Latest IMOCA 60 weapon


/ Sea & Co/ www.thmartinez.com / Gitana
Skipper Seb Josse shows us the ropes on the new Gitana 16
While there may be six new VPLP-Verdier designs for this IMOCA 60 cycle, the two stand-out campaigns (by coincidence also the ones with the most money) are Edmond de Rothschild (aka Gitana 16) skippered by Seb Josse and Banque Populaire VIII, skippered by Armel le Cleac’h. Both teams are big, the size of small AC teams, with in-house designers, engineers, sail makers, boat builders, etc and run similar multiple campaign in parallel. So while the focus this year is on the their IMOCA 60s, with Vendée Globe victory the target, 2017 will see both teams launching new giant multihulls aiming at singlehanded (and possibly fully crewed) record attempts. These will culminate in a proposed singlehanded non-stop round the world race, like a multihull Vendée Globe, starting and finishing in Brest in 2019. More on this in due course. In the meantime the focus is on developing their IMOCA 60s, which, despite having one design masts and keel foils, have nonetheless taken a technological quantum leap with the addition of revolutionary new foils. As on all canting keel boat, these foils have gone from merely providing lateral resistance, at this no longer available from the foil, when the keel is canted, (ie the toed out boards of the 1990s), culminating in boards that provide both lateral resistance, plus some righting moment and vertical lift beneath the hull, provided by the toed boards seen on the Banque Populaire and MACIF VPLP-Verdier designs of the last race (now Maitre CoQ and SMA). The dramatically curved boards fitted to the six latest generation VPLP-Verdier designs increase significantly the latter two features, righting moment by providing lift down to leeward and vertical lift due to part of the foil being beneath the boat’s centre of gravity, Moth-stylee, but at the expense of providing lateral resistance. Inevitably, just as they

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