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Displaying items by tag: Damian Foxall

Jean-Pierre Dick's brand new 60 foot monohull, Virbac-Paprec 3, has just been launched in Auckland, New Zealand. As for the first two boats, once again the design team has innovated and the VPLP Verdier plans mark a radical break with the two previous monohulls skippered by him. Afloat.ie readers will recall Dick was partner with Ireland's Damian Foxall when they won the Barcelona World race two years ago.

The French skipper now has a new vessel on which to go in search of the Holy Grail: the Vendée Globe 2012. Between now and then, the schedule is busy with a half round-the-world, the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race.

What is the philosophy of your new boat?

Jean-Pierre Dick: "The philosophy is monastic! Virbac-Paprec 3 will be a very light boat and therefore spartan. Paprec-Virbac 2 was a palace in comparison! This is the ultimate boat for extreme races in which there is complete physical and moral involvement. I now have sufficient experience in offshore racing to do without the unnecessary and only to think of the objective! The only items of comfort will be the seats on board for steering and sailing preparation, a berth designed by a bedding specialist and two helm stations which are real cocoons."

What are the main characteristics of Virbac-Paprec 3?
" The bi-roof. We have created two cocoons under a Plexiglas dome to provide a perfect view; much as you would have in a helicopter. They will enable me to watch and steer in all weather and stay dry. Before, there were two distinct stations, so this means a reduction in weight. This work is a continuation of that carried out on Paprec-Virbac 2 with the sliding roof. The difference is that this time we agree to manoeuvre wet.
Lightness Virbac-Paprec 3 is 10 to 15% lighter than Paprec-Virbac 2. At each step in the construction, we found the means to simplify; to find a lighter and more intelligent way of building her. For example, the chart table is only a computer screen on a rotating stand with a seat that can be moved from one side to the other. The boat is completely empty inside! The advantage is the capacity to make quicker progress with less sails or to keep it longer. The skipper does less manoeuvring and saves more of his energy.
Hydrodynamics We have designed 70 hulls with architects. Four were retained and tested in the test tank. To finish, they sailed a virtual round-the-world routed by a meteorologist to make the final choice. The lines are very taut and they have sharp bilges.

Aerodynamics

We have a standard mast with two spreaders, but with only one backstay cable* instead of 3. This is an innovation to reduce weight and wind factor. Safety We have focussed on safety by learning from unfortunate experiences. We have designed a safety hatch in the centre of the hull, so as not to have to leave the yacht from the rear. This hatch is pre-cut in the carbon and I will be able to saw it open if I find myself upturned. We have strengthened the watertight bulkheads to prevent the boat from filling up with water completely, at all costs.

What is the Virbac-Paprec 3 programme?
"One of the advantages of building in New Zealand is the return journey to France by sea. This helps us to get to know and perfect the new IMOCA 60 in real sailing conditions and on a world scale. This requires a lot of involvement, since it lasts 2 months but is extremely rewarding for the team and I. When I arrive in Lorient in mid-July, the boat will already have sailed more than 12,000 miles (22,224 km), or the equivalent of three transatlantics. So this is a perfect test bench for the run up to a busy end of the year with the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race, in which I will be defending my title!"

 

VP3_mise_a_leau_180510_brendon_ohagan_1VP3_mise_a_leau_180510_brendon_ohagan_3VP3_mise_a_leau_180510_brendon_ohagan_5

Published in Vendee Globe

It's still more than a year until the start of the next Volvo Ocean Race, but we're aready looking at the runners and riders. With Groupama having snaffled two of the most experienced Irish heads in the game, namely Damian Foxall and boatbuilder Killian Bushe, there's enough emerald isle involvement to keep us interested in this Biscay-based boat. With no movement yet (as far as we know) on the proposed Irish team, they're the only group on the go within a decent radius.

Check out the below video to see the 'greening' of Groupama as they removed the Ericsson 4 livery and prepared to show their true colours.

 

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race veteran Damian Foxall and Killian Bushe, who has built the winning boat in the race on three occasions, are part of the team that hope to assist Franck Cammas' Groupama team to win the Volvo Ocean Race. Foxall is part of Cammas' core senior crew on board the boat, and has been involved in crew selection and campaign management from the outset. Bushe will spearhead the build of the boat from a French boatyard.

The French entry will be skippered by offshore specialist Franck Cammas. Speaking at an official event at Eric Tabarly's Cite de la Voile in Lorient, Cammas confirmed that the team already has a strong core of people working on the project.

"The challenge we've committed ourselves to is a sizeable one," says Cammas. "Since 1993 and Eric Tabarly, not a single French team has participated in the Volvo Ocean Race.

"Up against the top crews from New Zealand, America, Spain and Ireland, it's going to be an intense battle. We're just rediscovering monohulls and we still have a lot to learn.

"However, we're going about it with as much enthusiasm, seriousness and humility as possible. Thanks to Groupama's commitment, we were the first to put our team together."

Cammas's squad comprises a blend of experienced Whitbread/Volvo specialists and established members of the Groupama sailing programme. "Making up my entourage are Volvo specialists like Damian Foxall, Ben Wright, Luc Gellusseau, Herve Le Quilliec and Killian Bush who are joining together with long-term stalwarts of the Groupama team like Stephane Guilbaud, Pierre Tissier, Loic Dorez, Yann Riou and Olivier Mainguy," Cammas said.

Argentinean Juan Kouyoumdjian, the designer of the winning boats in the last two editions of the Volvo - ABN AMRO ONE (2005-06) and Ericsson 4 (2008-09) - has been chosen as designer for Groupama's new Volvo Open 70 - Groupama 4.

With the purchase of Ericsson 4, winner of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, the Groupama team has an ideal platform for training and development. Re-christened Groupama 70, the Koujoumdjian design is performing intensive sea trials off Lorient.

"Unfortunately we didn't have the time to involve the excellent French architects in the work, as they are also only just discovering the restrictions of the Volvo Open 70 rule," said Cammas.

"As such we opted for Juan Koujoumdjian, who is based in Valencia. However, it's actually in nearby Vannes, at the Multiplast yard, that Groupama 4 will be built. This will represent 40,000 man hours and we know the team there well because we built the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 with them."

Earlier this year, Cammas and his crew aboard the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 claimed the Jules Verne Trophy for sailing non-stop round the world - and broke through the 50-day barrier in the process.

Groupama 3's circumnavigation took 48 days 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds to beat the previous mark, set by Bruno Peyron's Orange 2 in 2005, by 2 days 8 hours, 35 minutes and 12 seconds.

With work having started on the new Volvo Open 70 in the last few days, construction will take 10 months until her scheduled launch on 15 March 2011.

In the meantime, Cammas will also take part in the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale aboard Groupama 3 but adapted to solo sailing, as well as the Extreme Sailing Series Europe aboard Groupama 40.

Groupama's entry extends a rich history of French links with the Whitbread/Volvo. In total there have been 21 French boats in the race and nearly 300 French sailors down the years.
Published in Volvo Ocean Race

Irish ocean yachtsman Damian Foxall was announced on RTE radio last night as Ireland's Sailor of the Year for 2008.Foxall, currently racing on board the Green Dragon, Ireland's entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, was selected by the judges for his outstanding contribution to Ireland's international maritime reputation.

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