IMOCA 60s - VPLP's views

Vincent Lauriot Prevost and Quentin Lucet on some surprising developments with their latest designs
While there are six new IMOCA 60s racing in this Vendee Globe – interestingly (touch wood) none of them have broken yet... – of these, four are from the union of VPLP and Guillaume Verdier’s teams, who previous designed Kito de Pavant’s Groupe Bel and Marc Guillemot’s Safran for the 2008 race, which obviously have both now fallen by the wayside in this Vendee Globe. Of the new VPLP-Verdier designs Vincent Riou’s PRB was taken from the hull moulds of Safran, while Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-Paprec 3 is a wholly new generation design, and sisterships Banque Populaire (formerly Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia) and MACIF are sisterships, with MichDes’ company Mer Agitée having had a strong input into their design, the hulls for both boats built by Green Marine in the UK. The latter two boats are particularly ground-breaking with their the cut-away bulwarks, convex foredeck (designed to lower CoG) and V-configuration daggerboards, designed to provide lift as well as prevent leeway, etc. Read about Banque Populaire when she was Foncia here and a pre-Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 update on her and sistership MACIF here Read our guides to PRB and Virbac Paprec 3 - Pt1 and Pt2 Vincent Lauriot Prevost (left) with Quentin Lucet Also to consider is that the new builds since the last Vendee Globe have all had to comply with the latest iteration of the IMOCA rule, limiting rig height to 29m off the water, number of sails carried on board and also upping the AVS (angle of vanishing stability) ‘worst case’ from 108 to 110° and specifying a maximum righting moment of 32 tonne metres. So given the new rules - are the new boats faster? It is safe to say ‘yes’. Of the top six in the Vendee Globe, currently only one – Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss – is an old generation boat,