Yesterday morning in Gujan-Mestres, the charismatic Yves PARLIER (FRA) and his team, amongst thousands of onlookers, launched their eagerly awaited new steed, "Médiatis Région Aquitaine".
The boat, with an innovative two-mast rig that it is stayed, also has interesting stepped hulls. An idea that comes from seaplanes, which have to reach high speeds before taking off, the theory is that the boat will have four times less drag and 10 times less wetted area as a similar sized, standard hulled counterpart (once the boat is planing).
As well as the innovations in rig and hull, the boat is a floating platform for communication technology, and we should see a huge amount of information coming back from the boat, especially during it's first planned race, this year's Transat.
Yves PARLIER is known as one of the sports finest innovators, adventurers and sailors. Responsible for much of the ground-breaking development of the Open 60 class in the early 1990's, he has competed in and won many of the world's toughest short-handed oceanic races. The last Vendee Globe was his third, and after breaking his rig in the Southern Ocean, Parlier proceeded to New Zealand where he parked below the high tide line and fixed, cured and re-stepped the mast without any assistance before continuing to Les Sables d'Olonne.
"Médiatis Région Aquitaine" will remain in the Port de Larros this week before starting sea trials in the next week prior to the Single-handed Transat Race from Plymouth to Boston, which starts on 31 May.