nouvelle-monture-dolivier-de-KersauzonThe Race: Rendezvous of the Giants!


The Race: Rendezvous of the Giants! After 5 years on the drawing board and testing the concept of a generic boat, the Gilles Ollier Design Team and Multiplast pulled off their gamble by having three giant catamarans line up in The Race. After 62 days, 56 minutes and 33 seconds of racing, Club Med, the first of the three sister ships, reached Marseilles in the lead, followed on the podium by Innovation Explorer second and Team Adventure 3rd.
Reliability! Such was the design office's and the boatyard's permanent leitmotif throughout the entire duration of the saga of The Race, from the design to the construction. "My greatest satisfaction was seeing all the sailors come back safe and sound", confided Yann Penfornis.

"It was not at all obvious. We knew that the boats would be launched rather late, so we didn't want to take too many risks. We stuck with a load range we knew we could control". Jack Michal continued, "on a race round the world, it's the one who doesn't break who wins. That's why, for instance, we chose tried and tested materials". Finally with Warta-Polpharma taking 4th place, "the bottom line is quite positive. We won our wager, we built three maxi multihulls in 1 ½ years and they were immediately operational right from their first sailings. And they set off to race round the world with for some only two months working up. We demonstrated our know-how", stated Gilles Ollier.


After the satisfaction of seeing the boats come home in one piece after 27,000 miles racing round the world, the Design Team has already set about analysing the results with three major objectives: improve the displacement, consolidate the structure and optimise the speed. "At the current time we are having discussions with a lot of crew members to evolve the boat", explained Gilles Ollier. "The first generation of Club Med, Innovation Explorer and Team Adventure was a fairly sensible compromise, which proved to be efficient. But we are continuing to work on more reliability, more speed, more safety and improved ergonomics and comfort on board". Franck Martin added, "we ought to be able to do better, more extreme. The race showed us for example that the sails could be handled very well, even with a reduced crew like on Team Adventure. So it is possible to build even bigger".
So the entire Gilles Ollier Design Team has gone back to work because the date of the second edition of The Race (January 2004) is not so far off. Indeed, the time spent on design studies, one year's build and at least 6 months working up for the crew implies a two-year programme. In the near future, in parallel with the design studies, Multiplast and the GODT will be closely following the sailings of the three existing maxis and will be continuing to analyse their performances. Indeed they are all currently back in yards in preparation for the year 2001.

Multiplast catmarans in The Race : a few records

The fastest circumnavigation in the history of sailing:Club Med / 62 d 6 h 56 m 33 s
Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) / Cape Leeuwin (Australia):Innovation Explorer / 7 d 14 h
Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) / Cape Horn (Chili): Innovation Explorer / 21 d 7 h 5 m
24 hour distance records
625.7 miles. 11th June 2000, Club Med beats the record held by PlayStation (583 miles)
629.19 miles. 2nd February 2001, Innovation Explorer improves it by 3.49 miles
655.2 miles. 8th February 2001, Club Med breaks the 27 knots average barrier over 24 hours!
Highest speed reached:Innovation Explorer / 42.2 knots (South Pacific)

A 34 meters trimaran for Olivier De Kersauzon

While Innovation Explorer was being finished in our build shop, the construction of a new maxi multihull was starting. Continuity in the wake of the three maxi catamarans for The Race. Holder of the Jules Verne Trophy since 1997 on board his trimaran Sport Elec, French skipper Olivier de Kersauson dreamed of a big machine for chasing after records again. This new 34 m yacht designed by the French duo Vincent Lauriot-Prévost/marc Van Peteghem, is being built in a vacuum bagged sandwich of carbon fibre and honeycomb and oven cured. It's the same construction process as used for the maxi catamarans for The Race, which have proved their reliability. A new challenge for Multiplast which is today building the biggest racing trimaran in the world. The trimaran is currently entering the assembly stage. Launching is scheduled for the end of July 2001 in Vannes.

In the 60 feet tramaran league

The Multiplast boatyard and the Gilles Ollier Design Team have never really left the 60 Ft racing trimaran scene, even though they were concentrating on the big machines for The Race over the past two years and more.
Indeed, Multiplast built Région Haute Normandie in 1994 for Frenchman Paul Vatine and Biscuits La Trinitaine for Frenchman Marc Guillemot in 1998, both to Nigel Irens (UK) designs, but also over the past few years, Multiplast has built a series of sophisticated high modulus carbon fibre wing masts for the trimarans Banque Populaire (Francis Joyon), Groupama (Franck Cammas) and Foncia (Alain Gautier).
However since Elf Aquitaine III of Frenchman Jean Maurel, the design office had not designed a new boat. This is about to be corrected with the demand from the Gitana team, current owners of the ex-Elf Aquitaine III. The GODT is working with the Gitana Design Team on a boat that should start building in the autumn.


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