21 years old to watch a tracker?  Listen – we get that Bell’s wants to get the exposure, and we think it’s very cool that you have a brewery – an excellent brewery – sponsoring your marquee race.  But consider the message you’re sending to the public and your own aging membership: It says, “Hey Kids: Either lie on the form, or you’re shit out of luck.”

Keep an eye on SA’s Facebook Page, we’re we’ll be doing some live stuff from the deck of the mighty trimaran during the Round Mackinac Island Race after the CYC Mack.

July 17th, 2016 by admin

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When the sailing community heard that French multihull phenom Yann Guichard was dating billionaire pharaceutical heiress Dona Bertarelli, plenty of jaded sailors smiled knowing smiles for the Frenchmen’s good luck.  Six years, an engagement, and a hundred thousand miles or so later, we’ve all accepted that Dona ain’t just another ultra-rich swiss sailor, and in this 15-minute interview with Mr. Clean shot last week in Sweden, the fastest female sailor on the planet shows that she’s the real deal and then some.

The down-to-earth Dona talks about women in professional sailing and her LadyCat program (and whether we’ll see it on the M32 circuit), where the Spindrift name comes from, the great (and not so great) things about racing around the world with your lover, whether the World Match RAcing Tour will once again become the feeder for the America’s Cup, and just how likely it is to see a second Bertarelli and the first-ever female-owned team challenging for the America’s Cup.  Clean’s obviously crushing on this amazing role model pretty hard; watch above and you might be too.

You can watch Dona’s soon-to-be husband racing all next week in the million dollar finale to the World Match Racing Tour in Marstrand, live (with Clean’s gravelly voice on the mic) from the 4th to the 9th.  More here.

 

July 1st, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 1.56.29 PM“Please accept my resignation.  I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member” – Groucho Marx, in a letter to the Friar’s Club (1958).

We’re not sure whether Lending Club CEO and oceangoing record holder Renaud LaPlanche’s ouster from the company he founded was the result of something shady he did, or simply the culmination of years of attacks designed to bring down the young, disruptive businessman who built the largest online vendor in the US in a few short years.  There’s a DOJ investigation underway, so if their paymasters haven’t been bought off by bank lobbysists, we might just get to the truth – someday.

Whether his forced resignation last month and the subsequent tanking of Lending Club stock was engineered by massive and nasty establishment banks and their minions, LaPlanche’s days of assaulting records with big multihulls are over, at least for the time being.  That leaves the ever-game Phaedo and John Sangmeister’s now-foiling ex-ORMA Tritium (which is racing to Alaska with former Lending Club skipper Ryan Breymaier aboard in a couple weeks) to carry the American flag in the offshore recordbreaking game.  Who’s up next?

 

June 1st, 2016 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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Driven in large part by one of SA’s closest friends, Renaud LaPlanche’s 6-month record-breaking campaign aboard the monster trimaran Lending Club helped cement the United States’ ascendency as one of the world’s preeminent multihull powers.  Along with Lloyd Thornburg’s busy Phaedo 3, Taylor Canfield’s US-One’s dominance of the M32 Series and now odds-on favorite status to win next year’s $1M World Match Racing Tour, and Oracle Racing “USA”‘s likelihood of taking home the Auld Mug, Lending Club has moved the goalposts for anyone looking to make a mark in outright speed under sail (or introduce huge numbers of people to the pointy end of the sport). For a wrap of their season, we go to Ryan (and be sure to follow as Ryan goes for doublehanded glory in the massive 21-boat fleet for the Transat Jacques Vabres next month).

After an action-packed 6 month charter, today the maxi-trimaran Lending Club 2 project has come to an end and we hand the boat back to its owner.  We knew from the start back in March that this was going to be a busy year, but I don’t think anyone realized how many people would come and see the boat or come sailing with us.

From the start we agreed we would have an open door policy and whenever possible we made the boat available for visits at the dock. Our skipper, Renaud invited all the Lending Club employees to come sailing and over 1000 of them took him up on the offer. We took children from sailing schools and students from all backgrounds and as young as 5 and 6 years old. We took hundreds of Lending Club guests and business partners in both New York and San Francisco. Everyone without exception had the opportunity to drive the boat if they wanted to and everyone came back to shore with a huge smile and an unforgettable souvenir.

We set three new world records in Europe, the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

We made friends.

We had fun.

Heartfelt thanks to the entire team for working so hard; literally every single day for weeks on end and for taking such great care of all 1500+ guests. Thanks to the racing team who stepped up to the challenge and brought home three new records. Thanks to our technical partners Switlik, Marlow, Guy Cotten, Events Clothing and Underwater Kinetics who supported us from the start and finally a huge thanks to our leader Renaud Laplanche for making all this possible.

Here’s a short video that sums up the whole adventure in a few minutes, I hope you enjoy watching as much as we did living it.

Ryan

 

September 17th, 2015 by admin

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