The President and Class Manager of the fastest and most exciting Olympic sailing classes - the Nacra 17 (now foiler) and the 49er and 49er FX - sit down with us to talk Olympics, the move to the foiler, and innovation in format and coverage of sailboat racing. These guys have massive experience and a great track record, and if you are a dinghy sailor or have any interest in racing management or the future of racing of this kind, check it out.
In yachting, VPLP is synonymous with ‘ahead of their time’. The French naval architecture’s first-ever design was a foiling trimaran - and that was in the 1980s. The world has finally caught up to VPLP, and that’s why they’ve become the most dominant force in ultra-high performance monohull and multihull design, and we grabbed co-founder and principal Vincent Lauriot Prévost and NA Xavier Guilbaud for a chat on the edge of the Vendee Globe race village to learn more about what they do, their entries in the Vendee Globe, and the current state and future of racing and high-performance cruising yachts and multihulls.
GENERAL: Why the dominance lately? Relationship with Verdier. Division of labor cruising/racing/mono/multi.
VENDEE: Why did the IMOCA foilers break so spectacularly after launch/fault? Beyou’s big gamble and old boat rules vs. new boat restictions. What happens to old boats when they add foils? IMOCA preformance vs. late 90s ORMA. future dev: T-rudders, adjustable main foils. Who’s fastest of the new designs/Alex vs. other foilers? Calculations on garbage-collecting ability of new foils vs. old daggers. Alex vs. the world. Confidentiality agreements and design restrictions and how they effect designs. How many former Hugo Boss boats are in this fleet? Why did SMA build foils but not use them?
VOLVO: What’s the next VOR boat going to be? What should it be? Why won’t a joint IMOCA/VOR class work? What would the perfect VOR multihull look like? Is a VOR multi too dangerous?
ULTIME: Macif/Banque Pop/IDEC/etc, VPLP rivalry with Verdier (Gitana),
GUNBOAT: New vs. old, new owners’ track record, design choices for GB68, race vs. cruise version
FOILING CATS: 2WD vs 4WD (Flying Phantom/AC50 vs. Nacra 17/A-Cat), leeway talk.
Easily one of the most influential people in all of sailing over the past decade and a half, Mark Turner has done it all. A naval officer turned Mini racer, Turner jumped into the management side of yacht racing with Ellen Macarthur, and he’s never looked back. The creator of modern "Stadium Sailing” and innovator of sailing events in dozens of countries, Mark moves into the top spot in the world’s most widely followed ocean race at a tumultuous time, and he shared a full 1h40 with Mr. Clean at the Vendee Globe this past Friday.
The boys got into some of the most important issues touching sailing, and Turner’s characteristic bluntness is refreshing as hell. Want to know the deadline for the decision on the next Volvo Ocean Race boat, and the possible boat choices? It’s here. Or maybe you’re looking for info on the $1M refit of the existing VO65s or the new AIS rules and incentives to pull a flier? Click “PLAY”. Want to know exactly what’s wrong with ISAF and why Turner leaked an internal document a few weeks back? Listen. What about emerging nations, the loss of Abu Dhabi as a sponsor, and how the recent Omani and Chinese offshore tragedies have effected those new sailing countries? Give us an hour and forty. And like all conversations with Mark, if you want to understand more about the commercial end of event and sponsor management, this guy knows it ALL. Enjoy.