The central hull with high freeboard for optimal protection of the skipper or crew when attempting to record
The Rothschild family's Gitana team with skipper Sébastien Josse spent a year and eight months building the new "Edmond de Rothschild" maxi, which is also intended to foil over long distances with one hand. When it was launched in front of the Multiplast shipyard in Vannes, it was now possible to see for the first time how this should work. The 32-meter Tri has six attachments and by far the largest T-Foils that an offshore trimaran was equipped with. "The boat continues the team's innovative tradition," said Benjamin Rothschild when it was launched.
Large, liftable T-foils on the swimmers should ensure a stable flight altitude
So far it has been considered very difficult to transfer the concept of the America's Cup flying cats to the oceans. Because when the boats sail in high seas of eight or nine meters, it was previously considered too dangerous.
But that is exactly what the design by the designer Guillaume Verdier is supposed to achieve; this was also significantly involved in the New Zealanders' cat for the America's Cup. "The idea was to build the first offshore tri that flies reliably," says the designer. From a wind speed of 14 knots, the giant tri should only drive on its foils. The swords are similar to the L-shaped of the Cup boats, there are also adjustable T-foils on all three oars of the Tris and a T-foil in the central hull. "The middle one is mainly there to dampen the rolling movements in the sea," says Verdier. Those were the biggest problem when testing the concept with the team's modified, old Mod 70.
The main purpose of the central hull's foil is to dampen rolling movements in rough seas
The next few weeks would bring a lot of coordination work. "At Team New Zealand we sometimes worked with 80 men to answer the sailors' questions. So Sébastien Josse has a lot of work to do." The Kat is actually considered the perfect platform for foiling, but it is also too endangered to capsize in the high seas. So the idea for the Tri was further developed as a compromise.
The skipper, who last left the Vendée Globe after breaking with his foiling Open 60, is already looking forward to the tests: "I can hardly wait to sail the boat. But we have to be clear: Today will be Records are only broken by teams that have been working on the boats and projects for a long time, mostly for years. " The aim is to start the two-hand regatt Jacques Vabre in November, then sail the Route du Rhum with one hand in 2018 and start the first one-hand non-stop race around the world in the Maxi-Tris in 2019.
A closer look at the boat shows, especially in comparison to the competing team "Banque Populaire", which presented its Maxi-Tri for the same program at the end of 2015, how fast the progress in this area is at the moment. Its constructors, the design office VPLP, explained that their tri would not be a "pure" foiler, your small part of the main hull and the lee float would always "flit" over the water. Accordingly, its T-foils are smaller, the swimmers and the hull are much more voluminous.
The "Edmond de Rothschild" surprises with oar T-foils, which are protected by huge cladding that looks quite clunky. But they are necessary so that the rudders on the side hulls can be pulled up while sailing. This is necessary in order to protect the foils from waves breaking at high speed and swell from the side. In addition, the oars can be folded up if flotsam is rammed.
The boat has now got its rig and will shortly undertake its first test drives off the French coast. The designer Guillaume Verdier only hinted at what is to be expected: "Speeds of up to 50 or 54 knots are conceivable, then cavitation sets in." He also considers distances of 900 nautical miles in 24 hours (the current record is 908.2 from the 132-foot tri "Banque Populaire V") to be realistic.