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.