The return of the giants
In 1976, Alan Colas’s giant monohull, Club Méditerranée (72 metres long) took part in the OSTAR. After that race, the organisers decided to limit the overall length to 17 metres. Michel Étevenon then set up the Route du Rhum in 1978. the race was open to all sorts and sizes of boat. In 1982, Eugène Riguidel was the first skipper to set sail alone aboard a 27.10 metre long maxi-trimaran. After the first Quebec-St. Malo Race in 1984, owners imposed a limit of 22.80 m, which would remain in place until 1990. No more multihulls were built to take part in these races…
But with the launch of the Jules Verne Trophy (round the world record) in 1993, new multihulls would appear, like Geronimo, Orange I and Orange II, Groupama 3, Banque Populaire V… When the Route du Rhum found its former spirit again in 2010 with no limits imposed on the size of the boats, Franck Cammas surprised everyone by setting sail aboard a 31.50m trimaran… and winning the race. The giants were back and showed they could be sailed by solo sailors as well as crews.
So quite logically, the Transat Jacques Vabre, which welcomed the one-design MOD70 trimarans in 2013, is for this twelfth edition opening up to the Ultime multihulls. These exceptional boats, which lap up the miles, should logically smash the reference time set by a MOD70 for this 5400-mile route between Le Havre and Itajaí (11 days 5 hours). On 25th October, we will also have the opportunity to discover the latest Ultime trimaran, Macif, skippered by François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry, and see how she does against Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias on Sodebo (ex-Geronimo) and Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain on Prince de Bretagne.
Length: between 21.33 m (70 feet) and 32.00 m (105 feet)
Maximum beam: 23 m
Air draught: 120% of the length of the hull
Deck clearance: 1.70 m
Upwind and downwind sail surface: open
No technological limitations, no maximum draught, no limitation on the appendages…