Between two conveyances, on the return of a regatta or a cruise, I sometimes pick up the pen, for the British magazine Seahorse in particular. This time, it was to collaborate on a collective project led by Olivier Villepreux, with whom I found work habits and a complicity born at the time of Attitude Voile, of which I was once editor-in-chief. Olivier was the linchpin of the collection of superb magazines Attitude (Attitude rugby, Attitude veil, Attitude golf …) founded by the photographer Michel Birot, too soon disappeared.
« Ultimate Horizons », released in bookstores just before the departure of Brest Atlantiques, is a book dedicated to these new lords of ocean racing that are the Ultimates 32/23, these multihulls can measure up to 32 meters long and 23 meters wide, intended to be conducted solo or in a small crew, and capable of mind-blowing performances in the open sea, thanks in particular to their foils and their carriers.
Richly illustrated, the book is the product of a collaboration of seven authors. For my part, I wrote a long interview with naval architect Vincent Laurent Prévost, the « LP » of the vpLP firm he founded with Marc Van Peteghem, and who has played a leading role in the multihull world for several decades. Performance. How are the Ultimates conceived, how does the runner-architect couple interact, how do we stabilize the flight of the haymakers, what about the risk of capsizing, who are really the monsters, boats or skippers who tame them?
Today, the Maxi Edmond de Rotschild by Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier has just won this Atlantic roller coaster passing through Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town, ahead of Macif (Gabart-Gahinet), Actual Leader (Le Blevec-Pellat) and Sodebo (Coville-Nelias) – the latter forced to abandon after ripping off a huge piece of float in a collision with a floating object or an animal. This is to keep on the coffee table, for the recurring flickering. And to reread tomorrow, to better understand the genesis and evolution of a new class of ocean couriers, which should not be finished progressing, and to amaze us.
« Ultimate Horizons », Anamosa editions, 39 euros at all good booksellers. Work directed by Olivier Villepreux. With texts by Frédéric Augendre, Dino Dimeo, Antoine Grenapin, Jean-Louis Le Touzet, Patricia Oudit, Pierrick Pourchasse, and the lyrics of Frank Cammas, Charles Caudrelier, Thomas Coville, François Gabart, Yves Le Blevec and Armel Le Cléac’h.