Multiplast and Doha 2006 win the Oryx Quest
Saturday April 9, 08h 01' Gmt. After a circumnavigation of 62d 21h 01' 22" covering 23020 nautical miles setting out from and returning to Doha (Qatar) via the Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, the maxi catamaran Doha 2006 has taken a clear win in the first edition of the Oryx Quest, a success story in which the boat's reliability has played a major part. An exceptional first trimester in 2005 for the Gilles Ollier Design Team and Multiplast.
A winning combination for the design and build teams with Orange II and Doha 2006 each snapping up first place in the year's non-stop round the world sailing events.
For the first time this new event has been run out of Qatar, the bets on which of the maxi-multis would take line honours in this green water endurance race were wide open. Firstly because the largest catamaran in the world, "Cheyenne'' was among the starters, this boat being the title holder of the best non-stop round the world performance in 58d 09h 32' (recently toppled from her throne by Orange II / 50d 16h 20' 04''), and current holder of the trans-Atlantic record (4d 17h 28' 06''). She was the boat to beat. But this was also the first confrontation in race conditions between the maxi-catamarans and a maxi-trimaran, with the presence of Geronimo (also from the Multiplast stable).
Although the first two weeks met with expectation between Geronimo and Doha 2006 in the lead, the exciting edge was soon lost when Geronimo had to withdraw due to damage. In spite of speedy repairs having been carried out in Perth and having been able to get underway once again, just one week later, Geronimo had to call it a day just a couple of days later south of Tasmania when she sustained damage once again in the same area of impact.
Alone in the lead, with Cheyenne more than 1000 miles astern, Doha 2006 continued to increase her lead up front in the South Pacific. Brian Thomson, skipper of Doha : ''... Great sailing conditions at the moment. Good boat speed without pushing too hard. We take in one wave after another without ever having come close to nose-diving...''.
Lone rider (almost)
After having rounded the Horn alone, Doha 2006 ran into fickle winds on her way to Punta del Este (Argentina) where she was still in the lead. Cheyenne had started making her way back up the Atlantic too (700 miles behind Doha), until she dismasted off the coast of Argentina. That left the international crew on board Doha fully in control with just one boat chasing her, Deadelus, relegated to a position some 3000 nautical miles astern.
Apart from the somewhat tricky course to be steered around Cyclone Hennie as the boat neared the island of Mauritius, adding almost 1000 miles to a straight line course, Doha 2006 has run a faultless race clocking up a fine reference time in this untypical round the world yacht race.
A fine achievement
We have not yet explained that Doha 2006 is none other than the former Club Med, winner of The Race. Early in 2001, with Grant Dalton (NZ) and Franck Proffit (F) as co-skippers on board, the maxi catamaran sailed the fastest circumnavigation under sail with an official time of 62d 06h 56' 33'' at an average speed of 15.58 knots. With the Oryx Quest 2005, Doha 2006 has brought this maxi-cat into the limelight once again, adding another line to her list of reference times. One month after her initial launch, she was the first sail boat in June 2000 to cover more than 600 miles in 24 hours (625.7) miles. She did the same thing again in The Race with 655.12 miles – and yet again off the coast of America in 2002 under the name of Maiden II (where Brian Thomson was already on board as co-skipper) with 694.78 miles. A meagre 11.42 miles behind Orange II, the first boat to cover more than 700 miles (706.2) a time sailed in 2004, making Orange II the current holder of this world record.
Congratulations for the performance
Gilles Ollier and Franck Martin of the Gilles Ollier Design Team travelled to Doha. Firstly to congratulate Brian Thomson and his crew but also, as always in such cases, to check over the boat Doha 2006 after her great sail of more than 23 000 nautical miles. Eye to eye with the crew, the team can hone still further the Design Office's already extensive database. The Gilles Ollier Design Team / Multiplast design and build duo have clocked up a prestigious 8 round the world yacht races, featuring the amazing performance of Orange II in just 50 days and 16 hours.
Performances of the maxi catamaran Doha 2006 under various names
2005 / RTW Doha / Doha / 23020 miles / 62d 21h 01' 21"/ Average speed of 15,25 knots / ( 4th world performance)
2002 / 24-hours record / 694.78 miles (2nd world performance)
2002 / Cowes / Saint-Malo / 05h 25' 38'' / Average speed of 25.60 knots (current title holder)
2002 / Round Britain / 4d 17h 03' 23" / Average speed of 15.80 knots (2nd world performance)
2001 / Round the World from Barcelona to Marseille / 23 300 miles / 62d 06h 56' 33'' / Average speed of 15.58 knots ( 3rd world performance)