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2018: Key events for our editorial team

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An enviable dynamism!

What struck me this year was the incredible vitality in the multihull sector. The big shipyards are getting bigger; they are hiring, modernizing, innovating and even launching new brands (I am thinking of Excess). During my latest report on the ARC, the famous transatlantic rally, I was able to get a measure just how much multihulls are becoming THE boat of choice for setting off and going sailing. Of the two hundred sailboats that were on the startline, nearly fifty of them were multihulls. Just ten years ago, multihulls accounted for fifteen of their number... Better still, the average age of the fleet is 18 months, while the monohulls are already 15 summers old. What about the average age of the skippers? Much younger than before, sometimes beginners, often accompanied by a wife and children. Proof that life on board is much more attractive on a level surface - and all at the same height. And that our world of multihulls is open to everyone!

Emmanuel van Deth
Editor-in-Chief of Multihulls World / Multicoques Mag

And man is shrinking the world...

Those of you (us?) with grey hair may remember a time, not all that long ago, when the idea of going around the world in less than 80 days seemed quite simply… unrealistic! But in 1993, the unthinkable was finally realized: Bruno Peyron and his men were to take 79 days and 6 hours to sail around the world via the Great Capes (and by catamaran, more importantly).

In just a generation (25 years to be precise), the world has shrunk by a half, as Francis Joyon and his crew set a new record of 40 days. But the most incredible thing is François Gabart’s single-handed time which pulverized the record. 42 days to complete a solo tour of our tiny little planet. An incredible feat? No: a miracle combination of skill and talent! And at the finish line of the Route du Rhum, who did we find alongside one another after 3,600 nautical miles of fierce racing? The same two incredible sailors who were to finish with only have a handful of minutes separating them when they crossed the line.
As long as these bearers of dreams exist, the world can only get (a little) better!
Fortunately, meanwhile, Multihulls World readers continue to sail around the globe, at much more reasonable speeds, and thus enjoy life!
JC Guillaumin
Publisher of Multihulls World/Multicoques Mag

 

2018: a foling year!

For me, 2016 had culminated in a training session in Brest harbor in Brittany aboard the AC45 Turbo with Franck Cammas and his boys! This machine, half angel, half demon, screaming on its foils during unimaginable acceleration (braking was no less spectacular!) bowled me over: in the morning, while I was discovering such fury from on board the sailing coach’s tender, I had to curb a slight apprehension, but in the evening when I got home, trembling both with cold and emotion, I was ready to sign on for a week! At the end of 2017, after the Barcelona show, I discovered the fantastic TF10, another crazy machine on foils! More civilized, with its Z-shaped appendages that can be left in position when tacking and gybing, this splendid carbon trimaran bewitched me by letting me think that stable flight had become a common thing, and I came back with a huge smile on my face! In July 2018, I flew on the fantastic Gitana XVII, 32m, 36kts, 15 tonnes, a feeling of being on the Millennium Falcon, and the fantastic magic of wakes that disappear into powder. I found it as beautiful as Mozart, Von Karayan and Enzo Ferrari combined for a result of ecstasy. I am well aware of the aftermath, and the moral and physical hazards and suffering that such stratospheric machines put their flying pilots through (especially those thrown into the chaos of the Bay of Biscay in winter), yet I had so much pleasure in sharing these little miracles with you in our magazine that I only want to go again! Bye Bye Archimedes, let me dream a little bit more!
Philippe Echelle
Chief boat tester for Multihulls World / Multicoques Mag

Energy without limits

2018 will have been marked by the advent and maturation of the technology mix that will make it possible, in the medium term, to do away with fossil fuels on our leisure boats. Like Energy Observer, which has just completed a C0₂ emission-free Mediterranean circuit, and is about to set off on a world tour flanked by two automated semi-rigid wings, the progress made by the nautical industry is giving us hope for cleaner sailing in the near future. The increasing performance of hydrogen generators, wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, energy computers, motors and propellers, and the emergence of solar fabrics on sails and canopies optimizing the surface area in the sun, or the development of fuel cells will allow - rapidly - a major evolution in on-board energy management.

Certainly, the cost is still dissuasive and there is still a lot of progress to be made in terms of reliability, but the timetable has already been written... we’ll be having the pleasure, in the course of 2019, of seeing the first leisure catamaran using no fossil fuels making her way around the world: the Daedalus 80 will be the first to make us realize that it will soon be possible to sail without engine noise...

Norbert Conchin
Yachts and equipment specialist

Heroic!

Memorable moments on the water in 2018, there were a lot of them… Some happy, some heroic, some shocking and some even quite funny… This year, a sailor and his trimaran shared with us all these emotions; for me, it was Armel Le Cléac’h. 

I witnessed his finish of the Vendée first hand in 2017, seeing him wave this trophy in the air with the smile of a young boy taking off the small wheels of his bike for the first time, the pride and satisfaction mixed with a total exhaustion… I couldn’t wait to see what 2019 was going to bring for him.

And the unthinkable happened… Not once, but twice. 

But what I remember from these sea adventures is not a Ultim's hull taking off on its own, nor the risky rescue op orchestrated by a Portuguese fishing boat, or even the trauma for the skipper… But instead, what fascinated me was Atmel's spirit, his perseverance that he carried all the way! You capsize, you secure the man and the boat, you send your Mayday call and then you start again: next time should be the one. However, these trimarans selling the dream  keep getting more efficient… and more demanding. The challenge becomes trickier every year. 

That was my 2018 year, realizing that a great sailor is the one who can take a blow and take back control. Not of the water, but of his idea of the perfect racing multihull.  

Gwen Dorning
Managing Publisher

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