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

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