GauchoGreg

Ultime / G-Class Development

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Not to forget too that technological race has always been (since the sixties) part of ocean sailing race.

For multihull and monohul.  What a stupidity to forbid it.

And a deep scandal that the ‘collectif ultim ’ ( macif sodebo banque pop ) décide on their own ( no FFR or neutral institution involved) to build new rules against Gitana17 during live season ( restriction on foil daggerboard).

It’s like if in formula one Ferrari and Red Bull had a meeting in June to forbid Mercedes to use their new too fast motor for the last 8 Grand Prix. 

Probably they try to give all the chance to these new race for new 32/23 platform.                                                   But there is no excuse to forget sport, compétition and sportmanship.

Congrats !

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I am pretty sure that the technical regulation will evolve in favor of Gitana if her Jules Verne campaign is successful. A race without the fastest competitor is pointless when your class is called Ultim'. The image of the fastest boats around the globe is too important. Maybe a rule concerning power supply and energy management will appear... 

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I think so too, I think Macif will be on Gitana's side come the launch of the new tri, as Gabart's has been working with MadInTec's "Mad Brain" for the foiling autopilot.

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Its seems pretty obvious to me that if Gitana does well in their 2020 program of the Transat and RTW/JV both Macif and BP will want to be able to compete and respond. Why else spend all that money.  There are also almost no class only events. Sodebo I'm not so sure.  They are very much behind the class it seems.  Maybe the others with new boats have more funding? Anyway, it remains to be seen if the class will survive, it should not limit development.

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Very interesting (and long) interview of Pascal Bidegorry below :

https://www.tipandshaft.com/podcast/

About his whole sailing story (he started quite late at 16 or 17, before that much more into mountain/skiing and rugby, and being Basque in a Britanny world wasn't that easy), and especially regarding the maxi BP episode : they had many structural issues with it (couldn't tell anything about it at the time), for instance they had to replace the nomex core and inner skins and both floats and rear part of the main hull, got the transat record (still standing), then the two unsuncessfull JV seasons (the structural issues took a big part in them), and he indeed took a big hit when he had to leave the program (he is saying he wasn't really fired, not very clear).

Also a lot about the money/sponsoring aspects of the whole thing.

He is currently planning to buy the current Macif.

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Very interesting interview! What a trace in the offshore race world.

One other anecdote: on the first leg of the first Dong Feng Volvo campaign, between Alicante and Cape Town, with Caudrelier as skipper, Pascal B. fell inside the boat and breaks neck vertabraes before the Canaries Island... For a while he doesn't feel his hands and his feet... Seriously thinking of stopping in the Canary Islands.

But they continue and arrive in Cape Town, and he goes to the hospital to get an IRM and has to explain that he just arrived from Alicante, by boat... and hurt himself 22 days ago...

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Very interesting interview! What a trace in the offshore race world.

One other anecdote: on the first leg of the first Dong Feng Volvo campaign, between Alicante and Cape Town, with Caudrelier as skipper, Pascal B. fell inside the boat and breaks neck vertabraes before the Canaries Island... For a while he doesn't feel his hands and his feet... Seriously thinking of stopping in the Canary Islands.

But they continue and arrive in Cape Town, and he goes to the hospital to get an IRM and has to explain that he just arrived from Alicante, by boat... and hurt himself 22 days ago...

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For sale apparently. A steal at 990k Eur

 

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1 hour ago, GauchoGreg said:

Maybe I am in the minority, but I just don't see the point in the MODs.

I am assuming you mean beyond "going quick" which is the basic point of any racing boat, wasn't the original purpose to be a one design record setting ocean racer? Similar to the point of the Ultimes now but with a shared design to reduce cost?

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6 hours ago, GauchoGreg said:

Maybe I am in the minority, but I just don't see the point in the MODs.

I think we are lucky to have them around even though the OD class tanked quickly. Most of them have found new homes easily enough around the world. Bit like the ORMA 60s before them. Fun to watch and follow and adds another dimension to the sport. Would be great to see some do the Transat CIC. 

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On 2/18/2020 at 8:48 AM, JonRowe said:

I am assuming you mean beyond "going quick" which is the basic point of any racing boat, wasn't the original purpose to be a one design record setting ocean racer? Similar to the point of the Ultimes now but with a shared design to reduce cost?

My point is that none are still OD and there are no OD events for them... they cannot compete with the bigger boats, they cannot set records, they are unlikely to win line-honors unless against boats they really should hardly care to race against, they cannot win handicapped events (nor would owners of such boats likely care to try), they are tweeners... too small to really tackle big races (big ocean stuff... see what Bruno Peyron said about them) but pretty awkward to use just for fun.  Yeah, I would love to get a ride on one, and really impressive for what they can do at the price one can secure one for, but I don't see the point in owning one.

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5 hours ago, jb5 said:

https://www.scanvoile.com/2020/02/thomas-coville-annonce-son-programme-2020-avec-sodebo-ultim-3.html#.Xk0p3WrYqow

Sodebo doing the Transat CIC and the JV this year.  That should mean we will have Gitana and Sodebo going up against each other over the winter, maybe with Spindrift as well.

Can we PLEASE see them out on the JV course together!?!?!?!

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45 minutes ago, GauchoGreg said:

Can we PLEASE see them out on the JV course together!?!?!?!

And also watch spindrift get smoked. B)

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1 hour ago, GauchoGreg said:

really impressive for what they can do at the price one can secure one for, but I don't see the point in owning one.

I mean... 

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Video summary of the sodebo 2020 agenda

 

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Bidegorry will be the one racing the current Macif on the coming Transat CIC ! :

 

 

Garbart concentrating on constructing the new boat.

I guess this confirms that Bidegorry will be the one buying the current one.

 

In fact the official reason is that "he is tired" and needs recuperation :

https://voilesetvoiliers.ouest-france.fr/bateau/ultim/transat-cic-gabart-passe-la-barre-de-son-trimaran-macif-a-bidegorry-965d3318-57cd-11ea-ab47-6673aa87a591

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On 2/26/2020 at 11:31 PM, yl75 said:

Bidegorry will be the one racing the current Macif on the coming Transat CIC ! :

 

In fact the official reason is that "he is tired" and needs recuperation :

https://voilesetvoiliers.ouest-france.fr/bateau/ultim/transat-cic-gabart-passe-la-barre-de-son-trimaran-macif-a-bidegorry-965d3318-57cd-11ea-ab47-6673aa87a591

It's telling that that's the official reason, and it's a good one. Sailing these boats is no joke, even for the mighty Francois Gabart.

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^^ Isn't that French for, "He got bored with it"?

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Well he's also running Mer Concept which is the current Macif tri, the new one and Apivia. So fatigue and time needed for preparation would factor into it. Give him the benefit of the call. It's probably the right one. 

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1 hour ago, jb5 said:

Well he's also running Mer Concept which is the current Macif tri, the new one and Apivia. So fatigue and time needed for preparation would factor into it. Give him the benefit of the call. It's probably the right one. 

Probably, JB. ;-)

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Central hull of the forthcoming BP ultim.. 

 

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On 3/12/2020 at 2:28 PM, jb5 said:

macif%2Beau.jpg

Credit: Macif

https://www.scanvoile.com/2020/03/macif-de-retour-dans-son-element-gabart-bidegorry.html#.XmpGnofYqbg

Macif back in the water after its refit and for the final time in Macif colors for the Transat CIC, with Pascal.

Still no T foils on the center hull rudder.

Who will buy her?

Probably Actual given their track record of getting previous generation maxi trimarans. Or maybe IDEC sport. IDEC 3/Groupama 3 is almost 15 years old now. Sure it is the textbook maxi trimaran and is still on the top but if macif can do 41 days solo, what could an upgraded macif modified for crew do...

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Bidegorry will buy it, but with which sponsor it is not known yet

 

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1 hour ago, yl75 said:

Bidegorry will buy it, but with which sponsor it is not known yet

 

Agree. He'd be the right choice. 

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Geronimo - Olivier de Kersauson - JV 2004.

 

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Documentary from about Laurent Bourgnon (Swiss) who had a great career.  He was lost while diving.

 

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Bernard Stamm & Lionel Lemonchois documentary.  Quite a few great clips in there including the IDEC Sport JV run.

 

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10 hours ago, jb5 said:

Bernard Stamm & Lionel Lemonchois documentary.  Quite a few great clips in there including the IDEC Sport JV run.

 

Bernard Stamm is Swiss, too. Great sailor.

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13 hours ago, remenich said:

Bernard Stamm is Swiss, too. Great sailor.

In my view one of the greatest offshore racers.  Couple of JVs, 3 RTW wins.  Wonderful career often underfunded. Was very sad to see him retire.

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Groupama 2010  JV

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, jb5 said:

Groupama 2010  JV

 

 

 

They made a book about that particular record, very expensive, but worth the read. 

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Sodebo back in the water.  New central rudder, new fairing, new lifting central foil, damage repaired from the Brest Atlantiques and various optimizations for the pilot and ergonomics.  "A new boat". 2020/21 goal is the JV/RTW record this winter.

 

 

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Sodebo flying with the new central foil. 

 

FB_IMG_1590786886656.jpg

FB_IMG_1590786881079.jpg

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8 hours ago, jb5 said:

Sodebo flying with the new central foil. 

 

FB_IMG_1590786886656.jpg

FB_IMG_1590786881079.jpg

It looks like they are not using the same kind of ama foil at all on port and starboard, the starboard one looking like an old or temporary one or something, can be seen also on the launching video :

 

 

(at 1:13 for instance)

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2 hours ago, yl75 said:

It looks like they are not using the same kind of ama foil at all on port and starboard, the starboard one looking like an old or temporary one or something, can be seen also on the launching video :

 

 

(at 1:13 for instance)

Quite common to run an asymmetric foil setup to compare data between different shapes and designs

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17 minutes ago, JL92S said:

Quite common to run an asymmetric foil setup to compare data between different shapes and designs

Indeed but their current starboard foil does not look like a potential candidate for flying mode at all, so the target one probably not ready

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10 hours ago, yl75 said:

It looks like they are not using the same kind of ama foil at all on port and starboard, the starboard one looking like an old or temporary one or something, can be seen also on the launching video :

 

 

(at 1:13 for instance)

Good catch.  I think Macif did something similar at one point, running one foil and different foils to test them both.  Given the development and production costs and time involved I guess you would want to be pretty certain you're on the right track before building two :o

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OK, it was ideal conditions to try flying with the new daggerboard and other modifications, but it does seem so freaking stable... As solid as a rock, as light as a feather...

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Did there used to be an aft extension to the main cabin that acted as a sort of end-plate device for the foot of the main that has now been replaced by a lower gooseneck and an offset deck-stepped boom? Or is my lack of sleep showing...?

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Screen grab from the teaser put out in January (so pre-relaunch), it had a black "deck" below the boom, its now white? Not sure if its changed otherwise.

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 10.54.41.png

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 10.56.58.png

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23 hours ago, JonRowe said:

Screen grab from the teaser put out in January (so pre-relaunch), it had a black "deck" below the boom, its now white? Not sure if its changed otherwise.

 

I think I must have misinterpreted an aerial shot and considered the black deck as a raised section. 

If you compare 1:10 on the new video with your screenshots of the older set-up is does look like the tack/gooseneck has changed as part of the recent mods...

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spindrift%2Bvannes.jpg

Spindrift into Multiplast for work.  JV attempt number ### coming up?

Concerning the JV attempts this winter it seems Morgan Lagravière is on the crew for Gitana.

Credit Multiplast

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52 minutes ago, jb5 said:

spindrift%2Bvannes.jpg

Spindrift into Multiplast for work.  JV attempt number ### coming up?

Concerning the JV attempts this winter it seems Morgan Lagravière is on the crew for Gitana.

Credit Multiplast

Maybe they will do proper testing that time... 

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The Big Birds are coming out

102952116_2537887312979496_3462916992632750757_o.jpg

103124448_2538248442943383_794866268447318954_o.jpg

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Video of Gitana showing some of the work done over the long layup.  English sub-titles.

This should be a very interesting JV season with Gitana going up against Sodebo and not forgetting that Spindrift will probably also be in the mix.

Two foilers and a previous winner and very different technology levels.  I would assume Gitana will be in full active controls mode which should give her the technical performance advantage and of course she is now pretty sorted compared to Sodebo which is still new.

A taste of what might be to come if the Ultim RWR race gets off the ground next year.

 

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3 minutes ago, jb5 said:

Video of Gitana showing some of the work done over the long layup.  English sub-titles.

This should be a very interesting JV season with Gitana going up against Sodebo and not forgetting that Spindrift will probably also be in the mix.

Two foilers and a previous winner and very different technology levels.  I would assume Gitana will be in full active controls mode which should give her the technical performance advantage and of course she is now pretty sorted compared to Sodebo which is still new.

A taste of what might be to come if the Ultim RWR race gets off the ground next year.

 

I can’t see Spindrift making it round, they don’t have enough luck. It’s strange because it should be the most reliable boat. Bigger platform operating without the stresses and gremlins of a foil system, basically just a giant MOD70

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8 hours ago, JL92S said:

I can’t see Spindrift making it round, they don’t have enough luck. It’s strange because it should be the most reliable boat. Bigger platform operating without the stresses and gremlins of a foil system, basically just a giant MOD70

I don't know if luck is the only thing to blame to be honest. There are some thing you can do to remove some unknown factor from the equation. Loosing the mast inside Brest Harbour or discovering that your new rudders stall over 30kt 20 hours after the start of your TJV attempt is not bad luck... 

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BP ultim coming together... 

 

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12 hours ago, Ahstom said:

I don't know if luck is the only thing to blame to be honest. There are some thing you can do to remove some unknown factor from the equation. Loosing the mast inside Brest Harbour or discovering that your new rudders stall over 30kt 20 hours after the start of your TJV attempt is not bad luck... 

They’re not very good at making their own luck. I feel bad for a friend of mine that sails on the boat, as far as I know he’s planning on trying to go round again

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https://www.scanvoile.com/2020/06/macif-se-retire-du-circuit-ultim-francois-gabart.html#.XuC8eDPYqbg

This is a very big one.  First major sponsor to exit from sailing since the virus?

...

Macif withdraws from Ultim sponsorship. "It is a huge challenge ahead of me with my team: complete the construction of a superb flying trimaran and find new players ready to accompany us on the extraordinary adventure of a crewed Round the World trip."

François Gabart: "A page turns"
"I have always said that I like challenges, it is a huge challenge that awaits us with my team: complete the construction of a superb flying trimaran and find new support ready to accompany us in the extraordinary adventure of '' A crewed World Tour. 

These 10 years with Macif have been rich in emotions and great victories. I lived incredible moments. This decision is necessarily difficult, but I accept and respect it. 

A page turns but I especially want to remember that it is a new chapter which opens. A new story to write in tomorrow's offshore racing. I am fortunate to have a united team by my side. Women and men full of talent in whom I fully trust.

Together we will put all our energy and our know-how in the construction of this new multihull with which we hope to continue to make you dream. My passion remains intact and I want more than ever to return to the water! "

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Crew annouced for Gitana JV attempt :

 

Note : Erwan Israel was part of Spindrift cress on last attempt

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5 minutes ago, jb5 said:

https://www.scanvoile.com/2020/06/macif-se-retire-du-circuit-ultim-francois-gabart.html#.XuC8eDPYqbg

This is a very big one.  First major sponsor to bale from sailing since the virus?

...

Macif withdraws from Ultim sponsorship. "It is a huge challenge ahead of me with my team: complete the construction of a superb flying trimaran and find new players ready to accompany us on the extraordinary adventure of a crewed Round the World trip."

François Gabart: "A page turns"
"I have always said that I like challenges, it is a huge challenge that awaits us with my team: complete the construction of a superb flying trimaran and find new support ready to accompany us in the extraordinary adventure of '' A crewed World Tour. 

These 10 years with Macif have been rich in emotions and great victories. I lived incredible moments. This decision is necessarily difficult, but I accept and respect it. 

A page turns but I especially want to remember that it is a new chapter which opens. A new story to write in tomorrow's offshore racing. I am fortunate to have a united team by my side. Women and men full of talent in whom I fully trust.

Together we will put all our energy and our know-how in the construction of this new multihull with which we hope to continue to make you dream. My passion remains intact and I want more than ever to return to the water! "

wow, very big one indeed ...

And I guess Bidegorry is also on the sponsor hunt for the current Macif.

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Tweet from Macif and Macif's CEO :

 

 

So they get out of the Ultim class, but stay in IMOCAs (Apivia) and the Figaro class

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Bit more detail.   Macif are refocusing on Figaro and IMOCA.  Just dropping the Ultim.  The big EUR spend.

http://www.courseaularge.com/ultim-recentrage-de-macif-figaro-imoca.html

The Macif group confirms its withdrawal from the Ultim class in agreement with its skipper François Gabart and announces that it is refocusing its engagement in ocean racing on the IMOCA and Figaro Bénéteau circuits.

This decision is part of the end of the sports program of the current MACIF trimaran, marked by magnificent victories and records during 4 years. During this period, the program on the Ultim circuit carried the Macif group's strategic plan, which ends at the end of 2020 and opens the way to new ambitions for the future.
In light of the last 10 years of great collaboration with François Gabart, an exceptional sailor, the Macif will have played a large part in the technical and technological progress of competitive sailing, in particular with the Ultim program.

As a shipowner, the Macif group will continue to build the new multihull until the end, building on the structure of François Gabart: MerConcept.

His commitment to offshore racing continues and is focused on the IMOCA circuit with the Imoca APIVIA and on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit with the Skipper Macif program, with MerConcept by his side.

“We have made the decision to end the Ultim program and turn a page in the partnership that has linked us to François Gabart for 10 years now. This period, punctuated by victories and records, will have enabled as many people as possible to experience moments of rare intensity. Great adventures are still to come on the IMOCA and Figaro circuits. »  Pascal Michard, President of the Macif group

“These 10 years of partnership under the colors of Macif have been rich in emotions. We have had great victories together in Figaro, in Imoca and then in Ultim. I understand and respect the choice of Macif. One page turns and another opens. I am fortunate with MerConcept, to have a great team by my side. We will put all our experience and our energy to build this new flying boat and remain actors of the evolution of the maritime world of tomorrow. My passion remains intact and I will do everything to find actors ready to accompany me in the extraordinary adventure of a crewed Round the World trip. »  François Gabart, Skipper Macif 2010-2020

“We warmly thank François for all these moments of shared joy. We are proud to have been able to work actively with him over the past 10 years to advance the nautical sector of ocean racing and to contribute to the building of progress in competitive sailing. We are happy to continue our collaboration with him in the preparation and technical support of our Imoca APIVIA which will start the next Vendée Globe and our two Figaro Bénéteau. »  Adrien Couret, Managing Director of the Macif group

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The FB post from Gabart mentions Jimmy, and looking at crewed RTW, time for a Red Bull Ultimé?

Some of the translations make it sound like Macif are funding the construction of the new platform until compleition, but Gabart makes it sound like he'll have to find funding to finish it, does anyone with better French than I (not hard) know which it is?

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2 hours ago, JonRowe said:

The FB post from Gabart mentions Jimmy, and looking at crewed RTW, time for a Red Bull Ultimé?

Some of the translations make it sound like Macif are funding the construction of the new platform until compleition, but Gabart makes it sound like he'll have to find funding to finish it, does anyone with better French than I (not hard) know which it is?

The course au large article says :

"En sa qualité d’armateur, le groupe Macif poursuivra jusqu’à son terme la construction du nouveau multicoque en s’appuyant sur la structure de François Gabart : MerConcept."

Which means that Macif placed the contract to have the ship built (not sure if merconcept is an intermiadiary between Macif and the Shipyard there, or direct recipient of the contract), and I guess in contractual terms they are more or less obliged to finish it, but plan to sell it once finished. And Gabart needs to find the ones that will buy it.

(I'm not a legal expert in these things ...)

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Thanks yl75, that's the way I understand it as well. MACIF is the owner of the (half built) boat and will complete the build, but not sponsor a new Ultim racing campaign.

It would be interesting to know if they do this by contract or because they want to...

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New images of Macif's central hull on the way from Multiplast to Merconcept in Concarneau on the same day of the sponsorship decision.

Credit Multiplast

gabart.jpg

multiplast.jpg

ultim%2Bgabart.jpg

 

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9 hours ago, JonRowe said:

The FB post from Gabart mentions Jimmy, and looking at crewed RTW, time for a Red Bull Ultimé?

Some of the translations make it sound like Macif are funding the construction of the new platform until compleition, but Gabart makes it sound like he'll have to find funding to finish it, does anyone with better French than I (not hard) know which it is?

Yeah. A bit confusing. One thing's for sure though, a new paint job will be required.

However, from a sponsor's perspective, could there be anyone better to back than, Gabart?

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1 hour ago, Sailbydate said:

Yeah. A bit confusing. One thing's for sure though, a new paint job will be required.

However, from a sponsor's perspective, could there be anyone better to back than, Gabart?

Agree, Gabart is bankable.

Will be very interesting to see if he of all the potential skippers of these boats can pull together a new sponsor package in the current environment. I hope he can.

Two Macif tri's on sale could also be a bit ugly for the class 1 1/2 years before the big RTW race. 

Macif are saying the decision was not virus business impact related which is interesting, if you believe it. 

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The withdrawal of Macif from Ultims is a big blow. Just goes to show how many competing issues are at play for even these big spending corporates. So Imagine that the VG remains the pinnacle of French interest in Sailing. The numbers of people in attendance for the pre-start, Start and finishes, the duration and widespread media coverage and ultimate awareness that the whole race creates with a corresponding ROI in Brand awareness and goodwill (especially as they have won the event previously). The Ultims are what 3x the budget?  For a currently incoherent programme (not entirely the organisers fault), and for events such as the JV which will ultimately give them a hoped for sub 40 day duration. The marketing department are not seeing the Bang for Buck that say an Imoca or Figaro gives. Especially for the very high build and campaign costs that an Ultim represents. Against the context of Gitana with the Rothschilds finanacial clout and decision to go fully automated (at even more expense - but with ultimately higher performance - thereby severely denting the prospects of Macif or anyone else getting a chance of coming out on top - and who really remembers who came 2nd) - and with the advantage of Hindsight - was this decision not more likely than the surprise that it has created? 

I am surprised and saddened. It seems that long term partnerships are not as solid as once presumed, and that $$$ still rule the roost. But it comes back to sustainability. Imoca class again needs to heed the warning signs of relevance vs. vanity, cost vs. ROI and technology vs. endeavour. 

Other sports apart from sailing are going to look very different now that the playing surface has been swept clean and exposed the house of cards mentality that many represent - Be that F1, Football, Olympics, Tennis, Golf, Rugby or many others. 

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2 hours ago, Boink said:

The withdrawal of Macif from Ultims is a big blow. Just goes to show how many competing issues are at play for even these big spending corporates. So Imagine that the VG remains the pinnacle of French interest in Sailing. The numbers of people in attendance for the pre-start, Start and finishes, the duration and widespread media coverage and ultimate awareness that the whole race creates with a corresponding ROI in Brand awareness and goodwill (especially as they have won the event previously). The Ultims are what 3x the budget?  For a currently incoherent programme (not entirely the organisers fault), and for events such as the JV which will ultimately give them a hoped for sub 40 day duration. The marketing department are not seeing the Bang for Buck that say an Imoca or Figaro gives. Especially for the very high build and campaign costs that an Ultim represents. Against the context of Gitana with the Rothschilds finanacial clout and decision to go fully automated (at even more expense - but with ultimately higher performance - thereby severely denting the prospects of Macif or anyone else getting a chance of coming out on top - and who really remembers who came 2nd) - and with the advantage of Hindsight - was this decision not more likely than the surprise that it has created? 

I am surprised and saddened. It seems that long term partnerships are not as solid as once presumed, and that $$$ still rule the roost. But it comes back to sustainability. Imoca class again needs to heed the warning signs of relevance vs. vanity, cost vs. ROI and technology vs. endeavour. 

Other sports apart from sailing are going to look very different now that the playing surface has been swept clean and exposed the house of cards mentality that many represent - Be that F1, Football, Olympics, Tennis, Golf, Rugby or many others. 

Imagine the richter scale devastating impact if Hugo Boss said Auf Wiedersehen  to Alex Thompson Racing, or Emirates said Kia Pai to Team New Zealand.

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6 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

Imagine the richter scale devastating impact if Hugo Boss said Auf Wiedersehen  to Alex Thompson Racing, or Emirates said Kia Pai to Team New Zealand.

The new boat build cost is supposed to be in the region of 12m euros and the annual running cost for the team and boat 3-4m euros.  That they are staying in IMOCA with Apivia indicates the VG and probably RDR return on investment must be very good for the company.

A little more detail in the Macif decision. 

http://www.courseaularge.com/ultime-nouveau-projet-a-construire-francois-gabart-belle-opportunite-dautres-entreprises.html

Macif's withdrawal from the Ultim program caught everyone by surprise, including François Gabart, who did not expect it. Macif's decision was made just 15 days ago. It occurs after a change of management within the Macif group which did not wish to continue the Ultim program when it was to be renewed with Mer Concept for a new period of 3 years.

That the contract is not renewed following a change of direction is not new in sponsorship and it happens in all sports. This is the life of companies. The new management wants to print its brand and bring about change. It happened with Groupama or Safran. However, doing so when a new boat is under construction is quite surprising. The Macif remains the owner and Mer Concept has a budget to complete the boat and carry out two months of sea tests after its launch in June 2021. A position which gives François Gabart the opportunity to find new partners for a boat he will have built in his hand with his team.

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And what of the old MACIF Ultime and Pascal Bidégorry (who, IIRC was to replace Gabart on that machine) JB?

I guess he could be on the beach without a ride too, if the boat is to be sold without a sponsorship arrangement in place. Turbulent times ahead likely.

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5 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

And what of the old MACIF Ultime and Pascal Bidégorry (who, IIRC was to replace Gabart on that machine) JB?

I guess he could be on the beach without a ride too, if the boat is to be sold without a sponsorship arrangement in place. Turbulent times ahead likely.

Yes, but the original Macif is a wicked mulihull and a record breaker.....

Someone will want her. 

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I think Pascal was looking for a sponsor anyway. So I guess it is a bit more urgent now.

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But if you were a potential Sponsor being courted by Pascal, would you now not want to do due diligence and have a "chat" with Francois?

Tough and interesting times indeed. 

Maybe Francis Joyon gets to do another very canny upgrade deal from his current steed, to the boat intended for Pascal? That would be worth the price of admission.

Go on IDEC - still time to prep for a JV attempt late this year.

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Now that would be interesting.  Could he get under 40 days before the new boats likely smash that time.

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But he "old" Macif in its current set up, is also a "fully flying capable" boat, with the daggerboard foil (aile de raie, delta wing), and t foils on all rudders, central one included. 

Maybe Gabart launched the project for the second boat a bit early, considering that the foils are now at the "heart" of these boats (or platforms) performances... 

By the way, in below interview, after Brest Atlantique race, Gabart mentions that they had considered a catamaran for the new boat. 

He also says that the "old" Macif is not at the max length of the class, but that the new one will not be either. 

 

https://voilesetvoiliers.ouest-france.fr/bateau/ultim/francois-gabart-sur-son-futur-trimaran-ultim-on-a-meme-pense-construire-un-catamaran-5e233d6a-391b-11ea-94a8-ce78090b8c82?connection=true

 

Also, could Macif getting out of the ultims be also linked to the serial breakage of the appendices? 

(on the RDR for Macif, and for all of them except actual on Brest Atlantique), with no real solution in sight to avoid them, so that the risk is really big for any major race on these boats/class.

Even if the key reason is most probably financial. 

 

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The Ultim class is in a tough place and it probably won't get any better anytime soon.

If you assume two 3 year contract cycles to the boats life, 6 years depreciation, you are looking at ~35m EUR including team and maintenance for a new Ultim.

Very expensive and very likely way beyond what most sponsors would be interested in covering, so the potential sponsorship group is very small.

Then consider the return on investment.

Very very few class events and a huge dependence on the RDR, a non class event.

The RTW event for 21/22 isn't yet a sure thing, BP will be very new to the water and Macfic will be gone and Gitana are not in the class so can they even take part?

Add in very high damage levels experienced to date on the last RDR and Brest Atlantiques and they therefore have low chances of winning as well.

Also Gitana have pulled out of Ultim and IDEC refused to join.

Also add in that all the events are French and the sponsors will have to be French as well.

Tough situation for an expensive class.  Great boats for records attempts though.

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https://mailchi.mp/tipandshaft/n216comment-macif-a-mis-fin-au-programme-ultim-vincent-lauriot-prvost-la-course-au-large-permet-des-concevoir-des-innovations-utiles?e=9a497c6fa7

Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (VLVP), Macif and François Gabart interviews in French on the link.  Not a whole lot of new stuff on the Macif Ultim drop out expect that they seem to be the backing for the new Merconcept facility in Concarneau which they say they will continue to support.  The 'old' Macif Tri has had a price reduction to 5m EUR (from 11.7m EUR).  They are going to be taking a big write off on exiting Ultim.

The Vincent Lauriot-Prévost interview has some interesting stuff as usual:

Are you worried about the future of the Ultimes circuit?
This class is young, ridden by four partners (soon to be 3?) who are trying to attract new ones, it has not yet really had the opportunity to express itself, except on Brest Atlantiques....Macif's withdrawal will inevitably weaken it , the same goes for Gitana's departure, but the boats exist and are exceptional enough to attract attention. There are not many machines in the world that can offer such a 32m by 23m platform that flies, soon enslaved, they are still boats of the future and incredible showcases . Afterwards, I think their fragility comes from the fact that this class lacks diversity in partners and new entrants, especially foreigners.

How to attract them?
It's always difficult to get a mayonnaise when you don't have all the ingredients at the start; in this case, there is a lack of races and experiences with these boats which can really secure new entrants. However, we had several contacts with foreigners who were interested in such projects and had partners, owners who make the Caribbean 600 came to sail on the boat [Macif] and were interested in the purchase, but I think that this class is still a little on observation, people watch before they start. The start of the last Route du Rhum was still quite violent, the postponement of the resulting program was destabilizing, Brest Atlantiques showed that we could go around the Atlantic leaving a few feathers, and the period we are living in today is not necessarily conducive with the cancellation of part of the program.

Off topic on the AC...

Regarding the America's Cup, do you think we will see boats of this type sailing in other competitions later?
I am waiting to see, but I think that at some point a boat must be reliable in its alignment. Here, what scares me a little is that the stability of AC75 comes from speed and that without speed, they are not stable. Maybe tomorrow we will have found systems that make this risk of falling on the flank less likely, but I don't think we will make owner boats like that, it's also not very reasonable for ocean racing .
 
What is their use, if not to satisfy the desires of a few billionaires?
We will probably not decline the concept much, but if it is not used, there will surely bea lot of lessons to be learned from all the work that has been done around its use . And in terms of rigging and sail plans, for example, it can provide development paths.

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