On board the MOD70

James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
We have a crawl around the new one design ORMA 60 replacement with Steve Ravussin
Following the demise of the ORMA 60 class, so offshore multihull racing is entering a new era – that of the Multi One Design 70. The first example of the new genre, Steve Ravussin’s Race for Water, was launched last week in Lorient. The MOD70 addresses many of the faults of what in our opinion was the world’s most exciting race boat class. Developed from the likes of Tony Bullimore’s Apricot and Mike Whipp’s Paragon, that ruled the roost in the mid-1980s, so after 20 years of development the ORMA 60 trimarans had become extreme, complicated and expensive. This coincided with the class suffering some catastrophic races, none more so than the 2002 Route du Rhum when of 18 starters only three finished and just one without stopping (although it was argued at the time that the 60+ knot winds they encountered were more than you typically see in a round the world race). The death knoll had sounded for the ORMA 60 and with the class unable to agree on a remedy, so it quietly died. In its place the MOD70 is a one design, thus development costs are eliminated and running costs dramatically reduced. Because it is a production run – the class intends to build 12 of them (which we believe they will achieve) – and because the boats have most of the interesting ORMA 60 go-faster features, but not all of them, the up-front cost of purchasing one is less. The company running the class are in fact set to lose money on the construction of the first five boats – which have been sold for 2.5 million Euros apiece, while MOD70s nos 6-9 will be 3 million, 10-12 3.4 million. When she was built six years ago the price tag on Groupama 2, the last ORMA