Michel Desjoyeaux goes one design

Mark Lloyd / Artemis Challenge
Le Professeur on the MOD70 class and taking over the SolOceans one design
That canting keels, from those used on VO70s down, are to be found on modern offshore race boats can be attributed to Michel Desjoyeaux fitting one to his Mini and then winning the second leg of the 1991 Mini Transat. But despite the double Vendee Globe winner having proved himself over the years to be one of France's foremast technical innovators, he is now focussing on one designs. Having won the last Vendee Globe on a Farr-designed IMOCA 60, so he and his estate agent sponsor Foncia have moved across to the MOD70 class, continuing Desjoyeaux’ lifelong love of multihulls dating back to his days in the short-lived Formula 40 class in the late 1980s. “It is fun because the boats are fantastic and also the races we do are also too,” Desjoyeaux says of the Swiss-originated fledgling 70ft trimaran class. “We would like there to be more boats and maybe next year it will be okay. Virbac Paprec will be there and we expect no2, the ex-Veolia, to find a new home.” It is hoped that the MOD70s visiting the USA for the start of the Krys Ocean Race may attract some new entries as will the class’ imminent European Tour, starting in Kiel next month and visiting Ireland, Portugal and the south of France before terminating in Italy. Last week, during her record breaking lap of the Isle of Wight in the Artemis Challenge, Ian Walker, another potential skipper in the class, got to have a go. One reason the ORMA 60 trimaran class died was that it was not international enough and didn’t give sponsors a great enough return on investment. By making the MOD70s larger, safer, stronger and in particular one design, improves their reliability and removes any costly technical advantage a team might