An extraordinary design

Overshadowed by the Greenpeace ramming was the unusual concept of Le Defi's FRA-69. John Roberson reports
If you can drag your eyes past the initial visual onslaught caused by the radioactive glow of the paint job, and can ignore the connotations of the sail number, the new boat launched by Le Defi Areva is interesting in shape. The first thing you notice is the huge stern overhang, not in itself unusual in the latest developments in this class, but somehow its angle and shape do not sit comfortably in accepted aesthetic parameters. If one stood for long enough in the pouring rain, and cold wind of Friday's launching at the team's base in Lorient, the opportunity came to view the boat either bow or stern on, and that was when you noticed the second unusual feature of its shape, compare with other recent launchings. It is not slab-sided like most of the 2000 and later hulls, but has a rounded cross section amidships. Continued on page 2... 123next ›last »