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20 years of Open 60’ multihulls

Published on 13 may 2009 at 0h00

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Greed for speed!

Genetically marked by their incredible search for ultimate speed, these violent and gracious machines will leave the media stage as they entered: flat out!
Over 20 years, these overpowered acrobats have dared to try everything and have shattered all the known (or supposed) limits under sail. These shooting stars are preparing for their final seasons’ racing; there is still time to watch the show!   

But where do these iconoclasts come from?


The family tree leading to this apogee is complex; the recipe for the 60’ trimarans’ perfection comes from a fertile cauldron fed by hundreds of often anonymous riggers, racers, developers, architects and technicians. The recurrent theme in their story is therefore a subjective recollection; I hope I will not overexpose certain of them and will try not to be unfair to others. 

Ocean surfers


Towards the middle of the 80s, we witnessed a proliferation of audacious architectural initiatives, Derek Kelsall’s trimarans appeared to be too sensible, Dick Newick’s creations seemed almost classical, and a handful of young architects wanted to try out everything. GORDANO GOOSE, built in 1981 by Nigel Irens, made the transition: it resembled a Newick, but the slim central hull, the continuous structure of the crossbeams and the volume of the floats announced the next generation. Boosted into Formula 40, it was to be moreover one of the first trimarans to (nearly) sail on one float. Before it, there was THREE LEGS OF MANN, then ...

This article appeared in issue 1. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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