VIDEO The spectacular hull-deck assembly of Banque Populaire VIII


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Born specifically to win the Vendée Globe (the next edition will start on November 16, 2016) is the new Imoca 60 Banque Populaire VIII (18.28 meters long and 5.80 meters wide), which will be led by Armel Le Cleac’h.


The VPLP study worked from the routes that led to victory in the last edition François Gabart. “Rather than looking for versatility, we opted for a boat capable of making major time gains 60 percent of the time and losing little in another 20 percent,” said Vincent Lauriot-Prevost. To achieve this, they opted for a voluminous beam, a powerful hull, and a very high righting moment.

This has been talked about for a while (see Sailing Newspaper December-January 2014, p. 38), now a rule change allows foils to be used on Imoca 60s. Don’t imagine boats flying in the middle of the ocean the way America’s Cup multihulls do. In this case, the foils will be lateral, a kind of semifoiling, which will serve to raise the hull slightly at certain speeds. Navigation that will therefore not be more powerful, but lighter. The intended result? The same, still gaining speed. A very complicated set-up for the designers, who have been testing it on a Mini 6.50 for most of 2014. Banque Populaire VIII is expected to be in the water in April, and then begin tuning immediately. The first big challenge will be at the Fastnet
in the month of August.



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