The end of an era

We bid farewell to the ORMA 60 and look at the rise of the new MOD 70 trimaran
One of the saddest stories we are having to write this year is that of the demise of our favourite race boat class, the ORMA 60 trimaran. Over the last 30 or so years the class has brought us some amazing stories - the fight between Apricot and Paragon in the 1985 Round Britain Race. From a British perspective there was Apricot beating all the 75ft competition on one leg of the Round Europe Race, Lawrie Smith, Rodney Patisson and co showing the French competition around the race course aboard Paragon. In France there was Florence Arthaud's victory in the 1990 Route du Rhum (Ellen wasn’t the first female sailor to kick male butt singlehanded offshore...), Laurent Bourgnon’s incredible singlehanded transatlantic record during which he broke the fully crewed 24 hour record, the OSTAR wins of Philippe Poupon Loick Peyron and Francis Joyon, Yvan Bourgnon setting a 623 mile 24 hour record in the Quebec-St Malo race, the dominance this decade of Franck Cammas’ Groupamas… The class has had its fair share of tragedy too. Olivier Moussy and Paul Vatine are two sailors who have lost their lives racing 60ft trimarans, Moussy in the 1988 Quebec-St Malo race, Vatine in the 1999 Transat Jacques Vabre. Both great people, great sailors and a great loss to our community. While historic figures like Alain Colas and Eric Tabarly were sailing early versions in the 1970s, the ORMA 60 principally had its origins in the early 1980s in the UK with boats like Rob James' Colt Carsand Peter Phillips’ Travacrest Seaway , and subsequently Tony Bullimore’s Apricots and Mike Whipp's Paragonat a time when the French were mostly concentrating on larger 75-85ft catamarans, trimarans and foilers. At the end of the 1980s a number of factors ranging from Europe being mid-economic crisis, a