What next for ORMA?

We get the views of Sopra skipper Antoine Koch
Like many of the ORMA teams in France still with 60ft trimarans, Sopra Group and their skipper Antoine Koch are at a crossroads as the class attempts to get their one design 70ft trimaran (read about this here) off the ground. According to Koch, who turns 30 tomorrow, ORMA are still working on the one design concept and the design and technical side is well advanced. However before they can finally press the button on the project someone must sign up for the fifth boat. "The ORMA fleet is examining the possibility of racing the existing boats in 2008 and maybe 2009 in some small races (but without a championship) to keep the boats and the crews running and ready for the future," Koch tells us. "But for most of the teams, such as Sopra Group, the main target for the tris in 2008 will be PR /corporate events. Even if it wasn't their initial design purpose, those boats are the ultimate PR boats (given flat seas)." Koch says that he finds it inconceivable that the next Route du Rhum (in 2010) might be without some sort of big multihull class and we agree with him. Alongside the OSTAR, the Route du Rhum was the event that launched multihulls, when within sight of the finish line of the first race in 1978 Mike Birch's tiny Olympus Photo overtook Kriter V , a monohull twice her size to take line honours by just 98 seconds. At present one imagines that Pierre Bojic and his team at Pen Duick, the Route du Rhum's organisers, are waiting to see what ORMA can conjure up. Koch points out that across the board the whole multihull world is in a state of flux at the moment. On the one hand the ORMA 60 class in France has died