Francois Gabart's sponsor MACIF, with whom the young French skipper won the Vendee Globe earlier this year (and with whom we won this year's Artemis Challenge...!) has announced the continuation and expansion of their sponsorship program with the building of a new 100ft trimaran.
The French insurance giant has unveiled its sailing program for 2015-19 and for Gabart this will include a program of singlehanded record breaking, but also the objective of winning the 2018 Route du Rhum.
To be designed by VPLP, the new maxi-tri will measure 30m long with a beam of 20m and a mast height of 35m, upwind sail area of 600sqm and downwind 700sqm.
R&D and design work is taking place this year while the boat will be built over the course of 2014 and will be due for launch in the summer of 2015.
The first year will be spent with Gabart familiarising himself with the boat before embarking on a series of singlehanded record attempts culminating in a crack at the non-stop round the world record possibly during the spring of 2017 and, if necessary, again in 2019.