Another incredible video and one of my favorites all categories. The sailors on that big boat are only too, but two great sailors Alain Gautier and Michel Desjoyeaux.
Looking at the movie it looks like they are mad and that only luck prevents them to capsize. It is not obviously the case, these guys are masters.
Gautier is a multihull specialist and a vey good one but my admiration goes to Desjoyeaux the guy to whom the other professional solo sailors call "Le professeur" (the teacher).
He is among the best on Multihulls and among the best on Monohulls and among the best does not mean among the 10 best but among the 3 best om each open category. This guy is the only one that has won two times the Vendee Globe and has the record time of the race.
He is not going to race the next one. This time he is racing in big monohulls, Mod70, to be precise. I would say that there is only one sailor has big and polyvalent as this guy. It it is Franck Cammas, the French skipper of Groupama.
This time I was right about the VOR: Telefonica is winning miles big time over Groupama and Puma. The Spanish are making an incredible come back and won more 70nm on the last 24h and I believe they will be winning more still for some hours. They are now at only 90Nm of the leading boats.
Groupama that now is leading again and Puma are so completely focused on the battle between them (the boats are in plain view of each other) not taking any chance with bold strategig moves that have permitted the come back of the Spanish in the race.
They have ahead lots of upwind sailing and strategic options have to be taken. Will the French and the Australia/American boats continue to shadow each other while the Spanish eat them miles?
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Well, if I was at the wheel you could bet that would be risky. With two guys, one at the wheel and other at the sails it is not dangerous providing they are masters on the sailing art a bit like a rally champion can drive its rally car sliding from one side of the road to the other making in the process some curves.
These big boats have some inertia and the trimarans are a lot more forgiving than the cats and that’s why all these big offshore multihulls are trimarans. They don’t lose as much RM when they lift the hulls as the cats.
I think 60ft is a kind of limit in what regards a superior seaworthiness in what regards racing trimarans. The ones with 50ft, the Multi 50 are a lot more tricky to sail and the difference in offshore performance with bad weather is really big. Take a look at a Multi50:
Bigger Multihulls (over 60) Banque Populaire that has recently beaten the circumnavigation record are even more seaworthy. On the last “Route du Rum” Franc Cammas had done the unthinkable and sailed one of those monsters SOLO to the victory.
I have to say that I was not the only one that was baffled with that. The boat had just finished to beat the world record circumnavigation (with Cammas as skipper) and some of the crew doubted that even Cammas could not tame the monster alone.
Well I believe he tried to avoid to fly the two hulls at the same time, but he surely sailed the boat in one piece across the Atlantic leaving everybody really far behind, even the smaller 60 and 70ft trimarans. Groupama trimaran has 103ft
It is in Italian but even if you cannot read it the images say it all. The new boat is cleared influenced by Open boat hull design, it is 24cm wider, all the beam is brought back and the mast is 50cm aft comparing with the 40.
The keel is less wide and it has a saildrive, a bigger rudder, a bit less rocker and a much bigger LWL. All in all is a much more modern boat on the lines of the Oceanis 37, also designed by Finot/Conq, that is one of the most popular on their line. Time will tell if sailors will raise this one to the same level of success.