This 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.