PxPixel
Foiling a 105-footer—singlehanded - Sail Magazine

Foiling a 105-footer—singlehanded

Author:
Publish date:
A rendering of Edmond de Rothschild in full-foiling mode. Image to courtesy of Gitana

A rendering of Edmond de Rothschild in full-foiling mode. Image to courtesy of Gitana

Vraiment Incroyable! 

It’s official, we have now truly entered a “Brave New World” of sailing; either that or the world has truly lost its mind.

This past fall, SAIL magazine first covered the Brest Ultime Challenge, a singlehanded nonstop round-the-world event set to take place in 2019 between a fleet of “ultimes”—mega-tris measuring 100ft or more (2016 Fall Multihull Issue: The Next Generation). Now, as the boats destined to take part in that race start sliding down the ways they are proving to be as ultime as expected.

Leading the charge are Frenchman (of course!) Sébastien Josse and the Gitana Team with their new maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which was first unveiled in April and is set to begin trials later this month. Not only is the boat big (of course!) with an LOA of 105ft and a 75ft beam, but it has been configured to fly, in the hopes that Josse will sail in full-foiling mode at least some of the time he is at sea.

Ponder that for a moment: a 105ft sailboat, literally flying over the water with only a single human being at the controls. Incredible!

An offshoot of the team’s full-foiling Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild, a heavily re-worked MOD 70 one-design that has served as a test bed for many of those technologies same that will propel it big brother aloft as well, the new 105-footer features T-foil rudders, L-shaped foils in the amas, and both a daggerboard and T-foil rudder in the central hull. The hulls themselves have also been configured to plane quickly, while the overall design puts low windage at a premium throughout. The boat is expected to reach 40 knots in displacement mode. When fully airborne...who knows?

“We wanted a boat that is two-in-one, namely a very good Archimedean (displacement) boat that is solid and seaworthy, but also capable of flying in certain phases, weather permitting,” Josse says. He adds that for now, he sees the boat’s full-foiling capabilities serving as a kind of tactical weapon to keep boatspeed up when things go light. “It’s out of the question to fly in heavy seas like those we’ll encounter offshore. With regards to flight mode, you have to kind of put the images of the America’s Cup boats to one side. The goal really won’t be to fly so high.”

All perfectly reasonable, of course. But what about when you have two of these foiling beasts going at it hammer and tongs in an actual race—as will almost surely be the case at some point during the Ultime? Do you want to be the first one to take your foot off the accelerator and then watch your competition go flying over the horizon? We didn’t think so.

In other words, look for an event that could make even the fabled Vendée Globe look like a walk in the park by comparison. For more on the Gitana campaign, visit gitana-team.com.

July 2017

Related

Josie-helm-2

Chartering the U.S. and Spanish Virgins

Flying into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands one December morning, three months after Hurricane Irma, I felt like a war correspondent dispatched to the battlefront rather than a sailing magazine writer on an assignment to go cruising.As my LIAT plane descended toward Beef ...read more

Crew-North-27M004-02

Weather Gear for Inshore Sailing

Just because you’re not planning on braving the Southern Ocean this summer doesn’t mean that you won’t have some dicey days out on the water. If you haven’t got the right gear, a little rain or humidity can make things miserable. As with all safety equipment, “it’s always better ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

3DiNordac_webheader

3Di NORDAC: One Year In

One year ago this month, North Sails launched a cruising revolution with the introduction of 3Di NORDAC. The product promised to deliver a better cruising experience for a market that had not seen true product innovation in over 60 years. Today we’re celebrating the team that ...read more

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more