Vincent Riou and Gildas Morvan Sailing SolOceans Sailboat

Posted: June 4, 2009 in boat, boating, boats, sailboat, sailboat race, sailboats, sailing, yacht, yacht race, yachting, yachts
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Vincent Riou and Gildas Morvan Sailing SolOceans Sailboat

Vincent Riou, skipper of the Open 60 sailboat PRB, and Gildas Morvan, skipper of Cercle Vert, discovered the 52.5 foot SolOceans one-design sailboat during the 25th Transmanche yacht race on the 220 nautical mile course from France, to Plymouth breakwater in England and back.  Sailing at an average speed of 14.95 knots, they broke by 1 hour 31 minutes and 11 second the previous monohull record established by Gaël Le Cleac’h on board the Open 60 prototype SILL – Beurre Le Gall and by 37 minutes the multihull record established by Hervé Cléris on board a 50-feet trimaran. The SolOceans one-design sailboat finished the race 1 hour and 19 minutes behind BT (Farr prototype IMOCA 60) steered by Sébastien Josse and Jean-François Cuzon, who set the new record at 13 hours 14 minutes and 30 seconds at 16.62 Knots on average.

It was great, we sailed clean. The boat is easy and you never feel panicky. She is simple and rational“, Gildas Morvan declared. He added: “the design of this one-design class is coherent, it goes fast and we had fun. Before the start of the Transmanche, we only had a three-hour sailing session with 25-30 knots of real wind off l’Aber Wrac’h enabling us to discover the SolOceans one-design. But everything is simple. We felt at ease instantly. It would not be possible on an Open 60.

Gildas Morvan at the helm of the SolOceans one-design - May 29th, 2009

Sailing by Photo SailingOne

Vincent Riou added: “To say the truth, it is a small 60 foot. The technology is less developed. The price and running costs are more affordable. The hull, its bottom and deck structure are good. They bet to sail without inertia ballast tanks and I must say it’s a success. I was agreeably surprised as it is a seaworthy boat on the wind in the breeze without ballast. For prototype specialists, the rigging of the SolOceans lacks slender. But this rigging corresponds to the single-handed race programme of the series, including the SolOceans round-the-world race. With new sails fitting the sail plan, it will be a fun boat for offshore sailing, especially in one-design. Hull structure and sail plan are coherent. As a result she is really tolerant.”

We started the Transmanche close hauled, with 25-27 knots of real wind and rough sea. We had one reef in the main and the staysail“, Vincent Riou explained. “In the middle of the Channel Sea, the wind veered aft and slightly abated. We unfurled the Genoa instead of the staysail. The breeze then got stronger and we kept the Genoa, despite the 29-30 knots real wind. At that moment we held the speed of the Open 60s. On the way back, we had a small period of calm in the Middle of the Channel Sea. We sailed the rest of the course at more than 16 knots. Then on the last few nautical miles, the wind veered aft and slightly abated. We could have sent the Gennaker or even the Spinnaker but we were too close to the arrival line “, Vincent Riou concluded. And Gildas Morvan, the Aber Wrac’h kid added: “It was fast and we beat the past two records without loosing the Open 60. It was great I liked it “.


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