TJV preview - multihulls

We look at the form of the highly competitive fleet of 60ft trimarans setting sailing from Le Havre on Sunday
60ft trimaran form guide Odds Boat name Crew Nat Designer Built ex 5:1 Groupama 2 Franck Cammas & Franck Proffit FR/FR VPLP/Fisher/Kermarec 2004 6:1 Géant Michel Desjoyeaux & Hugues Destremau FR/FR VPLP 2002 8:1 Banque Populaire Pascal Bidégorry & Lionel Lemonchois FR/FR Irens/Cabaret 2002 Bayer CropScience 9:1 Gitana XI Fred Le Peutrec & Yann Guichard FR/FR VPLP 2001 Belgacom 10:1 Sodebo Thomas Coville & Jacques Vincent FR/FR VPLP 2002 11:1 Foncia Armel Le Cléac’h & Damian Foxall FRA/IRE VPLP/Foncia 2002 12:1 Brossard Yvan Bourgnon & Charles Caudrelier SWI/FR Irens/Cabaret 2001 Sergio Tacchini 15:1 Orange Project Steve Ravussin & Yvan Ravussin SWI/SWI VPLP 1997 Breceliande/Foncia1/Technomarine/Banque Covefi 25:1 Gitana X Thierry Duprey du Vorsent & Erwan Le Roux FR/FR Ollier/Schmidt/Gitana 2002 30:1 TIM Progetto Italia Giovanni Soldini & Vittorio Malingri ITA/ITA VPLP 2001 While one side of the aptly named Paul Vatine* basin here in Le Havre is lined with Open 60s and 50s, so opposite them is the long line of 60ft trimarans and class two multihulls. (*Paul Vatine was a 60ft trimaran skipper who won the 1995 TJV in the multihull division but was subsequently lost overboard in the 1999 race). As with the Open 60 fleet so numbers are down for the 60ft trimaran division of the Transat Jacques Vabre with just 10 boats competing, compared to the 14 boats that raced two years ago and the bumper crop of 18 of these incredible boats which sailed the 2002 Route du Rhum, the highlight event in the ORMA 60 four yearly calendar. While in the Transat Jacques Vabre the Open 60s sail a course directly from Le Havre down the Channel before hanging a left, passing Cape Finisterre, the Canaries, and through the Doldrums before ending up at the finish in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, the 60ft trimarans are obliged to take a longer course. They must round Ascension Island in the South Atlantic at 8degS 14deg43W before heading for the finish line - a distance of 5,190 miles in total, compared to 4,340 miles on the direct route for the monohulls and this course potentially takes them through a more active area of Doldrums than the monohulls. Even on this longer route and with more Doldrums, the leading 60ft