Oracle recently confirmed that the BMW ORACLE racing team will work in collaboration with leading French multihull designers Van Peteghem/Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) to develop a new design for the US syndicate’s America’s Cup duel against Swiss champions Alinghi.
The America’s Cup is the most prestigious regatta and match race in the sport of sailing, and the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the Modern Olympics by 45 years. The two sides will be facing off in a duel, or Deed of Gift Match, for the 33rd America's Cup because they failed to reach an agreement on the rules for a traditional regatta involving several teams.
Vincent Lauriot Prévost and Marc Van Petegehem, the firms principals, will be hitting the design boards along side BMW ORACLE Racing’s core design team, including design coordinator Mike Drummond, and Michel Kermarec; head of performance prediction and appendage design.
”The French multihull community, in general, are leaders in these yachts and we are benefiting greatly.” Drummond said. “When we first looked at a multihull in the event of a Deed of Gift challenge, we were impressed with the record of Groupama series of racing multihulls. Franck Cammas and VPLP designed yachts have been breaking speed records and leading this field, so VPLP was a natural choice.”
Vincent Lauriot Prevost echoed Drummond’s enthusiasm, “We are delighted to have been chosen by BMW ORACLE Racing to design the new multihull for the 33rd America’s Cup. To be able to integrate our expertise in high performance multihull design with the experienced BMW ORACLE design team, as well as the construction team in the United States, is exciting and inspiring for VPLP.” Adding that their firm has always believed that innovation is the key to success, and working in synergy with BMW ORACLE is exactly the type of challenge they thrive on.
According to informed sources, the design to compete with the Swiss for the ‘Holy Grail’ of yachting will be a trimaran and will be built in Anacortes, north of Seattle on the U.S. Pacific coast.
Last month Alinghi's design team coordinator Grant Simmer said the Swiss syndicate was "looking at building a big beast of a boat" for its America's Cup duel with Oracle whose date has yet to be set. The New York Supreme Court, the trustee of the Deed of Gift, the 1887 document which details the complex rules of the America's Cup, is expected to rule shortly on the next date for yachting's showpiece event.
Alinghi prefers May 2009 while Oracle insists on October 2008.
The 33rd America's Cup had originally been scheduled to be held in Valencia in July 2009 as a traditional event with several teams involved. However, due to the legal wrangling between Oracle and Alinghi over the rules of the event, organizers postponed in November.
In July 2007, the Swiss syndicate won the America's Cup by beating Team New Zealand in a hugely successful event in Valencia. VPLP has said that to see a match between these racing giants should be "pure adrenalin.”
Vincent Lauriot Prévost and Marc Van Peteghem met at the Southampton College of Higher Education, in the Yacht and Boat Design Section. Soon after, they created the VPLP office in 1983. 25 years on, VPLP is the world’s leading multihull design agency. Thanks to the growing success and demand for their multihulls, VPLP now employs 26 people based in two offices – one in Vannes, at the center of the racing circuit in Brittany, as well as in Paris. VPLP are the only naval architects who specialize and design multihulls for all three sectors of the market: racing trimarans, luxury sailing and production catamarans in both power and sail (Lagoon, Switch, Aikane 56, and Sunreef 74 to name a few).
VPLP’s list of achievements is simply huge, with victories in almost all offshore multihull regattas including the Route du Rhum, Transat Jacques Vabre, OSTAR, and Jules Verne Trophy as well as speed records. VPLP are also involved in special projects such as l’Hydroptère, Groupama 3, and many more.