France confirms its 2013 Little America's Cup participation
The Challenge France C-Class catamaran campaign has announced its partnership with ABM Manutention, thereby guaranteeing their participation in next year's Little America's Cup, to be held in Falmouth.
The partnership will help enable Challenge French to change their boat from the venerable Patient Lady VI, the unsuccessful 1985 defender, to a newly designed and built C-Class catamaran, together with an intensification of the training on the Baie de Quiberon.
"The arrival of ABM Manutention is excellent news for us," says Benjamin Muyl. "It confirms our project. We will represent France in the next Little America's Cup."
However, Challenge France continues to actively seek additional partners, that would enable the team to build a new lighter and more powerful boat.
"The cost of designing and building a new catamaran is between 120 and 150 000 Euros," continues Muyl. "Then there's the preparation and logistics. For now, this budget is not reached ... But, if we cannot build a boat before next spring, our deadline for launching, to be ready for the competition, we will certainly participate race on the boat we have today! "
Also involved with Muyl in Challenge France is former ORMA 60 skipper and D-35 helm, Karine Fauconnier. "What is unique in sailing is that you can go through life and still learn. Today I have the chance to discover the C Class and its wing. We must learn the maximum, adding to my past experience in multihulls. This is a new challenge, both in terms of technological development and handling on the water."
Mini sailor/designer Gwénolé Gahinet is also part of the campaign. "After a year devoted to racing is a great pleasure for me to reconnect with the catamarans and design with Patient Lady. This boat requires a very sensitive technique and it takes a lot of work to understand the balance and the behaviour of the wing in all conditions. The subject is fascinating!"
Engineer Hervé Penfornis (currently working with Emirates Team NZ) is involved too: "A year ago, we sailed for the first time in Quiberon on Patient Lady. Since we have learned how to sail the boat and made significant progress. Today, thanks to the commitment of ABM we can continue this work and be present next year at Falmouth for the Little America's Cup "
François Bois of ABM Manutention said: "Apart from my passion for sailing, I considered that customers and employees of our company would apreciate our support of a project that involves technology and sport. My business is also rather technical and I find this gives me extra motivation to study any proposed innovative technology. I think this project is exciting from this point of view."