The new Prince de Bretagne takes shape
The construction of the 80ft trimaran Prince de Bretagne started in early January and is now well underway. The objective is to carry out a lengthening of an ORMA 60 trimaran in much the same way as was carried out on Gitana XI prior to the last Route du Rhum.
In this case, the latest steed of skipper Lionel Lemonchois involves the VPLP-designed former Sodebo ORMA 60 trimaran, once campaigned by Thomas Coville, which is to be extended to 80ft. As with the Gitana project, so the objective of the latest Prince de Bretagne is to win the next Route du Rhum in the Ultimate class.
With the Prince de Bretagne project, the transformation is more extensive than it was for Gitana. Effectively only the appendages, mast and crossbeams are being kept and all three hulls will be new and to the latest design, combining safety, reliability and performance.
The three hulls were designed and built earlier this year and the assembly of the boat, began three weeks ago at Chantier Multiplast in Vannes and should end in July.
At present four of the Prince de Bretagne team are working full time at Multiplast on the hulls as another two are working on developing the mast. They have also had to undertake the no small task over raising the height of the gooseneck due to the revised deck layout. Additional changes are being made to the sail plan.
""I'm happy," enthuses Lemonchois. "The trimaran today is already impressive and when it is painted, it will be impossible to imagine that it is not entirely new. It's amazing what make two crossbeam of a old boat and the new hulls, that it all fits and will form a totally different boat."