Thomas Ruyant's double Vendée Globe experience, including one aboard a latest-generation Verdier design (LinkedOut, now FOR THE PLANET), has enabled him to precisely define the sailboat of all his aspirations, as close as possible to an ideal so difficult to achieve in ocean racing.
To make it a reality, he brought together the forces most in tune with his philosophy of single-handed ocean sailing. His vision gave rise to an original partnership between sailing architect Antoine Koch, the Finot-Conq firm and its designer David De Prémorel, Gsea Design and TR Racing's in-house teams. In association with the CDK shipyard in Lorient, this original team was able to work together for 12 months on a single credo: to provide Thomas with a machine perfectly suited to his perception of a single-handed, non-stop round-the-world race, the Vendée Globe.
FOR PEOPLE reveals many advances in the design of its hull. Antoine Koch speaks of a "very refined" boat. "Right from the start, we notice a very pronounced chine, a real reserve of power, and a slim hull for less drag. The chine is very taut aft, giving this very aggressive appearance, to generate power. The bow is designed to get out of the waves. We're not really talking about scow, but we're taking on this very banana-like bow."
Quentin Cortier, from TR Racing's design office, adds: "We've made a lot of progress on the hull and deck. We're presenting a fast, stable boat, less wet than LinkedOut. TR Racing's Workshop Manager Florent Le Gal finds it "chunky, and we're surprised at how little wetted surface there is."
Humidity, shocks... the price to pay for foiler speed seemed exorbitant for long-term performance. FOR PEOPLE offers a wide range of solutions to achieve this compromise between performance and effort. The deck is a perfect illustration, as Quentin points out: "The shape of the deck is the opposite of today's boat. Less of a 'pool' shape, so less humidity. This comfort also serves performance, since the boat will carry less water, as Antoine points out: "Compared with LinkedOut, we've been more conservative, less extreme. For example, we abandoned the bathtub deck, which required us to carry a lot of water. From now on, water will drain more easily from the deck. François Pernelle sums up the general philosophy of the new foiler as follows: "FOR PEOPLE is a more seaworthy boat, structurally viable, offering better passage through the sea and greater tolerance for the skipper in terms of trim. Top speeds will undoubtedly be lower, but For People will evolve in high speed ranges, smoothed out over time. Naturally, it's difficult to model the sea, but we've done everything we can to ensure better penetration of the waves. Paul Médinger from the design office emphasizes how much "FOR PEOPLE erases many of LinkedOut's faults, when passing through the sea, in the big southern sea."
Another step forward in this quest for performance and efficiency, and the fruit of Thomas's experience, is the more enclosed, more protected cockpit, as described by Antoine Koch: "The cockpit has been designed to limit movement as much as possible, in keeping with this quest for sailing comfort and protection for the sailor over the long haul. The living quarters are close to the inside of the boat. Winches and windmills are easily accessible from the chart table. All this is direct feedback from Thomas. An extra winch, for a slightly longer coachroof, and all the successful ergonomics of LinkedOut are reproduced on For People. And François Pernelle adds: "In the end, we get a better view forward, with the skipper more in a bubble.
Clearly, the hull has been thought out and designed to support foils, and Antoine explains the thinking behind this complex project: "The foils are an extrapolation of our three years of experience. We're working on improving their lift. They will be closer to the boat to improve verticality, and contribute to a flatter sailing experience."
It took 50,000 hours and a team of 50 people to design this new 2023 vintage foiler.
Just a few weeks after her launch, For People proved her concept by winning the Guyader Bermuda 1000 Race. In August, damage to the boat at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race forced the team to review its plans and carry out a major repair and reinforcement programme with the Transat Jacques Vabre in November. Confident in their duo and in their repaired machine, Thomas and Morgan won the race for the second time in a row.