Not Just Another Race. The Race. Relaunched.

Multihulls are a misunderstood thing in sailing. Many yacht clubs don’t recognise multihulls as ‘proper yachts’ and others think of them as toys, the Hobie cats that litter beach hire outlets around the world. Multihulls have even been banished from the Olympics. But the sheer performance of these boats cannot be denied. The A-Class, the eXtreme 40, the giants of the America’s Cup DOG match and the record breakers have given multihulls a new credibility.

[cleeng_content id=”819206085″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]With Groupama and Banque Populaire V setting new benchmarks every day, Bruno Peyron – Three times holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, has decided to relaunch “The Race”. The Race is described as a non-stop crewed race around the world without outside assistance and without limits.

After several months of studies, some careful thinking and after consulting the main potential competitors, a second edition of the race around the world for the G-class (Giant) boats is planned for 2013-2014, starting from a port in Southern Europe.

Bruno Peyron, who took some time to think about this before coming to a decision explains:

“As I’ve been able to stand back and gain some perspective since I last took part in the Jules VerneTrophy, there are several things I noticed that led me to take this decision to relaunch The Race. First, since the recent America’s Cup that we have just seen, we can conclude that we French are no longer alone in the world of multihulls and that is excellent news. We are entering a new era.

We can see too that since The Race, 12 giant multihulls have been built, including four in the past three years. So today there are certainly enough boats of sufficient quality for us to propose this event relaunch to their skippers and partners, without counting any new multihulls, which may be built following on from this by 2013 or 2014.

I have noticed that some major brands have been looking at the possibilities offered by the Volvo Ocean Race, which I can fully understand, but this does indicate that there is simply no alternative international race for multihulls. And just to conclude, others around me have become aware of this and share this feeling and my discussions with the leading G-class skippers have led me to move things forward in this direction.

It’s certainly an idea that captures the imagination, but once again, there seems to be little strategy or co-ordination between competing classes and organisers. While the proposed event as planned would not clash with the Volvo Ocean Race (an important consideration for the Groupama team), it does offer sponsors yet another alternative and cut the sailing sponsorship pie thinner.

The new Race would seem to go head to head with the Multi One Design Race that Michel Desjoyeaux has announced he will enter. Those in the sailing bubble can argue the difference between one-design and open no-limit design as much as they want, but for sponsors and the public, it just complicates the issue. As we have said before, just because there is a gap on the matrix of solo v crewed, monhull v multihull, stopping v non-stopping and one design v open, it does not mean there should be something in the gap.

The new Race may benefit from the contruction of several Arabian 100 multihulls by Oman Sail and others. The Race provides a way to spread costs of building such boats across a wider platform and get greater returns than mere record attempts alone would offer. There may be a significant difference between these new builds and current generation Groupama and Banque Populaire and older boats that competed in the original Race or the more recent attempt at an event like this, the Oryx Quest race.

Grant Dalton, Winner of The Race:

“When Bruno Peyron announced he was launching The Race, with my experience of round the world sailing, it immediately interested me. Although the Jules Verne Trophy was fascinating, what really attracted me here was the idea of a real race with other boats. Thanks to Bruno’s vision, I was able to experience the finest moment of my professional career. The maxi-catamaran Club Med was the first of her kind, measuring 108 feet and able to cover more than 600 miles day after day. She was a marvel and I was privileged to be on board. The Race opened the way to more extreme sailing. It pushed back the limits and allowed us to do what had previously been thought impossible. This race remains by far the highlight of my 25 years of professional sailing. The idea of relaunching The Race will move the world of sailing another step forward.”

Pascal Bidégorry, Skipper of the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V, holder of the North Atlantic record:

“Since Banque Populaire V was built, taking part in The Race has seemed obvious to me. I experienced the first edition as a spectator and I can still remember the enthusiasm that surrounded this race. After a few years of sailing multihulls and when you are lucky enough to sail on a maxi-multihull like Banque Populaire, I can’t imagine taking part in all these record attempts without entering an event like The Race. These are fabulous boats and battling it out around the world in real time is incredible. I admire what they do in the Volvo Ocean Race, but from a race and sailing perspective, there’s nothing like The Race.”