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November 28, 2013

2013 VPLP racing news : records, victories, projects...

A very dense season and full marks for VPLP in the major races of the year 2013 : the Vendée Globe and the Transat Jacques Vabre, as well as four monohull and multihull records in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic ocean .

In February, François Gabart, the Vendée Globe rookie, won a wonderful victory on board MACIF, the most accomplished IMOCA created by VPLP/Verdier. Armel Le Cléac'h is in its wake aboard Banque Populaire, the former Foncia, which was also designed by the firm of architects based in Vannes. After a short break following his circumnavigation, Armel Le Cléac ' h moved to three hulls to smash by six hours the single-handed Trans Med record, aboard his new Bank Populaire VII, the former Groupama III.  A few months earlier, in June, Kito de Pavant on board Groupe Bel had beaten the all-time monohull record on the same route.  In August, Safran, skippered by Marc Guillemot, kept picking up victories with a third medal for VPLP: the solo North Atlantic record for a monohull . Then, early November, Spindrift 2, the former Banque Populaire V, and Yann Guichard astonishingly ended the year, beating by more than 20 hours the previous record for the Discovery Route.

In November, on the Transat Jacques Vabre, VPLP has been delighted to see their boats finishing first in all the three classes where the firm of architects had entered boats:
In MOD70, the multihulls are faster and faster, and more and more demanding, and they have been designed to be manned by a whole crew but also by two people without any major changes: so for these maxi multihulls, the Transat Jacques Vabre offered the opportunity of a first doubles test. According to Sébastien Josse, the winner with Charles Caudrelier, the key word is : "keep the platform flat while going fast." This was done ! At an average speed of 22 knots between Le Havre and Itajaí and even reaching 30 knots on certain days.
On board Oman Air Musandam, Sydney Gavignet and Damian Foxall have even mentioned a possible Route du Rhum: “The Rhum? In pairs, that’s quite a different matter as it is, but new modifications will also have to be made to sail her single-handed. At the end of the race, we talked a lot about that with Sidney. A “Route du Rhum” didn’t seem very reasonable before the Transat, but now, of course, we’re reconsidering things, and we mustn’t be the only ones...”
A few days later, in the Multi50 class, FenêtréA Cardinal, which had already won the Trophée  de Fécamp, dominated the race after a 5400 mile sprint! Therefore, Erwan Le Roux gets a second victory in the Jacques Vabre, on this VPLP design built in 2009 that goes quite right with him...
As for the IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) class, the three winners, PRB, Safran and Maître Coq were designed by VPLP/Verdier. After leading the race, Macif lost her mast 500 miles from the finish line ...
Marc Guillemot (Safran): “That’s quite funny as PRB, the winner, is Safran’s younger sister ship: both came out of the same mold. These are superb boats.”
VPLP is already looking forward to the next season which will be even faster and more action-packed as there are several projects under study whose constructions will start as soon as next February…But that’s quite another story…

Photos JM Liot, V.Curutchet, Y.Zedda, R.Christol, C.Schmid

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