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I Am The Irus

I Am The Irus

Well,
Giovanni Soldini’s brilliant victory in The Artemis Transat aboard his
all-conquering Guillaume Verdier Class40 gives me the perfect opportunity
to present you this little rocket, born on the same naval architect’s
drawing board.
Oh,
OK, that’s just a way of putting things because actually, the speed machine
was built without any plans, the drawings having only existed in Guillaume’s
head. Initially, he had started building it for his own pleasure as well
as to test new hull shapes before the 2001 Vendée Globe, but being
a busy man, things moved very slowly at the yard. Well, his garage, actually.

The
thing took up the whole space, and visitors would admire that work in
progress… until one of them fell in love with the boat and decided
he’d make one for himself – it’s now complete and ready to sail, and bears
the name Irus 5.50 (Irus being the Morbihan Gulf Island facing Guillaume’s
house, and 5.50 metres being the maximum length his garage would allow
for). Pierre Lediberder, member of the Safran Sailing Team, is now the
proud builder/owner of the first of what should be a series. The boat
is 2,2 metres wide (4,7 metres wide including wings), and boasts the same
righting moment as a Tornado Sport, with which it shares the same deck
hardware and wingmast. The total weight, ready to sail, is 170 kg, for
a construction in EGlass – Epoxy resin and carbon reinforcements. The
idea is to achieve aboard a monohull the same type of performance as on
18′ catamarans, providing planing sensations unheard of on a multi. The
Irus 5,50 has been conceived to offer sensations which only come very
late, and in extreme conditions, on a keelboat. Somehow, we get the feeling
this could be a hit… And check out Soldini’s Telecom Italia or the
Safran Open 60 (VPLP Verdier design), their hull shapes actually partly
come from the work carried out on this little beast. – Jocelyn Bleriot