Le defi Areva First sailing
1. Fra 69 navigue
2. Maiden II (ex Club Med) accroche un nouveau record
3. Orange aux mains d'Ellen MacArthur
Launched on May 19th last, LE DÉFI AREVA'S new IACC for the 2002/2003 America's Cup in New Zealand and built by Multiplast, sailed for the first time on the Atlantic ocean early at the beguinning of June. Luc Gellusseau, technical manager of the challenge: "The structure is up to our expectations".
On discovering the FRA 69 for the first time, one cannot avoid noting the originality of the design and therefore
the constraints that governed its construction. After each edition of the Cup, the challengers always aim higher and impose new ever more stringent demands. Luc Gellusseau:"the objective is to flirt as closely as possible with the frontiers of the rule whilst keeping a strong and reliable boat. With FRA 69, with regard to the design options that we have taken, we are at these frontiers and Multiplast has brilliantly managed to respect our wishes. With its intrinsic strength the boat is perfect in terms of weight. Now we must sail as much as possible to work up all the mechanical systems. But already we can feel the power of the boat. We have already reached 16 knots, which is fast for an IACC".
Six months and 21,000 hours!
It required only 180 days to build this new America's Cup Class boat, or 75 less than 6e Sens also built by Multiplast. A time saving obtained thanks to several factors. The first is without contest the yard's know-how in the building of these prototypes. Indeed, FRA 69 is the fourth monohull for the America's Cup built by the French yard. Ben Wright (Aus), LE DÉFI'S project manager:"FRA 69 was well built in perfect respect for the construction schedule because Multiplast has the experience of these types of boats. Indeed, it's very impressive working with this yard. There's a special spirit about the place: it's very serious, with a high esteem for quality."
The second factor in the speed of construction of FRA 69 is the tooling. With its biggest oven of 50 m, Multiplast was able to build both the hull and the deck simultaneously. Working two 8 hour shifts made it possible to compress lead times.
To the nearest ten grams!
The third factor concerns construction quality. Here again, Multiplast's expertise in composite materials and their fabrication process has been instrumental in producing a boat that is rigorously within the dimensions imposed by the rule. Philippe Pallu de la Barrière, co-ordinator of the design group:"the greatest difficulty is respecting the geometry of the boat that we have designed, in order to conform with regulations. This imposes extreme rigour in the working of the materials, with permanent quality control like in the aerospace industry. FRA 69 was built like that at Multiplast".
For example, the core samples taken at de-moulding showed a tolerance of 10 grams per square metre above the minimum authorised by the rule.
Ben Wright (Aus), LE DÉFI'S project manager for the construction
Luc Gellusseau (Fra), technical manager of LE DEFI AREVA
Philippe Pallu de la Barrière (Fra), co-ordinator of LE DÉFI'S design cell, the Yaka Design Team
Daniel Andrieu (Fra), architect, member of the design cell, the Yaka Design Team
Luc Pillot (Fra), one of LE DÉFI'S helmsmen
New record for "Maiden 2"
Formerly Club Med, winner of The Race, Maiden II is the new name of the maxi-catamaran designed by the Gilles Ollier Design Team and built by Multiplast. Purchased by English yachtswoman Tracy Edwards with a view to tackling the Jules Verne Trophy again in 2003, Maiden II first made an attempt at the Cadiz / San Salvador record held by Club Med. Not very suitable weather conditions obliged them to renounce 250 nautical miles from the finish, even though they were not far off the time. The two co-skippers Helena Darvelid (Swe) and Adrienne Cahalan (GBR) were not put off so lightly. They set a first reference time on the 1560 mile course between Antigua (WI) and Newport (Usa) in 3d 22h 31mn 58s at 16.50 knots average, sailing their new mount with skill: a top speed of 40.6 knots was recorded on the last night before the finish!The next challenge, the 24 hour record that the boat has already held twice before with 625.7 and 655.2 miles. The current record: 687.17 miles (PlayStation).
Orange becomes "Kingfisher 2"
Barely back from her victorious Jules Verne with Bruno Peyron in command, the maxi-catamaran (formerly Innovation Explorer/2nd in The Race), will set off again at the end of the year (or early 2003) for a third great lap. She has just been purchased by English yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur's Team Kingfisher. The handover will take place this coming October, at the end of Orange's contract with this boat. Kingfisher II will therefore be rubbing bows with Maiden II in a new duel between these two Gilles Ollier Design Team catamarans. With another partner, the catamaran will then participate in the second edition of The Race in February 2004.