Thursday, October 8, 2015


Yes it is not only the Open60's that are changing fast in the way they sail, ocean racing trimarans are changing fast too. We have the idea that they already fly but not really since they kept on of the hulls on the water. Look at these images: Spectacular but dangerous and not that efficient. Now this team, Oman racing, has been experimenting on their MOD 70, having as reference a small GC 32. Look at the difference in efficiency, taking into consideration the size of the boats: The first MOD70 that comes first as a full foiling boat is the Edmond de Rothschild. First the boat in May, winning a race without foiling: and two months later we can see the boat foiling and sometimes completely out of the water: So another point of interest is to know if they become easier to tame. The MOD70 are very fast but very tricky to sail and several had capsized, the last one just some days ago: and of course, not forgetting other spectacular MOD70's capsizes:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


While we wait for the Mini-Transat to re-start (all have already arrived to Lanzarote) let's have a look at the Transat Jacques Vabre, a 22 year old race that this year will have the additional interest of seeing the comparative performance of the new Open 60's on foils with the older ones. The Jacques Vabre is a global duo race meaning that even if we have different classifications we will also be able to see the comparative performance between maxi trimarans, 50ft trimarans, Open 60's and 40class racers. Several races in one. 
The race starts this month in France (Le Havre) and finishes in Brazil (ItajaĆ­), a long Transat. 42 boats have already signed up, the majority Open 60's (20). a race to follow for sure, not only very interesting as with a site in English and Portuguese too (besides French):
 Some movies about the race and the racers:

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Don't take me wrong, classical means not that the boat is not very fast, means only that it is an evolution on older designs, without nothing really new, except the fact that it is probably the only medium production cruising boat built in carbon (not an option) and just that makes it outstanding.

Well, maybe not only carbon since on small letters they say vynilester resins and carbon but the weight (9550kg) indicates that carbon use is somewhat extensive. Arcona are strongly built boats and there was no way of having that weight on a 14m Arcona if carbon was not used.

The design is from the NA that had designed all other Arconas on the line, Stefan Qviberg and that explains the conservative design that is very similar to the other Arconas. Does not mean I do not like it, in fact the hull design is very similar to my own boat or the Comet 45s....but the Comet 45 is a 10 year old design.

Anyway the performance I am sure that will be there (due to the light weight) even if I believe that it will be a poor boat in compensated racing and nothing special going downwind, as we can see by the speed and wind they show on the video.

Regarding cruising it will be another story, the performance will be super, a top building with a very good interior comfort. However I don't like at all the interior design that seems of bad quality to me (they should have it redesigned by an interior designer) and the standard water tankage (320L) is small for a 14m boat.

Thanks to Thomas Larsson that brought this boat to my attention :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2015


and a great movie with another of the new IMOCA, the new Safran Open 60: they really go faster!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

SWAN IS BACK (Swan 50 club)

Swan has once produced the more prestigious, fast and well designed cruiser racers but on the last years has only produced well designed performance luxury boats that lacked the distinctive character that was the brand trademark and that have make them different from the others. 

Even the more racing oriented 42 and 45 lack the comparative modernity and performance of older models... but not this boat.
I believe that with this one they have returned to their origins: that will be a very expensive high tech boat but not a luxurious one. They traded luxury for performance and have it designed by Juan K the one that had designed the fastest VOR racers.

The Swan 50 look gorgeous to me and even if they present it, in what regards cruising, as fit for "comfortable short cruises or longer sport cruises" I would say that would satisfy a performance cruiser that tend to be more spartan then the habitual Swan clientele that is more luxury oriented.

It has a good storage, good tankage (500L of water and 300L of diesel for a 56KW engine) and only the galley seems small. Being the boat a semi-custom one that would not be difficult to modify since it is adjacent to a storage space. More 60cm to the galley (and less 60cm on the storage) it would make it adequate for longer cruising.

Of course, it is a carbon boat and not only the looks and design look great and very effective, specially for ocean racing (or cruising), as the dimensions point to a very, very fast sailboat that will be a lot of fun to sail. This 50ft has about the weight of a performance 42ft  cruiser (8500kg), a moderated beam all pulled back (4.20m), a big draft (3.20m) with an option for a swallow draft (2.20m) and certainly a big B/D ratio that in conjunction with the beam and the chines will make for a huge stability, that we can imagine looking for the sail it can carry upwind: 142m2.

In what regards hull design nothing really new, just a very updated design with an inverted bow, chines forward to create more buoyancy and to divert the water making for a drier boat, chines on the back to increase stability and making it easier to drive downwind and two rudders for a better and more efficient control on ocean conditions or downwind........ What a boat!!!   ;-)

Thursday, October 1, 2015


No that has not happen yet but it is the project of Hannah white on this beauty, a kind of overgrowth Moth with 6 meters:
The boat sails beautifully (or flies) and Hannah thinks she can make 40k on a real sailbboat, (well of a kind ;-) and beat the feminine sail speed record that belongs to Zara Davis on a windsurf with 34.74K. Hannah is no beginer with three transats solo and a Mancha Channel record, she may well fly that "thing" to 40k. A dangerous stunt since falling at 40k should be quite traumatic for her and the " Speedbird" that only weights 8kg.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


But of course the first leg means nothing and it is to win the race that counts. Even so the best are already on the head of the race. On Proto the first to arrive to the Canary Islands was Davy Beudart, the 2nd Axel Trehin and the 3rd Frederic Denis. Here some movies with them:
In what regards boat design nothing surprising, the bath-tube bow and a David Raison boat continues to win and with a considerable advantage over the 2nd that is an older Lombard design (2008). The 3rd is also a Lombard design, but a more recent one (2011). In what regards the serie boats (production boats) the battle for first has been a lot more hard, maybe because there are a lot more racers on this category. Ian Lipinsky came first followed closely by Tanguy le Turquais and Charly Fernbach. Some movies with them and their boats: Regarding boat design we also have three different designs on the first 3 places but in this case they are all new designs: The first is a Bertrand design, built by the NA himself, the 2nd a Lombard design built by Argo and the third a Pogo 3. Those boats are really amazing, relatively cheap and with a performance not very far from the protos, that are all carbon boats with canting keels. The difference between the first proto and the first serie was of about 18 hours but if we consider the 2nd the difference was only 10 hours and only 8 protos (in 26) managed to do better than the first serie mini. To really see that huge difference between the two boats, in what regards high tech materials and building, let's have a look at a Pogo 3 and Davy Beudart proto:
For following the race (in English, French or Spanish), with a real time map click here: It starts again in some days (not all the boats have finished), now towards Guadalupe.