Transatlantic testbed for new designs

Published on November 16th, 2023

The ULTIM division for 32m multihulls have all completed the doublehanded 2023 Transat Jacques Vabre, with the other three classes – IMOCA, Ocean Fifty, and Class40 – continuing on the course from Le Havre in northern France to Martinique in the French Caribbean.

While the 50-foot trimarans will be next to finish this 16th edition, it is the 60-foot IMOCAs that has attracted interest as the two lead boats are both launched in 2023, and both from the same design team – Koch-Finot Conq. Co-designer Antoine Koch, who is also competing in the race, likes what he sees:

“Obviously I am pretty happy to see both boats at the front of the fleet. It’s great to see that they perform well in race conditions. Very often during training in Brittany during the summer, you have flat water and medium wind and you are going upwind and downwind only, so you don’t have a real picture of what’s going on.

“So to see that they perform well in race conditions, in strong winds upwind at the start and then downwind in the tradewinds, is good for the future of the boats. This is especially so given that the are essentially designed for stronger winds downwind, and we only have medium-force tradewinds, and they already seem to be pretty quick and have the ability to sail maybe a bit deeper than the other boats.”


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