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103ft maxi upgrades to full foiler for singlehanded race

by IDEC Sport/ 11 Apr 2018 07:03 PDT 12 April 2018
Since setting the Jules Verne Trophy record the maxi trimaran IDEC Sport pictured here in 2016 has been ungraded to a full foiler © Jean-Marie LIOT

Francis Joyon and his team have been sea trialling a revamped IDEC Sport. The maxi-trimaran is the current Jules Verne Trophy record holder on 40 days 23 hour 30 min and 30 secs.

The VPLP 2006 design has emerged from a three-month winter construction project that has seen the 103ft trimaran lightened, revised, rejuvenated, and equipped with new foil profiles designed to increase vertical lift. The team say that the first sea trials confirm an improvement in stability and general balance of the 74ft wide trimaran.

"We should leave La Trinité sur Mer next week to sail to the Mediterranean" said Francis Joyon after a good first week of sailing.

"We will take advantage of this long journey to Marseille and Nice [from April 25 to May 6] to perfect the settings and knowledge of our platform with its new foils. We will be able to test our new rudders on the open ocean', he added. "The first tests of our foils to the modified design are very conclusive. The vertical lift increased by 30% and in low winds, we easily climbed to 32 knots of speed. She was very pleasant on the helm. The impression of balance and stability is impressive."

IDEC Sport will soon be equipped with T-shaped rudder foils whose action, combined with that of the new dagger foils, will allow her to rise even higher above the waves.

Francis Joyon, the skipper of IDEC Sport, originally launched in 2006 as Groupama 3, has already his mind turned to the Route du Rhum, the single handed classic which will start from Saint Malo on November 4th.

"We will be doing the delivery to Nice with a very small crew," he says. "The idea is to allow me to sail solo as much as possible, and to project myself in control of the boat singlehanded."

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