Will L’Occitane make a difference in ocean racing?
In early February, a new Open 60 (IMOCA) class yacht, the L’Occitane, designed by Sam Manor for Armel Tripon, was launched in France. She became the seventh – and so far the last IMOCA class boat – built for the Vendée Globe 2020-21 race.
The new yacht is distinguished by the radical design of the bow – it is made in the spirit of the famous American scow boats and in recent years has become more and more popular in a number of racing classes on the high seas: for example, Mini 6.50 and Class 40. (Interesting in this regard note that, firstly, Sam Manor has already managed to successfully “make a mark” in both of these classes: for example, in the last TJV race his Class 40 yachts took second, third and fourth places, and secondly in the same race the number of yacht fleets The Class 40 with scows was already nine pennants.)
The exact technical data of L’Occitane, as usual, is a secret. A number of observers note that the new boat is likely to become one of the narrowest in the fleet, in addition, it will obviously have a length on the waterline less than that of most competitors. But at the same time, almost all agree that the length of the hydrofoils for the new product will be one of the largest (if not at all the largest) in the entire Open 60 fleet.
The only thing that can really let the L’Occitane team down is timing. There is very little time left before the first race of the season – from Brest to Charleston, the start will take place on May 10. If something goes wrong, there simply may not be enough time to repair or modify the yacht before the start of the Vendée Globe.
But nevertheless, the main question is most interesting – how successful will this design be in the winged class Open 60 now?
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