After four seasons in the Figaro circuit, Justine Mettraux will only be competing in 2020 in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale, in order to hand over her Figaro 3 TeamWork to her fellow Swiss sailor, Nils Palmieri. Mettraux, now 33 years old, was discovered in France in the Mini 6.50 (2nd in the 2013 Mini-Transat). She tells us why she is moving on, talks about her projects, in particular The Ocean Race, and looks back at the start of her career on Lake Geneva.
As a very successful solo racer, singlehanded Route du Rhum winner and twice La Solitaire champion, Yoann Richomme might represent something of a surprise choice as skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation’s VO65 Racing for the Planet for The Ocean Race. Tip & Shaft caught up with ‘Yoyo’ just before the hard work starts on a programme which is designed to be a race winner.
After a 2019 season which finished with the Transat Jacques Vabre victory of Charlie Dalin and Yann Eliès, the IMOCA class is setting up for an intense, exciting 2020. It starts with two Spring Transats, (The Transat CIC and New York- Vendée) and then, of course, the solo pinnacle Vendée Globe in November. Tip & Shaft takes stock with IMOCA president, Antoine Mermod.
Juan Kouyoumdjian: “Its is very difficult, if not impossible, to design boats and foils that work well at all speeds”
With the design of the new Arkéa Paprec and Corum L’Epargne, Juan Yacht Design returned to the IMOCA class during 2019, coming back to a class which has not yet really yielded the big successes that Juan K enjoyed in the Volvo Ocean Race. 48-year-old Juan Kouyoumdjian remains one of the most interesting architects of this generation. His spectrum of interest spans everything from Olympic class optimisations (Finn and previously the Star) to the America’s Cup, including record breaking monohulls and production yachts (including the latest ClubSwan 50 and ClubSwan 36). Speaking to Tip & Shaft, he majors this time on the IMOCA and the America’s Cup.
Australian ace Will Oxley, 54, had a truly stellar 2019 as navigator contributing significantly to the unprecedented double on David and Peter Askew’s US flagged VO70 Wizard, victors on the RORC Caribbean 600 and then also the Fastnet Race which saw them crowned RORC Yacht of the Year. His season just finished on a high with his second overall Sydney Hobart win as navigator on the TP52 Ichi Ban, adding to their overall win in 2017…
The boat building facility in Vannes a subsidiary of the Carboman Group wants to build an Imoca for the upcoming edition of The Ocean Race.
Fifth overall twice in the Volvo Ocean Race, on Alvemedica in 2014-15 and on Vestas 11th Hour Racing in 2017-18, Charlie Enright, 35 (Rhode Island, USA) opens a new chapter in his sailing career when he competes in the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre across the Atlantic to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Partnered by the hugely experienced Frenchman Pascal Bidégorry aboard the VPLP-Verdier designed former Hugo Boss on which British skipper Alex Thomson finished second on the last Vendée Globe. Tip & Shaft talked to Enright in Le Havre…..
Guillaume Verdier’s work at the moment seems to span everything from the America’s Cup, where he continues to innovate as a key naval architect with Emirates Team New Zealand, to IMOCA where he has contributed foil design for Sam Davies and others, there are two freshly launched Vendée Globe boats for Thomas Ruyant and Charlie Dalin preparing to take on the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre, Ultimes where he has just added some updates to Gitana 17. He is designing for two Ocean Race teams. Verdier’s passion and drive is undiminished. Tip & Shaft spoke to Guillaume just after the first flights of the ETNZ AC 75.
Last week 11th Hour Racing confirmed their participation in The Ocean Race 2021-2022 with Charlie Enright and Mark Towill co-skippering the project. This actually makes the US team the first officially entered and funded team for this new iteration of the crewed race around the world. On the back of that news Tip & Shaft take stock of the other projects, IMOCAs and the VO65.
Boris Herrmann will be the first German ever to start the Vendée Globe in November 2020, but when he does it will be the start of his third racing circumnavigation. After winning the Class40 Portimao Global Ocean Race in 2009, he went on to take fifth place in the Barcelona World Race sailing with American Ryan Breymaier in 2010. But the 38 year old native of Hamburg has now extended his horizons and has registered for The Ocean Race. We caught up with Boris….