Save the 60ft trimarans

With only four boats racing this year, we talk to Loick Peyron about what to do with the class
What on earth is going on in France? Just over four years ago 18 ORMA 60 trimarans lined up on the start line of the Route du Rhum. This year just four of the world's most exciting boats will be competing on what is perhaps the least ambitious ORMA program we have seen. The 2007 program is as follows: 13 May - AS Lease Challenge Lorient - Corogne - Fastnet - Lorient, crewed 19-20 May - Trophée des Multicoques, Lorient, crewed 24 June - Trophée SNSM- Saint Nazaire/St Malo with crew 13-15 July - Défi de Douarnenez, crewed 12 August - Rolex Fastnet Race, Cowes - Fastnet - Plymouth, crewed 4 November Transat Jacques Vabre, Le Havre-Salvador de Bahia, doublehanded This circuit will be raced by the three 'big' campaigns - Groupama, Banque Populaire and Gitana - plus young skipper Antoine Koch at the helm of Sopra Group. So why are there so few boats? We felt that former Fujicolor and Fujifilm skipper, two time OSTAR winner and ORMA champion Loick Peyron, now General Manager of Baron Benjamin Rothschild's Gitana team. was the right man to ask. "For many reasons," says Peyron of why the rot has set in. "Quite a lot of sponsors and skippers are going to do the Vendee Globe. There is less difficulty to find partners to do that than a multihull." Multihull skippers competing in the Vendee Globe include ex- Biscuits la Trinitaine skipper Marc Guillemot and former Geant skipper Michel Desjoyeaux, who is backed by Foncia, originally Alain Gautier's trimaran sponsor. Peyron continues: "And Groupama II is the green god which is frightening everybody, because, in Grand Prix especially, there is not much chance to beat them, so the motivation is not very high." When it comes to Grand Prix Franck Cammas' trimaran, the only new ORMA trimaran to have been built