While we all wait to see if the 33rd America’s Cup will be a multi-challenger event (the dispute between Alinghi and Oracle is still pending, following an ultimate appeal at the US Supreme Court), Team French Spirit is making steady progress with its preparation.
The team is using an all carbon-fiber yacht built in 2003 at the Boat Speed shipyard in Australia. A Hugh Welbourn design, FRENCH SPIRIT ONE features are pretty close to the future America’s Cup measurement rule :
29 meter long
35 meter mast
Sail area : main 300 m2, spinnaker : 600 m2
20 crew members
The boat was selected by Team French Spirit to carry on its training programme. Philippe Presti, Bertrand Pacé and Mathieu Richard – currently No 1 of the ISAF World Match Race ranking – are going to set up various training sessions in Saint-Tropez during the winter 2008-2009 to recruit and test new talents, select grinders and get everyone more acquainted with a 30 meter mono-hull yacht.
“It’s a major step for our team’s preparation. With this super-maxi, things are becoming more concrete, of course for the crew, but also for our future partners” says Marc Pajot. “This week-end we went to Marseille to participate in the Juris’ Cup and then, from September 29th to October 4th, in the prestigious Voiles de Saint-Tropez”.
Team French Spirit intends also to compete in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and congratulates Bruno Troublé, Louis Vuitton and Team New Zealand for setting up this new big boat Match Race event. Philippe Presti, skipper : “It will be an excellent opportunity for our new crew to get back on the water and test its skills against redoubtable opponents.”