Orange II launched !
After 14 months in the build shed and more than 90 000 man hours, the new maxi catamaran designed by the Gilles Ollier Design Team and built by Multiplast, was launched on Monday 22nd December 2003 in Vannes (French Atlantic coast) in the presence of her skipper, Frenchman Bruno Peyron.
Although the boat is a concentration of technology, she is above all else a work of art in the image of her engineers, designers and builder who created her ", affirmed Bruno Peyron several minutes before slings on the crane tightened. An affirmation with which all of those involved at the Multiplast yard would readily agree, after having spent almost a year nd a half around the "machine".
"For all that this new maxi multicoque – the fifth to come out of the Multiplast shed in 4 years - is referred to as a "machine", Gilles Ollier says that there is nothing of a monster about her. Gilles Ollier : "this new boat is not revolutionary, she has just been perfected. She is the fruit of years of experience."
Multiplast has been building hi-tech carbon yahcts for more than 20 years and holds a unique round the world ocean-sailing list of achievements. Multiplast also has the capacity to master the whole chain in the construction of a racing or cruising prototype, from the signature of the contract through to final delivery after one month's sailing, guaranteeing deadlines and construction quality. Frank Martin, of the Design Team : "we master all-carbon pre-preg construction technology and oven-curing, even if it's not that easy to manage in cases like Orange II, involving 90 000 man hours over a short period of time. Gilles Ollier : "The Design Office/Shipyard combination is an extremely high-performance one which is unique in the world. As is the current capacity of the yard's productions ".
It is true that compared with the Club Med generation which only dates back 4 years, he difference in length with Orange II is just 4.50 m, and a mast which is just 6 m higher. However, Orange II has a displacement which is 30% greater than her predecessors, with a design power capacity of more than 60 % that of Club Med or the first Orange ! "In view of these factors, we can hope that average speeds are 5 to 10 % higher than the previous generation. This means that the 700 miles in 24 hours barrier will no doubt be reached and exceeded, and that top speeds of 45 will be recorded", pointed out Franck Martin, member of the Design Team.
Full programme ahead!
Until at least the end of January, the objective will be to realise a whole series of load tests on the boat. Firstly at a standstill in the harbour, followed by sea trials. The boat will be based in La Trinité-sur-Mer for these tests, a harbour town a short distance down the coast from the Multiplast yard. Bruno Peyron : "we prefer to stay around here for the first tuning period. If we have to make any important changes, it's best to have the yard close at hand. " That said, optimism is the order of the day. Orange II should be ready to set out on the Jules Verne Trophy record attempt by mid-February 2004. Bruno Peyron : I don't see how we can be ready any earlier. Everything has to be validated on board. And then even if we're ready by mid-February, we'll only have a few weeks experience in our boots ; and not the two years we had with Orange I".
But once again, in reference to Club Med, we cannot forget than in the week following her launch, she crossed the 35 knot barrier and that in the month that followed, she covered 625 miles in 24 hours, the greatest distance then covered by a sail boat in that time limit and took the record of the Route de la Découverte from Cadix to San Salvador (Bahamas) !
Specifications Orange II
LOA 37.80 m
Hull L 36.80 m
Beam 18.00 m
Air clearance 48.00 m
Mast height 45.00 m
Boom length 17.00 m
Upwind sail area 700 m²
Downwind sail area 1000 m²