ROMAN PASZKE SIGNS CONTRACT
Gilles Ollier comments :
When Bruno Peyron, after having won the first Jules Verne Trophy in 1993, announced his wish to create a new race, I immediately felt that The Race could very quickly become a major event. All the ingredients for success were brought together with the passage of the millennium, the round the world course, the “No Limits” notion, direct communication from the boats of course and machines to be invented capable of exceeding 40 knots.This very exciting perspective fitted in well with the logic of our design office because we have specialised in multihulls for the last 20 years. Our boats have indeed won almost all the great crewed events, notably several Atlantic Crossing records>, the last one of which still remains to be beaten, the first Jules Verne Trophy>, the Pacific Crossing record, etc…
It is quite clear then that our next challenge is to win The Race. Indeed this perspective very quickly became our n° 1 objective. We therefore started working on the project from a very early date because we anticipated the fact that budgets would not be released until quite late in the day.
To refine the thoughts of our design office, we brought together the best French specialists in hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, structural calculation and meteorology and we integrated them into our working group. These specialists collectively accumulate some of the greatest experience in ocean racing multihulls.
Before being absolutely sure, we needed to undertake a lot of ‘upstream’ ground work. Over the last 4 years, we have looked at a lot of options, carried out numerous studies and undertook tank testing to attempt to resolve the problems posed by a race without limits. By the end of the first stage of research, we were able to provide a certain number of answers to the questions we were asking ourselves and which gave birth to a generic boat.
“A generic boat”
We believe strongly in this notion of a “common denominator”, because it allows us to go into extremely advanced studies. The studies have given birth to a multihull of reasonable size, because we think that reliability is more important than theoretical speed, and within a measured budget because it should fit into a realistic economical context.
Moreover, these studies allow the creation of tooling (hull and mast moulds…) reusable by other syndicates, but also the possibility of working up with similar boats and to progress much faster than with an isolated project. At two years from the start, time is becoming more precious than money.
Polish skipper Roman Paszke with whom we have been in contact for more than a year, is the first to accord us his confidence. We have just signed a design study contract with this yachtsman who has shown in the past that he is capable of winning the Ocean Racing World Championship, the Admiral’s Cup, as part of the American team (1997).
Convinced that all his team, who has the support of German architect Rolf Vrolijk, will surprise the other competitors in The Race, we can’t wait to see this extraordinary machine sail for the first time.