Yacht Racing Forum 2018

October 22nd-23rd, 2018

The 2019 Yacht Racing Forum in Lorient, France could easily have gone on beyond two days with the topics, recent sailing events, and technological advances going on in the sport.

Gunboat Managing Partner Benoit Lebizay together with Loïck Peyron (Offshore Sailing Legend) and Vincent Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) held a panel session about the trickle-down benefits created by the highest level of yacht racing. They discussed the technology and products that have been developed and robustly tested in ocean racing that we can now use with confidence on Gunboats.

As Vincent Lauriot Prévost went into some detail about the racing yacht design tools that have been used on the Gunboat 68 such as VPP, FEA, FSI (combined hydro structure appendages simulation tools), Loïck tried to poke the bear: “Do the owners care about this level of design?”

Our answer: “For sure! Our owners care about getting the right balance between comfort and performance, and in order to get that comfort you need to optimize the hull lines, rig, and structure as if it were a pure race boat.”

Above: Some of the slides from the panel session

Gunboat COO William Jelbert shares a few more observations from the forum:

– New rigging technology and a lot more focus on aero studies are a hot topic because boats are going a lot faster, so the drag is exponentially more important.

– Measuring data and using it quickly, and making this more user-friendly, is making big inroads. The IoT is becoming real on boats!

– The Ultim class is setting new standards when it comes to the “new normal”. Fully flying 100-foot trimarans will race each other across the Atlantic in a week and all the way around the world next year. Every single record is in jeopardy.

 

Following the 2018 YRF, some of the top sailors, including Loïck, departed Lorient by boat moving to Saint-Malo for the start of the Route du Rhum, set to take place early November.

To quote Loïck from the panel session (on the trickledown effect into the wider sailing world): “When I’m racing, I’m dreaming about cruising. When I’m cruising, I don’t like to be inefficient. That’s why many of our innovations from racing are useful for cruising.”

And plain as day we see the conundrum of being a sailor. While he won it 4 years ago on Banque Populaire, this year he’s participating on the slowest boat of the fleet – the replica of Mike Birch’s winning boat 40 years ago! We had to laugh and give a nod to the excitement of the advancing sport, and also the true love of sailing and its roots.

We’re looking forward to the 2019 YRF! These are exciting times, and the acceleration of change is ever-increasing with new technologies becoming available for us to use on our Gunboats.

 

Interested in more technical detail, or considering owning a Gunboat? Read our series of articles about the design and build of the Gunboat 68! Contact Gunboat

GUNBOAT 68 – Forward Thinking

The ninth article in our series about the design and build of the Gunboat 68 talks about the deck gear and layout that enable sailing a performance cat at speed with comfort and ease.

GUNBOAT 68 – Delivering the Wow Factor

The eighth article in our series about the design and build of the Gunboat 68 talks about the paint stage, and how we give the Gunboat 68 a jaw-dropping, head-turning finish.

GUNBOAT 68 – Standing Tall

The seventh article in our series about the design and build of the Gunboat 68 talks about rigging - the team involved, key features and the two optimized, top-performing rig packages available for the Gunboat 68.

GUNBOAT 68 – Steering into the Future

The sixth article in our series about the design and build of the Gunboat 68 talks about the simple, strong, reliable and responsive steering system and the expertise behind it. .

GUNBOAT 68 Systems – All Systems Go

The fifth article in our series about the design and build of the Gunboat 68 talks about backbone electrical and plumbing systems, from concept to installation, and with built-in "future proofing"! .

GUNBOAT 68 Interior – An Inner Sense of Light

In the fourth article in our series about the Gunboat 68, we talk about the lightweight, luxury interior that delivers more comfort, versatility, and better sightlines without compromise. .

GUNBOAT 68 Daggerboards – Putting the Power Down

In the third article in our series, we look at the design and build of the Gunboat 68 daggerboards, with partners VPLP and Lorima. Read the full article here.

GUNBOAT 68 Internal Structure – Inner Strength

What do the Gunboat 68 and a Formula One car have in common? In the second article in our series, we take a look at Internal Structure. Read the full article here.

GUNBOAT 68 Exterior Design – The Shape of Things to Come

The first in our series of articles on the design and construction of the GUNBOAT 68, with insight on the exterior design from Patrick Le Quément, Christophe Chedal Anglay, VPLP design, and GUNBOAT. Read full article here.

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