Last of the Open 60’s
week saw the emergence of Marc Thiercelin’s new ride from Multiplast’s
shed, ready for his fourth run at the Vendée Globe. The boat’s
backed by DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales Services), who design
and build warships for the French government, and it forms part of a marketing
campaign to encourage youngsters to consider a career with them. The new
DCNS is a hybrid of the hull from Generali and Brit Air, with a deck based
on Hugo Boss. Apparently the structure is all new, but the teams always
keep quiet about the details. The sponsorship deal isn’t just about funding.
Captain Marck has been able to tap their technical resources. DCNS have
fabricated a keel using what sounds like exotic steel and welding techniques
normally reserved for submarines, along with non-destructive testing of
the hull laminations. DCNS aren’t the only ones looking for apprentices.
Thiercelin’s looking for an up-and-coming sailor to train, and who will
spend a couple of seasons in the Figaro before getting to race the 60
in the next Route du Rhum.
But right now there’s the small matter of getting the boat into the water,
and completing the 2,500 mile qualifier for the Vendée before the
end of the month. – Graeme Sutherland.