What the cool people sail

Skipper of the Route des Princes-winning Edmond de Rothschild, Seb Josse gives his views on the MOD70
Solo round the world skipper in the 2000 and 2008 Vendee Globes, fully crewed monohull skipper in the 2005-6 Volvo Ocean Race, now for the last three years, Seb Josse has been turning himself into an ace trimaran pilot as skipper for the Edmond de Rothschild campaign (aka Gitana), backed by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. Having spent the first of his three years training on board the 77ft elongated ORMA 60 Gitana XI, Josse is now into his second season with the team’s MOD70 and this weekend scored his first real success, nailing Oman Air–Musandam to win the inaugural Route des Princes round Europe race. Racing alongside him was a crew including ex-Figaro sailor Thomas Rouxel and Olivier Douillard trimming, Cyril Dardashti and David Boileau grinding and ex-Orange maxi cat crewman Florent Chastel on the bow, plus Charles Caudrelier navigating and monitoring performance, America's Cup helmsman and match racer Sébastien Col calling tactics for the inshores, and ex-ORMA 60 skipper Antoine Koch and ex-Tornado sailor Jean-Christophe Mourniac, the only one to have made the transition from the Groupe Edmond de Rothschild Extreme 40. So is Josse a signed-up multihull sailor now? “Slowly. I am starting to become one. This year I feel more confident in this type of boat so we’ve been pushing up the level.” While the last three years have seen him get into multihull racing full time, he had previously sailed a little on the ORMA 60 trimarans, the more flighty predecessors to the MOD70s. Despite the unfortunate capsize of Spindrift in Dun Loaghaire, he believes the MOD70s to be much safer. “We have never made a big nose dive on these boats so far [touch wood]. Last year we tried to find the limit. When we started the transat [Krys Ocean Race between New York and Brest] we