The end of the Route du Rhum and the start of a new IMOCA cycle
Seven new projects already under way
Several boats have already found a buyer
With the end of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, the IMOCA class is now casting its thoughts to the future with the imminent Barcelona World Race next on the programme and the Vendée Globe 2016 on the horizon. Today, with two years to go until the solo round the world race, in addition to the construction of several new boats in line with the new class measurement, a number of campaigns are being mounted involving prototypes built in 2010-2011 and even 2006-2007. These older generation boats will often be the subject of a renovation, which sometimes require major work such as the modification of the hull below the waterline.
Among the newbies we find the majority of the major racing teams, which have been eager to put up the means to secure the most competitive boat possible for the next Vendée Globe. This fleet is set to see a steady stream of launches from the spring of 2015. The first major confrontations for these latest generation boats are likely to be the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Transat B to B revenge match from Brazil in the winter of 2015. The new projects:
- Banque Populaire for Armel Le Cléac’h (VPLP – Verdier)
- Safran for Morgan Lagravière (VPLP – Verdier)
- Edmond de Rothschild for Sébastien Josse (VPLP – Verdier)
- Hugo Boss for Alex Thomson (VPLP Verdier)
- Saint-Michel-Virbac for Jean-Pierre Dick (VPLP – Verdier)
- Vento di Sardegna for Andrea Mura (VPLP Verdier)
- Spirit of Hungary for Nandor Fa (N. Fa & A. Dery)
A lively second-hand market
Other sailors have decided to take a gamble and try to stay in the running on boats from the previous generation. This is notably the case of Vincent Riou, who’s setting sail on a fourth Vendée Globe aboard PRB, the boat with which he took the start of the 2012-2013 edition.
Another boat from this generation is Maître CoQ skippered by Jérémie Beyou, formerly known as Banque Populaire in the hands of Armel le Cléac’h, who sailed it into second place in the Vendée Globe 2012-2013.
Finally, the former Virbac-Paprec 3 skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick is currently being sailed by Alex Thomson who, together with the loyal support of Hugo Boss, will be attempting to add the Barcelona World Race to his list of credits.
Several boats from the 2007-2008 generation have already found a buyer, at times at the cost of a substantial facelift.
Initiatives-Cœur skippered by Tanguy de Lamotte is none other than the former Akena Vérandas bought from Arnaud Boissières. This Farr design, which began her career in the hands of Vincent Riou in 2008, has been significantly revamped since the forward third of the boat has been entirely redesigned.
Same modifications for Cheminées Poujoulat, former MARE boat, which has been chartered by Bernard Stamm. Michel Desjoyeaux won the Vendée Globe 2008-2009 aboard this boat under the Foncia colours.
Armel Tripon has bought the former Groupe Bel, which was previously skippered by Kito de Pavant. and For Humble Heroes is still seeking a main partner with a view to competing in the next Vendée Globe.
Yann Elies has just announced that he’s bought Marc Guillemot’s Safran. This boat dates back to 2007 but she’s been constantly updated throughout her career.
Eric Bellion from the “As a one man” team has purchased the former DCNS skippered by Marc Thiercelin, a 2007 Finot Conq design.
Finally, MACIF, the winner of the last Vendée Globe has been officially sold, even though the name of the happy buyer has not yet been unveiled. Perhaps all will be revealed during the Christmas festivities.
Still on the market
Finally, after several years of good and faithful service, several craft are in search of a buyer. All these announcements can be viewed right now on the IMOCA website. http://www.imoca.org/fr/annonces/