We were a little cagey about the news we posted last week that the 103-foot Banque Populaire VIII (ex-Groupama 3) had been sold to Francis Joyon for some solo action; that’s because longtime SA contributor and project manager Ryan Breymaier asked us to keep our big mouths shut for a few days at least. Unfortunately, someone else opened their trap the other day, and today Ryan gave us the go-ahead to confirm what we were so stoked about.
So get ready, America, because one of the world’s iconic maxi-trimarans – the first ever to round the world in under 50 days – is coming to the USA to destroy all of our records, or at least a handful of them. This ain’t the Lo’Real, or the Tritium, or some other decades-old multihull suitable to the backwards-ass heavy-monohull-loving USA; this is the big green monster (now blue, soon to be a different shade of blue) that Stan and Franck used to obliterate the notions of just how fast a boat could go when crossing oceans. G3 paved the way for the Ultim’ concept, but she also got the world ready for the 40+ knot boats that we’re starting to see everywhere, and it’s just awesome to see her headed to US waters.
And it’s even better to see her with a US owner, run by a US sailor, aiming at US events. Join that up with Jason Carroll’s GC-32, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70, a pile of M32 beach cats, and yet another 40-knot multi that we’ve learned is coming to the US this spring, and we can now say with some certainty that the multihull thing has finally broken through those last barriers on this side of the pond. Will the old establishment guys ever come around? Probably not; they seem to prefer 30 knots to 40, and 25 crew to 8, but for the rest of American top-end sailors, there is a new aspirational goal: The top boats just don’t carry lead.
We’ll have photos of the new Lending Club livery on the chartered 103-footer next week along with a few words from our old pal Ryan.
Be afraid…be very afraid!