Next step in offshore yachting

Yves Parlier talks to thedailysail about his plans for Médiatis Région Aquitaine and his round the world trimaran class
Meeting the silver haired, bespectacled, quietly spoken Yves Parlier, it is easy to forget that this is one of the most exceptional offshore yachtsmen and innovators in our sport at present. In the Anglo-Saxon world Parlier is best remembered for the super-human feat he pulled off in the Vendee Globe before last when his mast broke mid-Southern Ocean but he was not only able to salvage the pieces, but on pulling in to a small out lying island off New Zealand was able to rejoin the broken sections of mast using a makeshift oven and then restep the repaired spar that took him all the way to the finish half way around the world. In addition to being highly resourceful Parlier is also one of France's most competitive and successful offshore yachtsmen and has proved an incredble innovator (it was he who introduced deck spreaders and rotating rigs to the Open 60 class). Aside from the mid-Vendee Globe mast rebuilding episode, Parlier's development of his latest catamaran, Médiatis Région Aquitaine, is perhaps another example of what an outstanding individual he is. The boat is certainly an interesting concept with stepped hulls like a seaplane or offshore powerboat (read our original feature about the boat: part 1 and 2) and no catamaran before with a mast stepped in each hull has been that great a performer. Seeing the boat at the start of the Transat in 2004 it looked all wrong - while the 60ft trimarans gracefully swooped across the water, Parlier's catamaran was gouging great holes in it (see the video of this here), making for the wettest of rides in an extreme boat. And yet Parlier made it across the north Atlantic singlehanded, a feat every bit as amazing as Tabarly singlehanding his Whitbread maxi across to victory in