Fewer boats more modifications


The boat to beat...Franck Cammas' Groupama 2
 

The boat to beat...Franck Cammas' Groupama 2

The first event for the ORMA 60ft trimaran this weekend sees the fleet smaller but more competitive
For the ORMA multihull class, the 2005 season begins with an offshore race between Lorient and Nice, and is to be followed by a series of Grand Prix events in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and English Channel. Each new season has its share of changes, and this year will be the first since the creation of the ORMA championships in 1996, that the 60ft multihull championships will include five Grand Prix events, each with the same coefficient (x1), the IB-Group Challenge race counting for x3, the Giraglia for x0.5 and the Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic for x4. The total coefficient is therefore 12.5, with five counting for the Grand Prixs, each comprising nine races over three days. Fewer boats than we have seen for many years will be lining up at the start of the championships, just seven are entered in the two Mediterranean Grand prix events in Calvi and Marseilles as well as the new Grand Prix in Vigo, Spain. The latter part of the season is set to be better attended and will include Yvan Bourgnon who has just acquired Karine Fauconnier's Nigel Irens-design Sergio Tacchini. Thomas Coville will also return after a year spent with Sodebo attempting singlehanded records such as the Route of Discovery from Cadiz to San Salvador. Finally, it is likely that Stève Ravussin will be back in September after spending the summer competing in the Oops Cup, as will Antoine Koch, who has returned to the helm of Sopra Group this year. For the teams the winter has been spent overhauling the trimarans in an attempt to close the performance gap with Groupama 2, the current scratch boat in the ORMA fleet. Franck Cammas's green trimaran has a new and slightly lighter wingmast for this season, which was engineered by Franck de Rivoyre and

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