With the brand-new, no-expense-spared Gitana XLILCIXVVZ getting beaten by a 16-year old design in the TJV, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that it ain’t speed that will win the lion’s share of foiling ocean races. The mighty purple beast wrecked both of her ama foils and according to Josse, couldn’t foil for most of the race, allowing the much older (re-engineered, re-built beautifully, but still) and presumably much slower Sodebo to beat Gitana over the line at a record pace. Josse’s words are intentionally vague and we don’t know whether structural failure, case issues, sea life, or control systems caused the problems, but one can reasonably assume that two years won’t significantly change the fact that foils break far more often than one would hope.
When 5-8 of these monsters set off for the baddest sailing race on the planet in two years’ time, the fastest, smartest, best-crewed, or best designed boat may not even stand a chance. It may be the guy with the most ultimate set of tools aboard.
We’re putting our money on the guy in the video, who just happens to be sailing at 30 knots, ahead of the solo round-the-world record time. He’s also machining a metal plate, rebuilding a furler, and shooting, editing, and transmitting a perfectly atmospheric ‘fix-it’ video.
And the VOR on-board reporters think they have a tough job.