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Posts Tagged ‘VPLP’

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 2.21.26 PM

This shot of the outside of Hugo Boss’s hull shows the impact that broke the ribs of Alex Thomson’s brand-new Open 60; the first in a series of cascading failures that led to their near-sinking in the Bay of Biscay a few days ago.  Alex is 99.9% sure this presumed collision was the root cause of the rest of the issues,  but that’s not the most surprising thing we learned in our Skype interview with him this afternoon.  You’ll have to tune back in to this page for the rest of the story early tomorrow, exclusively on Sailing Anarchy.  It’s a good one!  We’re also pleased to report that VPLP and Verdier seem to be completely on top of it, with their top guys working hand in hand with all the teams with issues.  Stand by for more.

TJV thread here.  Boss Sinking thread here.

November 3rd, 2015 by admin

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post-106437-0-80951600-1446216726This shot from the floor of Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac St.Michel shows the broken ribs that knocked the new-gen foiling Open 60 out of the Transat Jacques Vabre last night; the fourth retirement out of the 5 VPLP/Verdier fliers and a clear sign that someone in the design office seems to have gotten these multi-million-dollar beats wrong – very, very wrong.

One of the major innovations in the new boats is a transverse version of the approach to hull design that we first saw in Comanche; instead of a few large stringers in a structural grid over a relatively thick hull, the VPLP solution uses these small semicircular ribs to support an extremely thin hull (4mm in some spots).  It’s a significantly lighter way to do it, but if the difficult production process isn’t micron-perfect or if the ribs aren’t taking the load in unison, things go ugly quickly, as JP and Fabien discovered when they went down into the sail locker.

While four foiling boats are out, the final “Mustache” boat is showing why they all bothered, with the new Banque Populaire XVCCIVXIICL sailing an average of more than a knot faster than the ultra-quick previous generation PRB in the same stretch of ocean on a nice run.  In a Vendee, that would translate to a couple of weeks’ lead…assuming BP can avoid the speed bumps…

To The Orphanage For You

Our sentimental favorites aboard Adopt-A-Skipper have unfortunately also pulled the plug thanks to a blown out backstay, with Ryan and Nico headed back to Concarneau.  What a yard sale this TJV has become!  Chat and crowdsource all the TJV news here.

Thanks to SA’er ‘chasm’ for grabbing the shot from Virbac before they pulled it from their site.


October 30th, 2015 by admin

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While the Macif foils have finally been revealed, details on the latest and greatest VPLP/Verdier Open 60s remain scant, in part because the secrecy in IMOCA world is exceeded only by that of the America’s Cup.  Fortunately we’ve got connections, and our Senior Editor headed over to England last night to become (we think) the first reporter in the world to sail on an offshore foiling monohull.  He’s headed offshore tonight with the one guy who continues to keep the torch lit for anyone who wants to see a non-Frenchman take the Vendee Globe trophy: Alex Thomson.

Alex and his Hugo Boss team have had unprecedented success with sponsors and the media over the past decade, but less so on the race course, with Alex able to grab a few victories in low-profile events and a couple of hard-fought 24-hour solo distance records. Bad luck ended his two strong chances to win the Barcelona World Race, but his 3rd place in the last Vendee (with a now 3-generations old boat) cemented his credibility as a potential race winner, if he could only build a competitive ride.

That has now happened, and we’ve got a couple of days to dig into Alex’s program and his new boat, and more importantly, to answer any questions you guys can come up with – as long as they’re not about the details on the foils, and if we told you about them, we’d have to kill you.  We’ll have a report on the boat and on the new Mercedes-Benz stickered Hugo Boss before the TJV begins, and if you ask your questions today over in this thread, we’ll put them to the team. 

For a fond look back at the two-generations old Farr Open 60 that Alex took his Vendee podium with (and Ryan Breymaier is about to doublehand across the ocean), check out the very cool video above. ‘cause boats have souls…


October 13th, 2015 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 2015-09-05 at 10.31.44 AM

Alone in the sea of brand-new foiling(ish) Open 60s is the UK’s Alex Thomson and his new Mercedes-Benz sponsored Hugo Boss, the sort-of sistership to the new VPLP/Verdier monsters that are dropping in the water seemingly every week as the TJV gets close.   Speaking of the French doublehanded classic, there are a jaw-dropping 21 IMOCAs registered for the start in Le Havre.  Will you be there?  Sailing Anarchy will.

We’re a bit shocked to see the Hugo Boss change color from the silver that we assumed was such a perfect fit for Merc (and its silver arrows racing brand) but we forgot to check in on the team that HB seems to get all its design inspiration from.  Sure enough, they just turned black this year as well.

More pics on the ATR Facebook page, and the world’s best source of breaking information about the IMOCA fleet is, of course, right here in the Ocean Racing Anarchy forums. Title shout to a great song for a blind date…or a stalker.

September 5th, 2015 by admin

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Comanche alongside

Need somewhere cool to park your 100′ supermaxi for a couple months?  Come on down to South Carolina, where the men are men and the girls outnumber them…heavily.  We’re not saying that’s why Comanche just splashed in Savannah, but we’re not saying it ain’t, either!

Jim Clark’s monster maxi (and the most ‘American’ of any major team in yachting) is just now motoring her way from Savannah up to Charleston, where she’ll hang out at SeaBreeze marina until late March, when she’ll head down to St. Bart’s for Les Voiles and a fleet of boats she should crush.

Huge thanks for this shot and three more we’ve stuck in the Comanche thread to our old Charleston pal Kurt Oberle,  founder of High and Dry Boatworks, the best carbon/fiberglass fixit guys in the Charleston area.


February 8th, 2015 by admin

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Sodebo Ultime Trimaran (ex Geronimo)

At 111 feet long and 72 feet wide, the old VPLP Gerononimo was a groundbreaking racer in many ways. When Olivier De Kersauson launched her back in 2001, record breakers like Fossett and Peyron and Lewis were positive that giant catamarans were just better, and they’d proven it so clearly that many thought De Kersauson a nutter for risking so much on a boat that clearly couldn’t accomplish anything.  But 100,000 mostly trouble-free miles and a Jules Verne (and several other) major records later, the boat’s clear advantages – safety, ability to be driven hard, motion, upwindedness – emphatically ended the era of the maxi-catamaran.  Geronimo would become the basis for the most dominant record runners ever, as well as the boat that took the America’s Cup back from Alinghi: Franck Cammas’ (and now Armel Le Cle’ach’s) monstrous Groupama 2/BP6, Pascal Bidegorry’s (and then Loick Peyron, and now Yann and Dona’s) BP5/Spindrift 2, and the BMW Oracle Racing 90 all came out of VPLP’s computers and all owe their heritage heavily and directly to Geronimo.

This history lesson may bore some, but to us, ocean racing is all about history and legend, and that’s why we share it with you.  And with 2014/15 seeing Thomas Coville rebuilding, refitting, repowering, and restoring Geronimo for his own Route Du Rhum, record aspirations, and Ultime solo 100+ footer class racing, we can’t wait to see history come roaring to life again on the starting line.  Coville was just a kid when he first began racing with De Kersauson, and the brilliant Frenchman has now been part of most of the last decade’s Jules Verne Trophy runs as well as a Volvo Ocean Race victory.  His narrow Nigel Irens Sodebo trimaran came tantalizingly close to claiming the Solo RTW record, but it’s clear that Coville has given up on that concept in favor of the heavier and far more powerful Geronimo.  Above is an Yvan Zedda shot of the boat as her refit moves ahead quickly at Multiplast’s yard; go here for a full gallery, here for a thread about the boat, and here for discussion on November’s Route Du Rhum.




March 17th, 2014 by admin

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New Supermaxi Jim Clark VPLP

Software billionaire Jim Clark famously said last year that he was ‘over’ the whole Caribbean and Mediterranean thing, selling his J/Class Hanuman and super-schooner Athena for North of 100 million bucks.  And very quietly, he’s been putting together a boat that finally brings all the design advances we’ve seen in the Open 60 and Mini-maxi world to a supermaxi.  It’s the first new racer we’ve seen of this size in years, and the fact that it’s for an American is great news for the industry as well as for lovers of boat porn, and for anyone who wants to see the Speedboats and the Wild Oatses of the worlds get beaten – easily – by a guy with ‘fuck you’ money who is often happy to speak his mind.

 As usual, we’re here to bring you the world’s first look at it.  Ripped from the projector screen of Ken Read’s keynote speech at the US Sailing Leadership Forum is this new VPLP-designed 100 foot monster.  We’ll have much, much more to report this Saturday.

February 6th, 2014 by admin

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Photo Emailing 2
We promised you Ryan Breymaier’s look at the newest racing trimaran on the market, and here it is; it’s the Diam 24, a ‘mini MOD-70′ from the desk of the guys who gave you some of the biggest big boat racing successes of the past decade.  Be sure to check out what Breymaier’s up to lately over here.

Imagine a Melges 24-sized boat that sails 14 knots upwind instead of 7, and 30 downwind instead of 18.  And all without any nerve-damaging hiking at all!

Meet the Diam 24; a beautifully built, impressively simple trimaran designed by multihull masters VPLP and built in Port La Foret, France, about 10 minutes from my house.

Vianney Ancelin is the man behind the project; I met him about 5 years ago while looking for a place to keep my newly acquired beach cat. Turns out that my Diam F-18 was built by him, and his factory is right next to a beautiful launch ramp, while his parking lot is full of small multihulls, Tornados, F-18s, A-Cats, Multi 23s, whatever you can imagine, all within minutes of my front door.

Anyway, Vianney’s trapezing days at the helm of an F-18 are over, and he had always dreamed of building an easily launched, easily sailed trimaran; something to race, to raid, or just to island hop through the Glenans.

IMG_1971The Diam 24 OD is the result, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Carbon beams and mast, glass/pvc sandwich hulls, 3 sails, and a beach dolly, and with the minimum of extra equipment and the maximum of design know-how from VPLP. In looks and performance, this boat is a baby brother of the MOD.   Overall dimensions: 24 feet x 18.5 feet, with a 37-foot mast. It weighs 1000 pounds, with 515 square feet of sail downwind.

The amas and beams are demountable for trailering and storage; set up is quick and easy, and the two-piece mast completes the easy-to-move package.

The foil package is simple; kick-up, transom hung float rudders and a central dagger board. The boat deliberately does not have lifting foils in an attempt to keep it simple while sailing, as well as to keep the price down to a bare minimum.

Sail handling is easy as well, the jib and gennaker on Karver KF2  furlers, and the mainsail on a conventional halyard with clutch at the mastbase.

Jibsheet is 4:1 self tacking, mainsheet is a 7:1 gross tune on the traveller car connected to a 3:1 fine tune under the boom for a total of 21:1, all while keeping the block sizes and prices to a minimum. There are two winches, one on each floater, used only for the gennaker sheets.

As this is a one-design race boat, there has been no attempt to create usable interior, simply a storage space under the foredeck, and a trench cockpit from the mastbase to the aft beam.  Again – think of it as the triple hulled version of a Melges 24.

IMG_1972One thing that annoys me about many dinghies and small race boats is the time it takes to set them up and break them down; it often seems like you spend as much time building and dismantling as you do sailing!  Designers of the Diam 24 have taken extra care to keep that time to an absolute minimum. Each beam bolts into place with 4 bolts, with a locating pin to keep them in place.  The floater/beam connection is a highly engineered double cone to keep it stiff, but uses just one fastener to keep it in place. The trampolines have loops at 2 corners, along with track on the central hull so that they can be done up without any knot tying.

All in all, I am confident that the whole boat can be fully rigged in the same or a bit less time than an F-18 or other beach cat, and this is quite a bit more boat.

The Diam is sold with everything one needs, right down to the Kevlar/membrane sail package, for 49,900 euros.  For 5400 euros extra, you can pick up the custom trailer with ramps that allow you to load the beach dolly directly onto it.

If I was looking for a great boat to race in the light airs of my native Chesapeake, or I wanted speed with the occasional high-speed family picnic, I would be seriously considering this one.

DIAM and Vianney can be contacted at [email protected], or check out the builder’s website here.

December 23rd, 2013 by admin


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