New Yacht Technology Off to a Rough Start

On New York Times by Chris Museler

Armel Le Cléac’h’s Banque Populaire VIII is one of the new VPLP-Verdier boats, considered the most complex monohull sailboats ever built. Credit Transat Jacques Vabre

Armel Le Cléac’h’s Banque Populaire VIII is one of the new VPLP-Verdier boats, considered the most complex monohull sailboats ever built. Credit Transat Jacques Vabre

The last place the British sailor Alex Thomson expected to be last week was lying on the ceiling of his new racing yacht in the North Atlantic.

With the Vendée Globe, the premier solo round-the-world race, starting in a year, Thomson was testing a new generation of innovative hydrofoils in the 5,400-mile Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre, France, to Itajaí, Brazil.

The double-handed race, which started Oct. 25, featured several first-of-their-kind 60-foot yachts, known as Imoca 60s, designed by Guillaume Verdier and VPLP Design.

Four days after the start of the race, Thomson and his Hugo Boss crewmate, Guillermo Altadill, had to be rescued off the tip of Galicia, Spain, with their boat dis…

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