New York hosts classy debut

 

It will take
something to grab the attention of New York in the week of the 4
of July, but five 70-foot trimarans set off from Newport, Rhode Island to pass
the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French, up the Hudson River and to North
Cove Marina 130 miles away on Monday.

The Americans, thoughtfully, will be organising a huge firework display on Wednesday, perhaps not in their honour, but it will act as one of the preliminaries to the launch of a new class, a new racing circuit, and the re-emergence of French multihull racing around Europe.

The famous five leave on Saturday for a transatlantic race, the Krys Ocean Race, to Brest on the western tip of Brittany and will also, later, race to and in Kiel, Dublin, Cascais, Marseille, and Genoa.

Importantly, there is also a round the world race, with stopovers, down the line and, in that, the trimarans share an important feature with the recently announced plans for the next Volvo round the world race.

These are the Multi One Design 70-foot trimarans, all built the same, all equipped the same, and all tied to strict rules which forbid any significant changes by individual teams. The new Volvo boat, at 65 feet, will be funded by a consortium, built by a consortium, and sold as a package to teams which, as in the MOD70s, will win or lose on their wits and endurance rather by the size of their cheque books.

Not that cheque books do not play their role. Not least, as the MOD70 concept has been launched by Switzerland’s Marco Simeoni, and the teams, which include long-time French sailing sponsor Foncia, long-time French sailing supporter Edmond de Rothschild, and determined Middle East player Oman, with French skipper Sidney Gavignet, have all bought their boats. Gavignet is being joined by Britain’s Brian Thompson, a vastly experienced round the world and multihull man.

Foncia skipper Michel Desjoyeaux is right at the top of the big names in French offshore sailing, especially singlehanded, and is known for an individual approach. But he is remarkably schoolmasterly about taking on an MOD70. “If you want to change things you should not be here,” he says. “All the boats are the same, with weight adjusters to make doubly sure, the electronics and software are the same, the sails are the same and the number of crew is the same. All that can be different is that you can choose your own computer and you can have your own paint design on the boat.”

What will also be different is that MichDes will find his own way around the race course. “I’m not used to following the others,” he says. But there are few opportunities on the short run to the Big Apple. And even he may find it difficult to make any stealthy moves in what looks set to be a drag race all the way across the Atlantic with the possibility of the following Sunday lunch in Brest.

Breakfast in Galway this Tuesday should see the six boats in the Volvo round the world race complete the final offshore leg from Lorient, but the finish order was still in doubt as, with 100 miles to go, the American-flagged Puma took the lead round the Fastnet Rock just a couple of hundred yards ahead of the New Zealand-managed Spanish entry Camper.

The second Spanish boat, Telefónica held third and the overall leader Groupama, of France, was fourth with a 17-mile cushion over fifth-placed Abu Dhabi and knowing that fourth would be enough to secure the 2011-12 win regardless of what happens in this weekend’s inshore race finale. 

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn